Thursday, June 23, 2011

Booker Inspires Thousands at National Charter Schools Conference

We spent the last couple of days down in Atlanta for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools' 2011 National Charter Schools Conference. We heard from amazing speakers, discussed ways to expand charter schools and school choice around the country, and rallied to fight back against the recent Georgia Supreme Court decision restricting charter school authorization in the state.

Check out our Twitter feed from June 20-22 to read our take on a number of the events.

Cory Booker addressed 4,000 attendees at the National
Charter Schools Conference in Atlanta, Ga. on June 21, 2011.

The conference highlight, though, was a speech given on Tuesday by Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker. You can watch the entire 20-minute speech here (Booker's portion begins at approximately 58:30), but we've provided an especially excellent portion after the jump (emphasis ours):

We have underestimated the profound genius, the infinite capacity, the unbelievable ability of our children. One of the worst sentiments in our nation is this toxic resignation to a school system that fails children. We have become comfortable with, not mediocrity, we have become comfortable with failure. It is time for a wakeup call. And folks don't like to be woken up. My dad used to it to me all the time. You don't like to be woken up. You get angry. You get frustrated. People like being comfortable. But we are here to disturb the comfortable. We are here to wake people up to the truth of our nation. We were not born for mediocrity. We were not born to fit in. We were born to stand out. This is the call of America. This is the call of our country, and our children say it every single day, like a call to our consciousness; like a demand upon our moral imagination. They say it from Newark to Oakland, those five words: Liberty and justice for all. But we are failing in that.

We pulled even more quotes from Booker's awesome speech. Click here for some of its greatest hits, and check out some of the local coverage, too.

Though it's never been politically expedient, Booker has always been a stalwart champion of school choice for low-income kids. And while detractors will continue to fight against giving options to kids stuck in failing schools, it's the passion and perseverance of fighters like him that give children hope for a better future.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MAG


  1. Without the renewal of our blighted neighborhoods and changes in the way we fund schools, so that students in poor communities do not automatically get poor schools, we will never develop the kind of country that matches our ideals. Educators must play their part, but not in a social vacuum. Policies that enable our urban poor to escape the ghetto and attend more advantaged schools, as well as those that allow better schools to open in our unreformed ghettos, must be supported.

  2. The best way to improve education is to give parents VOUCHERS so they can CHOOSE the school that is best for their children.

    The MONEY/VOUCHER should follow the child/student to the school of the parent's choice....whether the school is Public, Private, Home School or Charter School.

  3. Nice to see that the Senator stabbed in the back the very woman who aiided in his political rise.