It should have been a no-brainer. ACE, which operates Inspire Academy and Franklin McKinley Middle School, asked the San Jose Unified School District to approve a new high school. The schools are tremendously popular with parents, who’ve spent weeks phone banking, generating support and awareness for the proposed charter high school.
But district officials still questioned whether there was “meaningful interest” in the school.
Families stood their ground. After ACE founder Greg Lippman addressed the board, he invited all who were present in support of the school to stand. Suddenly, a sea of yellow flags emerged from around the board chambers. Lippman ceded the floor to mom Elizabeth Molina, who gave a heartfelt speech in support of the new high school on behalf of her child and all the children in her community. Parents cheered her on, demonstrating their passion and defending their right to a quality education in their community.
Ultimately, the district told ACE to revise aspects of its petition, so the fight is not yet over. ACE plans to submit a revised petition in late March. ACE families will return to the board to show support for the new school. Go charter parents!
Months after their call for a moratorium on charter schools was rebuked in communities across the country, the NAACP came to Los Angeles to take a deeper look at charters in California. Not surprisingly, charter school leaders and families didn’t waste the opportunity to push back.
During the NAACP’s special hearing, which is part of a national “listening tour” on charters, charter supporters jumped at the chance to share their stories about the importance of charter schools in their communities. Charter parents, students, teachers and leaders also gathered for a press conference whose speakers included Margaret Fortune, the CEO of Fortune Schools; Shirley Ford, a charter parent and co-founder of Parent Revolution; Carmen Taylor-Jones, President of the National Council of Negro Women; Danielle Lowe, a principal College Bridge Academy; and several charter students and alumni.
It was a day of passionate speeches and unity, with everyone determined to tell the true story of charter schools. Congratulations and thank you to all those who participated!
Gloomy, wet weather didn’t dampen the spirits of more than 1,100 parents, students, charter school alumni, and community leaders who marched one and a half miles through downtown to Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights.
“Parents and their children need reassurance that their rights will be preserved and that they will not have to be subject to low-performing schools just because of their zip code,” charter parent Clara Ordonez told the crowd.
The “My Child, My Choice” march brought 20 charter schools from L.A.’s “eastside” together. The event celebrated the success of local charters and affirmed the tremendous demand from parents for high quality educational options. Featured speakers included LAUSD board member Monica Garcia, Myrna Castrejon, the CEO of Great Public Schools Now; Ana Ponce, who leads Camino Nuevo Charter Academy; and several charter alumni and parents.
Check out LA School Report’s coverage of the march.