Posts tagged "Harlem Village Academies"
July 18, 2012
Two years ago, just one in three students at Achievement First Bushwick were rated “proficient” on the state’s reading tests. It wasn’t exactly the kind of result promised from a high-performing charter school in a “no excuses” network.
But the school has nearly doubled that rate in the two years since, according to state test scores released Tuesday. On the 2012 English language arts test, nearly 60 percent of students at the school were rated proficient, compared to 47 percent of students citywide.
Bushwick’s gains on the reading tests were among the largest made in the charter sector, which improved as a whole by seven percentage points, from 44.5 percent to 51.5 percent. The improvement — from matching the citywide average to scoring well above it — has provided fodder for charter school advocates and the Bloomberg administration to push back against critics who oppose the expansion of charter schools across the state.
“Policy makers and legislators should take note” of the gains, said Bill Phillips, president of the New York Charter Schools Association.”It’s not only a tougher measure than the host district comparison, it suggests that districts across the state should consider charters as another tool to better educate children.”
“We can’t possibly handle the demand from parents for the charter schools,” Mayor Bloomberg said during a press conference Tuesday. “They’re just off the charts.”
Several charter operators announced their schools’ test scores in celebratory press releases Tuesday. Deborah Kenny touted the eighth-grade math and reading scores at her schools, the Harlem Village Academies. The Success Academy network announced a 7-point gain in reading proficiency across its four schools with testing grades, more than twice the citywide improvement rate. And Democracy Prep said the low-performing charter school it took over last year had posted the largest reading proficiency gains of any school in the state, with third-grade reading proficiency hurtling from 28 percent in 2011 to 63 percent this year.
The charter school sector wasn’t nearly as enthusiastic to promote its gains two years ago, when reading scores slumped. Struggles to boost literacy were not unique to Achievement First Bushwick. (more…)
November 16, 2010
Feminist movement icon Gloria Steinem has weighed in on Hearst Magazines executive Cathie Black’s appointment as the new schools chancellor, backing up her former colleague from Ms. Magazine.
But if the bulk of the criticism being directed at Black centers on her scant background in education, Steinem’s statement of support might not do any good. After describing Black’s accomplishments and suggesting that critics are holding Black to a higher standard than they did Joel Klein, Steinem bungles the name of the school advisory board Black sits on.
“Now, her abilities as a publisher are being held to a different standard than Joel Klein as a prosecutor, even though she is on the board of a Harlem magnet school,” Steinem writes.
Black does sit on the national leadership advisory board for a group of schools in Harlem, but they aren’t magnet schools. Harlem Village Academies schools are charter schools, meaning they are privately run, but publicly funded. (more…)
August 6, 2010
Schools that screen come out on top and schools that take neighborhood students fall to the bottom of our next rankings installment, which tackles middle schools.
A few charter schools are also in the mix — both on the top and bottom lists. Unlike our elementary school list, we included charter schools in these rankings.
To generate the rankings, we averaged the percentage of students who scored proficient across all the tested grade levels. (We excluded schools that don’t include grades six, seven, and eight.) In response to reader requests, we also listed the borough of the school in parentheses after each one.
The results contain very few surprises. All of the schools on the top-scoring lists except the two charter schools have a selective admissions process. Students must score high on standardized tests and sometimes pass in-person interviews in order to get into schools like Anderson, NEST+m, and Mark Twain Middle School — all of which rank high on these lists. (more…)
June 30, 2010
When the New York Post ran a story last week praising a Harlem charter school network’s test scores, a few principals wondered why their own schools’ scores hadn’t arrived.
State and city officials were also puzzled. City eighth graders sat for the science and social studies exams only weeks ago and the state won’t release the results for months, so how did Harlem Village Academies have their scores?
Harlem Village Academies Chief of Staff Matt Scott explained that because the network grades its own tests and the state publishes scoring guides online, it was able to figure out how its students fared in advance of the state’s official release. According to the network, all of its eighth grade students passed the state’s science and social studies exams this year.
“We do not release test scores for Science or Social Studies until the school report cards for 2009/2010,” said SED spokesman Tom Dunn. “They are not scheduled for release until next winter. The charter school promoted their own performance.”
The early release highlights the different ways that charter and district schools grade their students’ state tests.
January 21, 2009
Teachers have blogs, grad students have blogs, professors have blogs, principals have blogs, and now, in what is the first case I know of, a charter school head has a blog!
The savvy woman is Deborah Kenny, founder and chief executive of the Harlem Village Academies charter schools, who put this post on Huffington Post yesterday. The post compiles seventh-graders’ thoughts on the inauguration.
Here’s one of my favorites:
Spoken like a poet, Obama’s words touched me. Obama said, “Time and time again, these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked until their hands were raw, so that we might live a better life.” My grandmother cooks and cleans so that her kids and grandkids come home to a safe, healthy home. She works and works, and she never gives up. She doesn’t know how to read or write, but she’s the smartest person I know. She learns from her experiences and from the experiences of others. She works to make everyone that crosses her path happy. She works to make America a better country. This has been her job for sixty-nine years, and it will be her job until the day she dies.