The charter school movement exists in New York because dedicated and courageous educators, parents and political leaders know it is necessary to forge a new path forward if we are to help every child succeed in the classroom.
We believe in the power and potential of charter schooling -- from the autonomy and flexibility the schools are granted to the relentless belief brought to school every morning that ALL children CAN learn. The staff at the Northeast Charter Schools Network have collectively witnessed amazing things happening in our member schools for years.
The vast majority of charter students and families served by our members are lower income students of color. It is our honor and privilege to help these schools exercise their voices in the political arena, which is why we must speak out on the topic of Dan Loeb's racially charged Facebook comment.
Each action we take, and each statement we utter, must be done with our minds appropriately focused on helping our children without exacerbating the wounds of the civil rights struggles faced by so many people -- wounds that have been ripped open by recent events such as those in Charlottesville.
Politics in this state can be incredibly frustrating, and nobody understands this better than we do. The Northeast Charter Schools Network places an intentional and respectful emphasis on being part of a bi-partisan movement. We welcome opportunities to dialogue with our opponents or embrace our supporters from all political parties and backgrounds.
If you were to ask our charter school leaders, teachers, board members and families from around the state, I believe that you would quickly hear a resounding chorus in agreement on this simple but important fact: there is no place in today's debate for racially charged comments aimed at anyone, regardless of whether you disagree with their politics.
Everyone makes mistakes and this reflection is not intended to pile onto criticisms aimed at Success Academy or Mr. Loeb. Our goal, rather, is to unequivocally denounce the choice of words used in this case, and to emphasize that the charter movement in New York is about educational and social justice.