Making Americans: UNO charter schools and civic education

UNO Charter School Network

Article Highlights

  • The UNO Charter School Network's 12 K-8 schools and one high school serve a student body that is 95 percent Hispanic.

    Tweet This

  • Voting is the civic skill most emphasized by UNO--and to the exclusion of some other civic skills like protesting.

    Tweet This

  • UNO understands citizenship education as a project of assimilation and Americanization.

    Tweet This

 

Subscribe to AEI's Education emails.

This policy brief is the third in a series of in-depth case studies exploring how top-performing charter schools have incorporated civic learning in their school curriculum and school culture. For more information about AEI's Program on American Citizenship, visit www.citizenship-aei.org.

Making Americans: UNO Charter Schools and civic education

Download PDF
On a mid-September weekend in 2011, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times ran two starkly contrasting stories. The front page of the Tribune reported on some 1,200 Chicago public-school students commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11 by organizing public memorials and honoring local police and firefighters.[1] The Sun-Times, meanwhile, brought word of activists in Massachusetts pushing to ban the Pledge of Allegiance from public-school classrooms, lest students suffer undue thought control.[2]

This juxtaposition is invoked by Juan Rangel, CEO of the UNO Charter School Network, with a purposeful mix of pride and exasperation. Pride, because UNO’s students—almost all children of immigrants from Mexico or elsewhere in Latin America—were those who made page one for commemorating 9/11. And exasperation because the worldview manifested by the Massachusetts campaign represents so much of what UNO tries to fight.

“This is part of the problem we have in our country,” Rangel says of the anti-Pledge drive. “And you take that, and multiply it with the challenges of an immigrant community that doesn’t have its feet clearly cemented in our country, and it leaves people in limbo. I think we have a responsibility as an institution to help transform that community.”[3]

Read the full brief

Notes       

1. “Flags for the Fallen,” Chicago Tribune, September 10, 2011.
2. “Group Says Reciting Pledge ‘Reminiscent of McCarthyism,’” Chicago Sun-Times (Associated Press), September 11, 2011.
3.“Teaching America: How Charter Schools Can Help Close the Civic Achievement Gap” (remarks, Washington, DC: AEI, September 14, 2011).

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine

What's new on AEI

Expanding opportunity in America
image Moving beyond fear: Addressing the threat of the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria
image Foreign policy is not a 'CSI' episode
image The Air Force’s vital role
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Monday, July 21, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Closing the gaps in health outcomes: Alternative paths forward

Please join us for a broader exploration of targeted interventions that provide real promise for reducing health disparities, limiting or delaying the onset of chronic health conditions, and improving the performance of the US health care system.

Monday, July 21, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Comprehending comprehensive universities

Join us for a panel discussion that seeks to comprehend the comprehensives and to determine the role these schools play in the nation’s college completion agenda.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | 8:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Who governs the Internet? A conversation on securing the multistakeholder process

Please join AEI’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy for a conference to address key steps we can take, as members of the global community, to maintain a free Internet.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Expanding opportunity in America: A conversation with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan

Please join us as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveils a new set of policy reforms aimed at reducing poverty and increasing upward mobility throughout America.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Is it time to end the Export-Import Bank?

We welcome you to join us at AEI as POLITICO’s Ben White moderates a lively debate between Tim Carney, one of the bank’s fiercest critics, and Tony Fratto, one of the agency’s staunchest defenders.

Event Registration is Closed
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.