Charter School Leaders of Color from Across the Nation Gather for Convening in Nation's Capital

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools kicks off its fifth annual School Leaders of Color (SLOC) convening. This cohort of black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American charter school leaders who run high-quality public schools are in Washington to share best practices and showcase the secret to their success.

As our country struggles to diversify its teaching force and boost student achievement for black, brown and low-income students, the work of these school leaders is particularly noteworthy. Studies have found that K-12 students perform better academically if they’ve been assigned to a teacher of the same race. These findings are significant given that the teaching force at charter schools is more diverse than at traditional public schools; and data suggests that students who have been ill-served in district operated schools, especially students of color, flourish at charter schools;

  • In 2017-18, 33 percent of charter school students were Hispanic compared to 27 percent in the district, 26 percent were black compared to 14 percent in the district and 32 percent were white compared to 48 percent in the district.
  • In 2015-2016, 11 percent of charter school principals were Hispanic compared to 8 percent in the district, 15 percent were black compared to 10 percent in the district and 70 percent were white compared to 79 percent in the district.

It’s an honor to host some of our nation’s top school leaders and hear more about how the flexibility and autonomy of the charter school model allows them to directly serve the students of their communities,” said National Alliance President and CEO Nina Rees. “Charter schools employ more teachers of color and enroll more students of color than traditional public schools. It’s critical that we equip school leaders of color with the tools they need to open and run great schools – ultimately yielding more educational equity and stronger student performance.”

According to Stanford University’s CREDO, black students in urban charter schools gained 36 additional days of learning in math and 26 additional days of learning in reading per year as compared to their district school peers. And for Hispanic students, charter schools generate learning growth equivalent to 22 extra days in math and 6 extra days in reading annually. For low-income Hispanic students, these numbers rise to 48 extra days in math and 25 extra days in reading.

This year’s cohort includes the following participants:

  • Eric Anderson – Executive Director, Sussex Academy, Georgetown, DE
  • Daniela Anello – Head of School, DC Bilingual Public Charter School, Washington D.C.
  • Aaron Bass – CEO, Vision Academies, Wilmington, DE
  • Andrea Breaux – Assistant Principal, Harmony Public Schools: HS-Achievement, Houston, TX
  • Kelly Brown – Manager of Data & Assessment, Inspired Teaching Demonstration School, Washington, D.C.
  • Latoye Brown – Founder and School Leader, Audubon Charter School, New Orleans, LA
  • LaKendra Butler – School Leader and Founder, STRIVE Collegiate Academy, Nashville, TN
  • Sekani Ciare – Teacher, One City Schools, Madison, WI
  • Keisha Cummings – Parent Director, Richmond Urban Collective, Richmond, VA
  • Sarah Davis – Middle School Educator and Community Engagement and Family Advocacy Coordinator, Resurgence Hall Charter School, East Point, GA
  • Dr. India Ford – Superintendent, T2 Honors Academy, Warrensville Heights, OH
  • Tameka Germany – Assistant Principal, Harmony Public Schools: HS Exploration, Houston, TX
  • Nicole Goodman – CEO, Scuola Vita Nuova Charter School, Kansas City, MO
  • Antione Green – Principal, TLAG, Richmond, VA
  • Chevonne Hall – CEO, Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, Baltimore, MD
  • Shanee Harmon – Vice President, Richmond Urban Collective, Richmond, VA
  • Joe Harris – Chief Operating Officer, Friendship Aspire Academy Arkansas, Little Rock, AR
  • Amanda Johnson – Executive Director, Clarksdale Collegiate, Clarksdale, MS
  • Tish Johnson – Managing Director, External Relations and Communications, BRICK Academy, Newark, NJ
  • Rafiq Kalam Id-Din II – Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Ember Charter School for Mindful Education, Innovation and Transformation, New York, NY
  • Deshanna King – Assistant Principal, Harmony Public Schools: HS-Endeavor, Houston, TX
  • Jennifer Lopez – CEO, Carmen Schools of Science and Technology, Milwaukee, WI
  • Tysie McDowell-Ray – Co-Founder and Chief Academic Officer, Crossroads Charter Schools, Kansas City, MO
  • Briana Miles – Principal, BELIEVE Schools, Indianapolis, IN
  • Lagra Newman – Founder and Head of School, Purpose Prep, Nashville, TN
  • Angelique Phillips – Sr. Director of External Affairs, Excellence Community Schools, New York, NY
  • Quentin Phipps – Director of Advocacy and Policy, Stamford Charter School for Excellence, Excellence Community Schools, Middletown, CT
  • Vivek Ramakrishnan – Co-Founder and Director of Operations and Strategy, One City Schools, Madison, WI
  • Kristine Rivera – Director of Family and Community Engagement, Excellence Community Schools, New York, NY
  • DeArchie Scott – Founder and Head of School, Ambition Prep, Jackson, MS
  • Elaine Swafford CEO, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, Chattanooga, TN
  • John Taylor – Executive Director, Booker T. Washington Academy, New Haven, CT
  • Quiana Toliver – Assistant Principal, Harmony Public Schools: Harmony Innovation School, Katy, TX
  • Marylyn Valencia – Changemaker Programs / Compliance Director, Changemaker High School, Tucson, AZ
  • Lynn Valenzuela – Principal, Mexicayotl Academy, Tucson, AZ
  • Dawn Walton – Executive Director, Empower Community High School, Aurora, CO
  • Kathleen Wang – Principal, Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion, Hadley, MA
  • Maya Woods-Cadiz – Superintendent, American Indian Model (AIM) Schools, Oakland, CA

For media interested in interviewing a SLOC conference attendee, please reach out to Shaelyn Macedonio at