Williams: School Choice Panel at National Urban League Summit Shows We’re Having the Wrong Conversation About Charter Schools

By National Urban League
Published 11 AM EDT, Sat Oct 19, 2019
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By Conor P. Williams, Fellow at The Century Foundation

Last month, the National Urban League hosted an all-star panel of activists at its Young Professional L.E.A.D. Summit to discuss the present — and potential — of school choice programs for African Americans in public education. It was a summit of sorts, presented by The 74 and African-American journalist Roland Martin, with choice advocates like Martin and the Progressive Policy Institute’s Curtis Valentine sharing a stage with NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson — whose organization famously called for a moratorium on new charter schools in October 2016.

Unsurprisingly, the panel delivered fireworks. Voices rose. Rhetoric sparked. But one thing stood out: The debate over school choice couldn’t fit within any of the usual frames.

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