Posts tagged "Charter Schools"
May 14, 2013
Students who were turned away from city charter schools this year could fill some of the city’s grandest landmarks, according to the New York City Charter School Center’s final tally of charter school applications.
According to the center, more than 69,000 students applied for 18,600 seats at the city’s soon-to-be 183 charter schools for next year. After filling their seats in lotteries last month, the schools had to turn away more than 50,000 students, the center said today, noting that this year’s wait lists contain more students than Yankees Stadium or the Great Lawn in Central Park could hold. (more…)
May 7, 2013
On each side of the split screen, a girl with long hair and a puffy white coat walks to school, where she works on a writing assignment, raises her hand to answer a question, watches the clock, and walks past a bulletin board plastered with student work.
Then the divider disappears and the two girls leave the building hand in hand to stack blocks on a crowded playground. (more…)
April 23, 2013
Regina Dowdell stepped up to the microphone and made an honest admission to the room full of fellow parents.
“I personally didn’t know exactly what the mayor did,” said Dowdell, whose daughter attends Girls Preparatory Bronx Charter School. “I think that’s an important focus today.” (more…)
April 22, 2013
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s campaign against charter school operator Eva Moskowitz continued today when the mayoral candidate called for an independent investigation into the way the city treats Moskowitz’s Success Academy schools.
Citing a column by Juan Gonzalez in Friday’s New York Daily News, de Blasio said Cobble Hill Success Academy had toxin-ridden light fixtures removed before other schools in its Brooklyn public school building. (The city is in the midst of a lumbering process to rid hundreds of school buildings of lights that contain PCBs.)
De Blasio brought students and parents to the steps of the Department of Education’s headquarters on Chambers Street today to call for an investigation into what he said was preferential treatment by the department of the charter network. He got an assist from the United Federation of Teachers, who wrote to city schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott today to ask for the investigation. (more…)
April 16, 2013
The number of families applying to city charter schools through an online system designed to ease the admissions process doubled this year, according to the New York City Charter School Center.
This was the second year that the Common Online Charter Application, which the charter center developed, was open to all charter schools for use. The application deadline was April 1.
The number of individual students who submitted the common application rose from 7,130 last year to 15,805 this year. Together, they submitted 58,117 applications, more than three times as many as last year, meaning that the average applicant applied to more schools this year. A total of 145 schools, up from 110 last year, accepted the common application. (Many schools also had their own applications, so the number of common applicants does not reflect all charter school applicants this year.)
In offering a common application, the charter center is responding to criticism that having to fill out multiple schools’ applications discourages all but the most motivated parents and effectively screens out needy students. The common application also enables families to apply easily to multiple schools — a data point the charter sector points to as evidence that the public wants more charter schools. (more…)
March 20, 2013
Mayor Bloomberg’s latest appointments to the Panel for Educational Policy are two men with ties to charter schools that have faced panel votes.
The appointments — made without fanfare — are drawing criticism from other panel members and critics of the panel, who say the new appointees’ interests make them unable to assess proposed policies fairly. A proposal involving Success Academy Charter Schools, which one of the new board members has represented in legal proceedings, is up for a vote at tonight’s panel meeting.
Last month, Joseph Lewis, Jr., was appointed to replace Rosemarie Maldonado, an administrator at John Jay College who had been on the panel since last July. According to his biography on the PEP website, Lewis attended New York City schools; has served on the board of Leadership Prep Charter School; and is currently on the boards of several other education organizations, including NYCAN, a group that has advocated for public school parents to be able to turn their schools into charter schools.
The other new appointee is David Brown, an attorney who works at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton, and Garrison LLP. While he mostly focuses on business litigation, according to the firm’s website, he also does pro bono work for nonprofit clients, including the charter school network that most often seeks space in city school buildings. (more…)
February 26, 2013
The UFT Charter School received a two-year lifeline today, thanks in part to a city policy that the teachers union has opposed in the past.
The Department of Education’s proposal to move the school’s struggling middle grades under the same roof as the elementary school next year was an important reason that authorizers voted to renew the school’s charter for two more years, state officials said today. The school now faces an automatic “death penalty” in 2015 if academic performance doesn’t improve.
“I don’t want to have another round of this,” said Joseph Belluck, chairman of SUNY’s Charter Schools Committee. “Now is their time to show they can do this.” (more…)
February 26, 2013
A charter school that was actively searching for a way to admit a category of high-need students kept out by a quirk in state law has found one.
The state’s charter school law does not make provisions for schools to set aside seats for students who arrive to the city from far-flung locales after the schools’ April admissions lotteries. But Brooklyn Prospect Charter School officials wanted to be able to enroll midyear arrivals, arguing that they are precisely the kind of students that charter schools are charged with serving.
“This is a population that needs to be in a good school,” the school’s executive director, Daniel Rubenstein, said last year. “Our school — which is a small, relationship-driven, intimate environment — would be better for someone that needs a community.”
According to a memo distributed today at a meeting of SUNY’s Charter Schools Committee, SUNY’s Charter Schools Institute has approved changes to Brooklyn Prospect’s admissions policies that allow the school to accept the category of students, known in Department of Education parlance as “over the counters.” (more…)
February 20, 2013
City students benefit from attending city charter schools, according to a new study — but the advantages are not universal.
The study, by Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes, which analyzes charter school performance, concluded that city charter school students, on average, learn five more months of math each year than similar students in neighboring schools. In Harlem, where the charter school enrollment share is highest, the math gain was seven months, the researchers found.
And in reading, charter school students averaged one month’s additional learning each year, the researchers found. All of the gains were measured by students’ state test scores.
Yet within the sector, some schools did far better than the average — and others far worse. The study found that nearly two thirds of charter schools moved their students forward in math significantly farther than other schools in the area. But a full quarter of charter schools moved their students forward significantly less in reading. (more…)
February 5, 2013
Charter schools want to piggyback on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to expand pre-kindergarten across the state. But in order to benefit from Cuomo’s $25 million in pre-K grants, the schools first must win the right to offer pre-K classes.
Pushing for that right is at the top of charter school supporters’ agenda today as they convene in Albany as part of the charter sector’s annual advocacy day. The parents will meet in the Albany Convention Center with more than a dozen legislators, then spend the rest of the day visiting their district representatives.
They’re not the only ones lobbying lawmakers over pre-K this week. On Monday, police chiefs, principals, and education groups from around the state declared their support for Cuomo’s pre-K grants, which represent a fraction of the $385 million that the state spends annually on pre-kindergarten.
The charter sector’s lobbying efforts are not so straightforward, because the state’s 1998 law authorizing the schools grants them the right to serve students in kindergarten to 12th grade only. Legislators would have to change to the law — last revised in 2010 amid heavy controversy — to allow pre-kindergarten in charter schools.
“It’s our job to talk to lawmakers and say to them, ‘Hey, does it really makes sense to a have a program where some really good schools don’t have the ability to do full-day pre-K?’” said James Merriman, CEO of the New York City Charter Center. (more…)