Jennifer Littlejohn, Tennessee’s director of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), an organization advocating for charter schools and vouchers, resigned last week to grow her own public strategies firm in Memphis.
The organization expanded to Tennessee last year and opened offices in Memphis to rally support among black parents and city leaders for charter schools and vouchers. During the state-run Achievement School District’s matching process between charter operators and Memphis schools that stood to be taken over, BAEO organizers held several meetings between parents and charter leaders.
“There is a tremendous amount of work that needs to take place in Memphis if we are intentional about engaging the community to support transformational education reforms,” Littlejohn said in a Feb. 13 statement explaining her departure. “BAEO is one organization that can have impact. However, it’s going to take a collective group of local stakeholders – parents, clergy, business leaders and others – to truly change the trajectory of our lowest-performing schools.”