Parent’s choice: Going from public to charter schools

- Curtissa Deener spends her afternoons picking her sons up from school after taking care of her daily tasks. She takes time to play ball before it’s time to settle in for dinner.

Parents in the Memphis area are given many education opportunities for their children. Some parents choose what is most convenient for them, while others go out of their way to ensure their children have the best education offered. For the parents of many students, charter schooling is their take on the best education.

As charter schools work to differentiate themselves from traditional public schools, they must be innovative in the ways that they insert themselves into the community. Some even become a resource for parents providing computers and internet service for them to use after hours.


Recently the NAACP voted in favor of a moratorium against charter schools. Curtissa Deener, a parent of two sons at Power Center Academy, can speak towards the NAACP’s concerns.

“I can understand their concerns about stopping the expansion due to the decline in public school’s attendance,” Deener said. “But if the children aren’t receiving a quality education in public school, why hinder them from wanting better quality education.”

The NAACP argues that charter schools create a segregated school system because charters mostly serve low-income students of color. In response, parents of charter school students began a campaign, called #ChartersWork to explain why they chose charters and how that has impacted their child.

Deener chose to put her child in a Memphis charter school despite having many other options. She immediately saw the room for improvements in her sons’ educational growth.

Parents choosing to charter can point directly to related differences within public schools.

Written and produced by Mishala Bryant and Saundra Nash.

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About the Author

Saundra Nash

As an advocate for social justice, education and entrepreneurship, Saundra is passionate about telling stories that highlight people who are striving in the face of adversity. In her free time, you can find her sipping coffee at the newest local coffee shops while working on starting her own branding agency. Saundra graduates from The University of Memphis in December of 2016.

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