Families of Color Value School Choice
By Chad Greer School choice is a valuable commodity in our communities. The Classical Academies has provided our family with many opportunities. As a black father of four grown children, I value and reminisce the many years our family spent dedicated to rigorous academic programming, athletics, attending school performances, and being deeply involved in our […] The post Families of Color Value School Choice appeared first on Voice and Viewpoint.
By Chad Greer
School choice is a valuable commodity in our communities. The Classical Academies
has provided our family with many opportunities.
As a black father of four grown children, I value and reminisce the many years our
family spent dedicated to rigorous academic programming, athletics, attending school
performances, and being deeply involved in our school community. Having our children
attending a public charter school allowed them to thrive academically, socially, and
Recently, The Classical Academies, and their group of high performing charter schools,
have been questioned about their student diversity as part of a public hearing with the
San Diego County Office of Education considering the renewal of their campus in Vista.
The comments shared by board members hinted that this would likely become a reason
for not renewing the charter on February 10, 2021. This is a new twist and tactic that
boards take across the state to close options for students. This trend is troubling and
moves the conversation from what is happening with students and their academics to
paper tiger arguments that have little to do with schools and their success.
In a recent article by The Hechinger Report, When Black Families Benefit from School
Choice, It Doesn’t Perpetuate Racism, this quote is worth sharing. “…I balk at the idea
that Black parents should be forced to stay in the system while they wait for change.
While public school systems continue to operate in ways that neglect or outright harm
Black children’s education, they also actively block the avenues of choice Black parents
want to access outside of the public system. Black parents should be afforded the ability
to exercise their agency in choosing the placement and mode of their children’s
Over the past decade, our children have attended five of The Classical Academies
charter school program sites. The Classical Academies Vista Campus provided a rare
“gem of choice” for our family that created a wholesome community and nurturing
environment for children. Speaking from first-hand experience of how school choice
impacts a family, it is deeply troubling to know the school board would consider closing
a high-functioning, successful public charter schools that actually promotes closing the
achievement gap for students of color, especially during a time of widely acknowledged
systemic racism. How does a white board member possibly know a black parent’s
needs when selecting a school they want their son or daughter to attend? If the School
board cast a vote of “non-renewal” for Vista, then the communication becomes clear:
the school board quests to perpetuate and continue systemic racism by eliminating
choice for people of color.
During the pandemic, The Classical Academies are experiencing an increase in serving
special needs students, those bullied in traditional schools, medically fragile, and
students who have slipped through the cracks in other programs. We should be
promoting these successful education models and reminding elected officials that
schools can be a place of acceptance for all, no matter a student’s skin color, race, or
If we close public charter schools that allow students of color to thrive, where do these
parents look for choice and support in the future? This discussion is generated from
privilege and fails all students, regardless of their race, color, or creed. When the
country is coming to grips with race, it is more important than ever to elevate
businesses, schools, and organizations that serve students of color well. The Classical
Academies do that for the community of North San Diego.