Orlando, FL – The NAACP Task Force for Quality Education held a charter school hearing in Orlando on Friday, January 27. This was one of seven hearings taking place across the country in an effort to gather information about charter schools. Unfortunately, Florida’s charter school leaders, teachers, students and parents were not included in the day’s agenda. We were still able to get Florida’s charter voices heard.
After more than 5 hours of testimony from the NAACP’s pre-selected panelists, at 7 p.m. the task force took about 30 minutes of public comment. Donyale McGhee, Principal of Somerset Preparatory Academy of North Lauderdale (Broward County), was the only person who spoke who works in a public school–charter or district–every day. She did an excellent job of representing her school and charter schools in general. FCSA executive director Lynn Norman-Teck and Christopher Norwood, President of the Florida Association of Independent Schools both spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting. Norman-Teck told the panel about model charter schools around the state that are helping minority students achieve, those that are sending kids to college, and the alternative programs — like ALS, EdVentures, and Mavericks in Education — that are helping adults get their high school diploma.