We Must Speak Out to Dispel Charter Myths

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September 23, 2011 Despite the success of charter schools or perhaps because of it, myths about charters continue to persist. Jackie Elliott, a charter leader in Los Angeles and representative for CCSA's member council shares why it's critical for schools to share their stories and what her school community is doing to counter these myths.

I have been in the charter movement since 1995 and I believe we are in one of the toughest periods we have ever been in. We are under siege in terms of the charter school myths that have become too prevalent here in Los Angeles and across the state. We need to mobilize to dispel these myths and really have our voices heard. We need to help people understand that these myths are untrue and that we in the charter community are truly serving students well.

Some of these myths include that we are not serving special education students, which we know is simply not true. We also hear people say a lot that they are advocates for public schools, but not for charter schools. Charter schools ARE public schools. All of us need to speak to the media, to our local school boards, talk to our parents and mobilize our stakeholders so that the public can hear the truth about who we are in the charter movement.

Today in Los Angeles, about 30 stakeholders from PUC Schools addressed the LAUSD board. We had teachers, principals, parents and students here who spoke to the board to share who we are. We talked about how well our schools are doing and the ways we serve special education students. We hope that the stories we shared resonate with the board.

Let your voices be raised, this is about getting the truth out across the state, from San Diego to Sacramento.

Dr. Jacqueline Elliott is co-founder of PUC Schools (Partnerships to Uplift Communities), which operates 13 charter schools in northeast Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. She also sits on CCSA's Member Council.

CCSA offers many resources to help members in their outreach: