Richard Migliore SRC testimony transcript – August 18, 2016


Richard Migliore
Click the picture to see video of Rich’s testimony.

The NAACP Resolution Calling for a Moratorium on Privately Managed Charter Schools and Reaffirming its Opposition to the Privatization of Public Schools

Good Evening SRC Members, Dr. Hite and Mr. Shore:

I just want to make sure that you, our leadership team and our community are aware of the recent NAACP resolution calling for a Moratorium on privately managed charter schools and reaffirming its opposition to the Privatization of Public Schools. The issues it raises should be front center of our public discussion.

The resolution was adopted at the National NAACP convention in Cincinnati through a vote of 2,200 delegates.

I ask you to read the resolution, the Article by Valerie Strauss, and the Great essay by Carol Burris a former high school principal who now leads the Network for Public Education. It starts at p. 2 of the Article by Valerie Strauss.

Sorry Dr. Hite, I just can’t pass up a “teachable moment.” My proudest days were when I sat with my high school reading students and read with them about the great civil rights leaders of our history from Frederick Douglas to Harriet Tubman and to Dr. Martin Luther King and beyond.

May I quote some highlights of the article and Ms. Burris’ essay –

• Putting the word “public” in front of “charter school” – which are privately managed but funded with tax dollars – is “an affront” to people for which public education is a mission.

• “Be it further resolved that the NAACP calls for a moratorium on the proliferation of privately managed charter schools.”

• “The charter school movement, however, tries to spin mediocre interventions as school improvement while snatching away a family’s choice of a high quality  neighborhood school within walking distance of their homes. These are ‘hustlers’ who use civil rights language to repeatedly violate the civil rights of Black and Brown communities.”

• To paraphrase a point – Boards of Trustees of such charter chains as KIPP are filled with wealthy white billionaires and hedge fund operators – not the representatives of the disadvantaged residents of the local community.

• The NAACP resolution states; “WHEREAS, researchers have warned that charter school expansions in low income communities mirror predatory lending practices….”

I ask you to call a moratorium on the expansion of privately managed charter school chains and put an end to the Renaissance charter school initiative. It has done nothing but cause turmoil for children, caused turmoil within communities, and allows corporate raids on our public schools. The evidence clearly shows that they all do worse than our real public schools and take rights away from Philadelphia’s citizens.

Calling a charter school a public school does not make it a public school. It is time to end the Pretext. “Choice” has become – no choice at all.

Respectfully submitted,

Rich Migliore

Here are the links to the Article by Valerie Strauss which contains the essay Rich alludes to in his comment. These documents were given to the SRC.

NAACP members call for ban on privately managed charter schools | Answer Sheet – The Washington Post – August 7, 2016

Breaking News: @NAACP calls for national moratorium on charters | Cloaking Inequity – July 29, 2016