I Don’t Want to Hear Another Argument About How Charter Schools Are Killing Public Schools

Jan 30, 2020 12:00:00 AM


Dear America, 

Please don't bother my community with anti-charter school arguments in 2020. That's unless you're willing to get involved with majority-Black attended public schools in your town or city. Show me that you're intentional about changing the academic status quo for our nation's students of color. 

I don't want to read, hear nor feed into your dusty, old dramatized conspiracies about how public charter schools are the new evil that maliciously lurks and strategically preys on little Black children's local and state pupil dollars. That argument falls flat when you consider that most public charter schools with substantial Black student enrollment tend to hire more Black teachers, which contributes to better academic outcomes and emotional stability for its students.    

I don't want to hear your circumvented arguments on the theories that charter schools are promoting segregation either; because while schools are legally integrated today, de facto segregation continues as the unconfronted, hybrid virus that prevents Black youth from succeeding at equally competitive rates as White youth. 

[pullquote]When Black students pack average and remedial courses, while a White-majority student-body rigorously prepares for college in advanced classes, it is Jim Crow by another name.[/pullquote] 

That is the truth! 

So in this new year, be quiet, listen, do the work that needs to be done to fix these struggling schools—the ones that middle-class White America abandoned during the “White flight” back in the '60s and '70s.

Yes, we remember the days the national guard forcibly escorted us into majority-White schools, while some hurled epithets, threw stones, spat directly into our ebony faces and walked away with full immunity. We never forgot how White parents were quick to unenroll and even snatched the majority of their White children so they wouldn't have to attend schools with diversity. 

Don't get it twisted; that nasty racist behavior was documented on both sides of the Mason Dixon line. Candidly, [pullquote]Democrats and Republicans, progressives and conservatives, played near equal roles in that wicked behavior called racism.[/pullquote]  

A recent report by brightbeam highlights this exact hypocrisy of progressives. Despite espousing progressive values, 12 of this country’s so-called progressive cities hold alarming achievement gaps between Black/Latino and White students. 

My people shall no longer be expected to entertain middle-class White America's discarded educational brick and mortar public leftovers when Black kids aren't learning in them. Moreover, we shouldn't be expected to work with fewer pupil dollars today when White parents were the ones that took all of our collective educational pupil dollars to the suburbs yesterday.

So [pullquote]please don't Whitesplain how charter schools are killing public schools because the genesis of that original sin lies with White America and not the Black community.[/pullquote]

It's why many Black Americans are choosing public charters schools that may have been created by people who live in the Black community, and crafted by people who are intentional in ensuring that Black families have a choice in where to send their kids to school without having to move and desert their own communities just to get a quality education.

Nehemiah Frank

Nehemiah Frank is a fierce advocate for charter and community schools. He has public policy experience and is the founder and editor in chief of the Black Wall St. Times. Frank is also a middle school teacher at Oklahoma's top performing charter school, Sankofa Middle School of the Performing Arts a member of the Deborah Brown Community Schools. Nehemiah believes that charter and community partnership schools are the paths to closing the achievement gap and curving the school-to-prison pipeline. Frank earned his B.A. in political science from Oklahoma State University.

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