School Turnarounds Prompt Community Backlash

Monday, February 4, 2013

The federal government's push for drastic reforms at chronically low-achieving schools has led to takeovers by charter operators, overhauls of staff and curriculum, and even school shutdowns across the country.

It's also generated a growing backlash among the mostly low-income, minority communities where some see the reforms as not only disruptive in struggling neighborhoods, but also as civil rights violations since turnaround efforts primarily affect black and Latino students.

"Our concern is that these reforms have further destabilized our communities," said Jitu Brown, education organizer of Chicago's Kenwood-Oakwood Community Organization. "It's clear there's a different set of rules for African-American and Latino children than for their white counterparts."

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