In a record-breaking year that saw national public charter school enrollment surpass 3.2 million students for the first time, ExcelinEd is joining states and partners across the country in celebrating National Charter Schools Week, May 7-11. The public charter school movement has proven their commitment to providing families high-quality educational options, practicing innovative academic approaches and earning improved student results.
“Thank you to all of the changemakers – the teachers, students, families, administrators, elected officials and advocates – who are championing public charter schools and transforming their communities by bringing educational opportunity to students. We must continue our work to be sure all students on waiting lists for public charter schools and students all across our great country are able to access the best educational option that meets their learning needs.”
Eric Cantor, ExcelinEd Board Member and formerly United States Representative for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District and House Majority Leader.
Earlier this year, ExcelinEd teamed up with national leading education groups, including the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, on the Choices in Education video contest to highlight stories from students and families on the power of educational opportunity. Below are the winners from public charter schools.
Grand Prize winner Christopher Collot from Miami, Florida chose a charter school for his son Jayden to attend, where he is thriving both academically and socially.
“I wanted to provide my child with the best possible fit for his education and give him what I never had – a choice,” Christopher Collot said. “I’m extremely lucky that I had the opportunity to choose a school that was right for my child’s educational needs. Every kid is different and that makes them special. We shouldn’t limit our children’s potential with a one size fits all mentality.”
Grand Prize winner Cabral Clements of Atlanta, Georgia attended an arts and sciences charter school out of district as a film student.
“Thanks to school choice, I gained exposure and specialization into a career that I’m passionate about and that I continue to work in,” Cabral Clements said. “All of this was made possible by me being able to choose the best educational route for my unique needs.”
When David McGuire was a child his mother lied about her address so he could go to a school that would better serve him. Today, he serves as a principal at a charter school in Indianapolis, ensuring more students have access to school choice options.
“I truly believe that the decision my mother made 25 years ago to put me in a better school set me on a path and a trajectory to be the educator that I am today – one that loves and fights for my students and advocates for the voice of parents to choose a school best for their child,” David McGuire said. “Had it not been for my mother’s choice and her tears of seeing the area in which her son could have gone to, I never would have seen her tears the days I graduated high school and college.”
People’s Choice winner Damacia Howard of Union City, Georgia attends an online public charter high school.
“Having been bullied at a traditional brick and mortar school, my parents and I welcomed a better option,” Damacia Howard said. “Attending an online public charter school allows me to focus more on my academics, while also having the flexibility to serve my community. School choice gives me the freedom to choose what works best for me and for that I am forever grateful.”
Follow along on ExcelinEd’s blog for more stories from charter school parents, educators and expert analysis by Sam Duell, Associate Policy Director for Charter Schools.