CAP and AFT Ignore History and Facts: School Choice Empowers Minority Families

Yesterday, at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAP) and cosponsored by the American Federation of Teachers, school choice opponents attempted to link today’s private school choice movement with Jim Crow-era efforts to resist desegregation by providing white students with vouchers to attend private schools. The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, released the following statements.

Statement from Kevin P. Chavous, founding board member and executive counsel for the American Federation for Children:

“Quoting flawed research and making specious links to Jim Crow-era tactics cannot diminish the fact that today’s private school choice movement has been overwhelmingly embraced with open arms by minority families across the country.

“Moreover, research shows that test scoresgraduation rates and the number of students enrolled in college have improved because of vouchers, tax credit scholarships, and Education Savings Account programs. The vast majority of students seeing these benefits are from low-income, working-class, and minority families.

“CAP chose to ignore the most recent research on the academic performance of voucher programs, including the recently released study showing improved academic achievement for Louisiana Scholarship Program students.

“Instead of spreading misinformation and staying wedded to the policies of the past, these groups should work to create an education model that provides equal opportunity for high-quality education options for every child.”

Statement from Ann Duplessis, board member for the American Federation for Children and president of the Louisiana Federation for Children:

“For the Center for American Progress Action Fund and American Federation of Teachers to conflate segregationists’ tactics of the past with the present-day school choice movement is an insult to the nearly 440,000 parents nationwide who use private school choice options to level the playing field.

“Today, more than 94 percent of Louisiana parents who participate in the Louisiana Scholarship Program say they are satisfied with every aspect of the program, where 89 percent of the participants are minority students.”