Charting New Voices: Changing The Voices Leading The Charter School Narrative – Next100
Special Project   Education + Early Years

Charting New Voices: Changing The Voices Leading The Charter School Narrative

We're launching a survey of charter alumni from across the country about their experiences and perspectives.

As we approach the three-decade mark since the creation of the first charter school, the conversations about charters have been increasing in volume and intensity. And yet too often, the debate is not being held among those who are most impacted: students and alumni of these schools, many of whom are now adults. This project proposes a solution for that gap by listening to, learning from, and elevating the voices of charter alumni, and then compiling their stories, data, survey responses, and policy recommendations so that, with their wisdom, we can push toward an equitable educational system, both within and beyond charters.

On July 13, we’ll be launching a survey of charter alumni from across the country about their experiences and their perspectives. The survey will be open until July 27. In recognition of each survey respondent’s time and participation, we will provide individuals who complete the survey with a $15 gift card as a thank you. 

If you’re a charter school alum who would like to share your thoughts and feedback, please complete our survey here, and share it with your friends! We’d love to hear from you.

If you’re a charter school educator or parent, please share our survey with the charter school alumni you know.

This project is led by Roquel Crutcher, a charter school alumna from Memphis and a policy entrepreneur at Next100. You can find more info on Roquel here, and more background on the project can be found here.

If you have any questions or ideas, please reach out to [email protected]—we’d love to hear from you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of this project?
The purpose of this project is to provide a platform for the alumni of charter schools and their policy and practice recommendations for both charter schools in particular and educational equity as a whole.

As charter schools grow older, so do their former students. Most children in the first generation of charter students began at their charters as middle schoolers and are now in their twenties or thirties. As we think about the debates happening in the public domain about charters, we can’t help but wonder: why hasn’t there been a call for these alumni to come together and provide feedback about their experiences and its impact on their lives and communities? The progressive movement champions putting the people most impacted at the forefront of every conversation—somehow, though, it has left that priority behind when it comes to charters.

What will you do with these survey results?
I will use the survey results to create a report on charter alumni’s opinions on charter policy and practice, and educational equity more broadly, for use by education leaders and policymakers, as well as to guide further work to elevate the voices of charter alumni.

Are survey responses anonymous?
All individual responses under the biographical section of the survey will not be shared beyond Next100. The published report will include analysis of hundreds of survey responses, but will not include any personally identifiable information.

We understand the importance of your stories, recommendations, and words being yours. Some questions have an option for short answer responses. We may quote these responses in the report, but will not attribute them to individuals. If at any point we have questions, we will contact you using the email provided.

Before distributing digital gift cards, we will need to verify your attendance at a school and we may follow back up with you to do so. We will under no circumstances share any individual survey responses with schools.

Who can I contact if I have any questions or concerns, or want to learn more?
Any and all questions can be directed to Roquel Crutcher at [email protected].

Will you be compensating people who complete the survey for their time and effort?
Each respondent will receive a $15 digital gift card to be used at any online store. We encourage patronizing small businesses and businesses owned by people of color!

When will I get my gift card?
If you are a charter school alum who completes the survey, you should expect your gift card within 2–3 weeks of the survey closing.

About the Author

Roquel Crutcher Education + Early Years

Roquel Crutcher is an advocate and activist for social justice and educational equity. At Next100, Roquel focuses on increasing educational opportunities and postsecondary outcomes for young people in marginalized communities. Roquel has worked at several educational nonprofits as an advocate for educational equity.

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