Our Schools

In the coming weeks, a small group of unelected officials will visit four schools across the state of North Carolina to make a recommendation that two of them be taken away from their local school district and handed over to a privately-run charter management company.  All four school communities are comprised of smiling, learning, and growing young people; dedicated staff who commit their lives and hearts far beyond a 40-hour work week; and loving and trusting parents who want the best for their kids.  One of the elementary schools, Glenn, belongs to us here in Durham.  We intend to keep it under local control.

The “Innovation” (formerly “Achievement”) School District leadership is claiming that “we had our chance to fix these schools.”  But we know better.

The General Assembly has repeatedly underfunded and sabotaged public schools and based the majority of their agenda on heavily flawed standardized test scores. We need to focus our efforts and money on strengthening public schools, not forcing our neighborhood schools into private hands with no local accountability.

Read more about the larger forces at work.


Sign our Petition to Dr. Hall, the Superintendent of the so-called Innovation School District (ISD), letting him know that we are not interested in having our neighborhood schools taken over by a private charter operator.

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The Innovation (formerly Achievement) School District is not a new idea. Whether called an ‘Innovation’, ‘Achievement’, ‘Opportunity’, or ‘Recovery’ District, it has been tried many times before, typically with damaging long term effects to the school systems in the states where it has been implemented. Contrary to the talking points provided by the lawmakers responsible for its creation, there is nothing significantly new or different about the version currently being implemented in North Carolina.

Provided below are a number of news articles and studies which refute their baselessly optimistic claims. We will be adding more over time.


The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools: The Facts About State Takeovers of Public Schools (PDF)

The Center For Popular Democracy: State Takeovers of Low Performing Schools (PDF)

Southern Education Foundation: Investing in What Works (PDF)

Studies & Theory:

Vanderbilt education researcher talks the middling numbers of achievement school districts

The Rhetoric of the “Achievement Gap”

The Urban-School Stigma

What Betsy DeVos Didn’t Say About School Choice


Stanford University: Whose Choice? Student Experiences and Outcomes in the New Orleans School Marketplace (PDF)

Tennessee’s turnaround district scores worse in nearly all high school subjects

Education Week: A Failing Grade for K-12 State Takeovers

Detroit schools brace for cuts amid EAA ‘fine-tuning’

Detroit News: Results for EAA Search

ASD school takeover process a ‘scam,’ say parents who worked with state-run district

Where Charter-School Suspensions Are Concentrated


North Carolina Forges Ahead with Plan to Copy Tennessee’s Failed “Achievement School District”

Durham school board prepared to ‘fight,’ won’t let state ‘take away our schools’

Two Durham schools are targets of a possible state takeover. What if DPS says no?

Durham schools ‘will not quietly accept’ possible takeover by charter school operator

NC Department of Instruction (NCDPI) held a hasty ‘focus group’ at Glenn Elementary with three days notice, scheduled early during a workday and lasting less than 45 minutes. It appears that this will be the only direct feedback solicited from parents at Glenn. The five parents from a school of well over 600 students that were able to attend shared their thoughts in the video below.


Durham Council of PTAs Position Statement

Durham Council of PTAs supports strong public education for all students. Consequently, we vigorously oppose the Innovative School District. Our schools and districts are entitled to partner with the state. Forcing districts to concede control of their schools undermines this core value. We must all cooperate to make every school as good as it can …