Should black communities beware of charter schools?

Dec 6, 2016

Proponents of publicly funded, privately run charter schools hail them as the way to keep public schools and public school teachers "on their toes" by creating competition. 

Here in Michigan we have roughly 145,000 students in more than 300 charter schools, according to Education Trust Midwest.

And a report that group released earlier this year showed that charter school enrollment in the 2014-2015 school year consisted of disproportionately minority and low-income students. 

For example, 52% of charter school students were African-American, compared with just 14% in traditional public schools. 

Andre Perry has watched the charter school industry take root, especially in urban areas, where the number of charter schools is growing at a much faster rate than in the suburbs or rural areas.

As the former founding dean of urban education at Davenport University in Grand Rapids and the CEO of the Capitol One-University of New Orleans Charter Network, he's seen it up close. 

Perry joined us today to talk about why he believes it's time for activists like those in the Black Lives Matter movement to pay more attention to charter schools. 

*This interview was originally broadcast on Sept. 7, 2016.


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