Organizations Seek To Close Minority Student's Achievement Gap
CHARLOTTE, NC- Minority educators and business leaders say it's a rare opportunity to provide higher quality education to black students.
Two organizations... Parents for Educational Freedom and Partners In North Carolina (PEFNC) for developing futures are offering funding to open charter schools.
Governor Bev Perdue made this possible by eliminating the charter cap this summer.
"Lifting the charter school cap gives African-American leaders the opportunity to open a school of their choice, which are charter schools to provide distinct and different a distinct education offerings," said Senator Malcolm Graham, (D) Mecklenburg County.
Hundreds interested in starting a school packed an auditorium at Johnson C. Smith University. But, the information session is just the first step.
"In so many cases, how you start is how you end. In North Carolina, we've had 33 charter schools shut down since 1996 and the primary reason is start-up. Administrative costs, strategic planning, and board governance," said Darrell Allison, president of PEFNC.
Organizers of Tuesday’s event say the need for charter schools is greater than ever. There are a hundred in the state, but over 30,000 families are on waiting lists.
Senator Graham says this time around... failure is not an option.
On goal is to reduce the 30 percent achievement gap on math and reading end-of-grade tests.
"Shorten up that achievement gap so more of our children of color are doing better. Going to college, graduating from college, and becoming better citizens in our state," said Allison.
Allison says that can only happen if more minorities step.
Right now, only 30 percent of the educators leading North Carolina charter schools are black.
Minorities interested in starting a charter school have to submit a letter of intent by October 15.
The selection process could take up to nine months.