Black families support parental choice in education and charter schools according to the results of a survey released by the Black Alliance for Educational Options showing that many minorities are indeed hungry for change in their communities.
The study is entitled, “A Survey Report on Education Reform, Charter Schools, and the Desire for Parental Choice in the Black Community.” The full report can be viewed by visiting the BAEO website.
Nearly 2,000 black registered voters were selected at random throughout four southern states – Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. The release says the survey was designed to “gauge attitudes and opinions within the Black community on education reform, charter schools, and the need for parental choice in their community.”
Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi were used “because of the high number of low-income and working-class Black families in these states, who would potentially benefit from parental choice policies and other education reforms that have been the subject of recent and ongoing debate.”
The survey found that there was “strong support among the group for greater freedom in K-12 education, widespread recognition of the need for better quality schools, and openness to charter schools…”
A few of the results highlighted in the release stated:
– 85-89% in each state agreed that government should provide parents with as many choices as possible to ensure that their child receives a good education
– 55-58% in each state (and 73% in the New Orleans area) said they would not send their children to the public schools to which they are currently assigned if they had a choice
– At least 50% in each state (and as many as 7 in 10 in Mississippi) expressed support for charter schools. In Alabama, Kentucky, and Mississippi, the data showed strong support for charters across all age categories, but considerably stronger among younger voters
– Between 71-80% of Black voters surveyed in Alabama, Kentucky, and Mississippi expressed support for charter schools after hearing that they give lower-income Black students currently trapped in failing schools more opportunities
Another result that was interesting to note was that in the black communities surveyed, support was “highest among voters with the most limited options today, those with lower incomes and fewer years of formal education; conversely, opposition to charter schools is strongest among Blacks with higher incomes and more years of formal education.”
Did you catch that? I’ll requote it in case you missed it – “opposition to charter schools is strongest among Blacks with higher incomes and more years of formal education.”
That should speak volumes.
Last week I wrote a piece entitled “Minorities seek Charter School options in Mississippi”. I made the statement that, “It now appears that a good many of the early charter school advocates have been both rural and urban minority leaders in areas that have been left wanting for positive, effective educational options for decades.”
Since then I have spoken with minorities advocating for charter schools in Mississippi. As this storyline continues to develop I’ll share what is happening here in Mississippi and what parents and local minority leaders are saying about charter schools amidst the need they see on a daily basis.
But for now, here’s a video the Clarion Ledger took of one black parent’s view of charter schools. This Tennessee resident’s comments can be viewed below: