CHICAGO, Dec. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Concept Schools believes the recent Associated Press (AP) report on racial segregation in U.S. charter schools failed to recognize charter schools are often limited to operate in socioeconomically segregated communities with failing traditional district schools, and poverty is widely understood to correlate with low student proficiency.
The AP reported, "resegregation has been blamed on the effects of charters and school choice." While the report raises real concerns regarding the deeply rooted tradition of racial tension and segregation in our country, it missed the opportunity to explain how charter schools provide families with a high-quality public school option that may otherwise not be afforded to them.
The AP also failed to report on the valuable interpersonal relationships that form between charter schools and the families that choose them. The corresponding AP video exemplifies how charter schools establish meaningful relationships with families struggling with adverse experiences.
"Public charter schools like Milwaukee Math and Science Academy are tuition-free, non-selective schools that provide historically underserved families a better option than what local schools may offer," said Concept Schools spokesman Dr. Christopher Murphy. "Families choose charter schools like MMSA because it is a nearby option that challenges students to think collaboratively and critically in a safe and secure learning environment."
In his response, Democrats for Education Reform National's Shavar Jeffries stated: "Charter schools are not by themselves a panacea for the racial inequities that have undercut opportunities for children of color for well over 100 years. But across this country, they're providing students a high-quality public school option previously unavailable to them. Parents need more, not fewer, of those kinds of choices."
"The AP's misleading headline has come before and will come again," summarized Robin Lake, Director of the Center on Reinventing Public Education. "The only thing the (AP) analysis shows is that charter schools are serving the at-risk kids we — and state legislatures — asked them to serve. The fight to end racial segregation in our schools is laudable, but to pin the blame for current circumstances on charter schools is irresponsible."
Concept Schools is a nonprofit charter management organization that provides a high-quality, STEM-focused and college-preparatory education through a network of 31 U.S. charter schools while offering exceptional programs, comprehensive services, and opportunities to partner in education.