NCC Opposes Biden Education Secretary Nomination — Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick
Sign the Petition

The Petition

Dear NCC Charter Leaders of Color,

We are being invited to send a letter of opposition (below for your review) to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris opposing the nomination of Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick for United States Secretary of Education.

It is imperative we as Black and Brown charter school leaders register our opposition to Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick on the record NOW. As the former Dean of Howard University School of Education she is being touted as a candidate who may be palatable to African Americans, however, Dr. Fenwick is a vocal opponent of charter schools.

To sign on to the letter, please complete this form to provide your name, title and organization as you would like it to appear on the letter. In addition, please provide me with the best email and telephone number where you can be reached (included in the form).

Thank you for joining this coalition in advocating for our schools. Please let us know if you have any questions and we thank you for all the work that you do each and every day on behalf of students and families across the country!

Thank You for Your Support!

The National Charter Collaborative Team


December 17, 2020

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden Jr.
President-elect of the United States of America
The Honorable Kamala D. Harris
Vice President-elect of the United States of America
1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20230

Re: Nomination of the U.S. Secretary of Education

Dear President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris:

Congratulations on your election. We look forward to supporting your work in our role as educators of America’s children. As Black leaders and founders of public charter schools throughout the United States, we are writing to strongly urge against the nomination of Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick, former dean at Howard University School of Education. We understand that Dr. Fenwick is under serious consideration and want to express our strong opposition to her nomination.

There are 3.3 million children in public charter schools across the United States–70 percent of them are Black and Latino. Black parents cannot wait for America’s public school system to right itself and quite understandably have a sense of urgency around having high quality public schools now. That’s why as Black educators, we founded public charter schools to serve the children in the communities where we live, work and worship.

As Black educators, we serve African American children in schools that are founded, led and governed by Black people. Our schools are some of the highest performing public schools in America. Many of us founded and expanded our schools with the support of innovative education reforms under President Barack Obama who supported the expansion of public charter schools and holding educators accountable for improving the quality of education for Black children.

We are very concerned that the Biden-Harris administration would seriously consider Dr.Leslie T. Fenwick, who calls charter schools and alternative pathways a “scheme” by white people to get around Brown v. Board of Education, to lead the Department of Education. Her divisive rhetoric about needed education reforms, including public charter schools, is extreme and out of touch with the Black community. Nearly 90 percent of Black Democratic primary voters support expanding access to more public school options, including public charter schools.

Dr. Fenwick recently appeared in a video on urban education where she advances a mash-up of rhetoric from teachers unions that have worked to close our schools that we opened as an act of self-determination.

While we love the Biden-Harris administration’s support for HBCUs, cloaking the teachers union agenda in a candidate from an HBCU is not going to work. You can count on us to push against any nominee who overlooks the excellent work of Black charter school leaders across this country. Our ask is simple. Select a leader with a track record of serving students of color, demonstrated outcomes related to equity issues, and a recognition of the various approaches to the education delivery system.

We oppose Dr. Leslie T. Fenwick and we will make our opposition known to the United States Senate if she is the nominee.


Cc: Senator Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader
Senator Chuck Schumer, Minority Leader
Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, Team Lead, Department of Education Agency Review Team