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National Alliance Statement on NEA Resolution

This past school year, six of the 10 U.S. News Best High Schools in America were public charter schools, new studies found considerably greater learning is happening at high-quality charter schools, and a Massachusetts charter school teacher was recognized as National Teacher of the Year. As the NEA meets in Boston and hears from her, we are glad to see our allies in the support of public education standing with us to say that the good work so many charter schools—and charter school teachers—are doing for public school students deserves everyone’s support.

In communities where public schools have under-served families for generations, the best charter schools are showing something better is possible. Teachers in those schools are transforming lives. Unfortunately, too many schools are not doing the job. Whether they’re district-run or chartered, unionized or not, virtual or brick-and-mortar, we all need to call out failure and adult irresponsibility wherever it’s happening.

Hearing NEA acknowledge charter schools as the public schools they are and always have been is new, and it’s welcome. Eighty-five percent of charter schools are either independently run or part of a non-profit network, but no matter their structure, all charter schools are public schools and all are held accountable to their authorizers and the families they serve. The results overall: higher graduation rates, more students going on to college and productive careers, more lives transformed through the power of public education. That’s the pattern that America’s public schools should be replicating over and over across the country. There’s so much proof it can be done, and we hope teachers unions will be partners in that progress.