Posts tagged "success academy charter schools"
April 15, 2013
Success Academy students aren’t scared of higher standards, they proclaimed in step routines, songs, and call-and-response routines during a pep rally held at the Washington Heights Armory on Friday. (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…)
December 17, 2012
If all goes according to Success Academy Charter Schools’ plan, this year’s seventh-graders at the network’s first school won’t have to hunt for a high school.
The network is asking the state for permission to expand the school to ninth grade in 2014, the year that its first cohort will hit high school. SUNY’s Charter Schools Institute, which authorizes the school, is holding a hearing about the proposal on Tuesday and will decide whether to approve it as early as January.
The proposal does not represent a commitment to add high school grades to all of the network’s schools, according to a spokeswoman. But it does reflect the charter sector’s growing realization that ending after eighth grade would mean sending thousands of students a year into a high school admissions process that can be difficult to navigate and can result in assignment to a low-performing school.
In the past, many high-performing charter schools have sought to place their graduates in selective high schools or get them scholarships to private schools in the city and beyond. But with more students graduating from charter middle schools each year, there are not enough seats to go around, and the schools are creating their own. (more…)
November 5, 2012
Reversing a decision made late last week, the Department of Education will provide school safety agents and other supports to dozens of charter schools that want to hold class on Tuesday.
But the reversal came too late for some schools that had already canceled classes.
On Friday, Chancellor Dennis Walcott decreed that no school housed in public space could remain open on Election Day because school safety agents were needed to fill in for other city workers pulled away to help with Hurricane Sandy relief.
“For all schools in DOE space, regardless if you have applied/have a permit, no students may be in the building and no classes may be held on Election Day,” Sonia Park, head of the department’s Charter Schools Office, told school leaders on Friday afternoon. “Because of the storm, significant resources across the City will continued to be deployed for recovery efforts and therefore can not be available for schools in DOE buildings.”
The decision brought charter schools housed in district buildings into line with the rest of the city’s schools, which were already scheduled to have the day off so that 700 schools could serve as polling sites.
But it also snatched away a key element of the privately managed schools’ autonomy: the right to set their own calendars. Dozens of charter schools were planning to hold classes to avoid a midweek interruption — particularly after Sandy caused them to miss five days of classes. (more…)
November 2, 2012
Not all city schools lost a full week of classes because of Hurricane Sandy.
Because of storm damage to hundreds of city school buildings, students who attend school in one of the Department of Education’s buildings were told to stay home this week and not return until Monday at the earliest. But in privately owned buildings, some charter schools were up and running today with regularly scheduled classes, tutoring, and college prep courses.
At Brooklyn Prospect Charter School in Windsor Terrace, which was relatively unscathed by Hurricane Sandy, school resumed Friday and settled back into an almost regular schedule.
Classes started later than normal and teachers planned to assign students classwork related to the ongoing crisis that hundreds of thousands of residents are dealing with in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. But Executive Director Daniel Rubenstein said he wanted to open the school as soon as possible to restore a sense of normalcy.
“After a time of trauma, what students need is to get back to routines,” Rubenstein said.
Many students at the District 15 school live in Red Hook, the riverfront neighborhood where some residents are still without electricity and some residents are still bailing water out of their basements. But Rubenstein said none of his students or their families experienced severe upheaval. (more…)
October 19, 2012
The Success Academy Charter Schools network is jumping into a new market — higher education. Thanks to a new agreement with Touro College, this year Success Academies officials are teaching courses that will help the network’s newest teachers earn master’s degrees.
For the last four months, 42 teachers from the network’s 14 schools have been taking classes at Touro College’s Graduate School of Education, including some taught by members of the Success staff who have joined the Touro faculty as adjunct professors. The program is fully funded by Success Academies and will culminate in a master’s degree and teacher certification.
Full-time Touro professors will teach about half of the academic courses in the program, and Success-affiliated adjuncts will teach the other half, according to Alan Kadish, Touro’s president. He said the full-time and adjunct professors would also jointly supervise the practical training required for graduation.
The agreement positions Success one small step closer to a possibility founder and CEO Eva Moskowitz laid out in her recent book, “Mission Possible.”
“Our intensive, immersive, school-based teacher training program could eventually become a formal graduate school program,” she wrote. The book also lambasted traditional teacher preparation programs as “completely inadequate.” (more…)
June 13, 2012
The head of one of the city’s largest charter school networks is calling on state charter authorizers to reject a law that requires schools to serve a larger share of high-needs students.
The law, Success Academy Charter Schools CEO Eva Moskowitz wrote in a letter to authorizers this month, creates “perverse incentives” for charter schools to “over-identify” students in high-needs categories, an effect that she said would do more harm than good for children.
“We urge you not to impose any enrollment and retention targets,” Moskowitz wrote to the New York State Education Department and SUNY Charter Schools Institute, which are charged with enforcing the law. “Instead, we request that you partner with us in going to Albany to change this poorly-thought-out legislation.”
The mandate for charter schools to enroll more high-needs students was established in 2010 when lawmakers passed the Race to the Top bill. A charter sector self-assessment earlier this year found that a large majority of charter schools still served lower proportions of poor, special-needs and English language learning students than their districts.
It’s taken some time to iron out the details, but last month authorizers proposed a method of calculating the targets that they intend to use. The proposal is a complex methodology that would assign enrollment targets to each charter school based on the overall ratio of high-needs students in school districts where they operate. Schools that repeatedly fail to comply could be closed. (more…)
May 2, 2012
A public hearing to discuss Success Academy’s bid to open two new charter schools in Manhattan’s District 2 next year was dominated by angry residents who said the district’s schools are too crowded to share space.
Parents from the district and members of its elected parent council said they opposed the proposal from the charter network because the district — which includes the Upper East Side down through Greenwich Village, Tribeca, and Lower Manhattan — is already overcrowded.
The council passed resolutions at the end of March calling for Success Academy to find its own building instead of moving into existing public schools and for a moratorium on charter school applications in the district.
“You can come in if you’re invited, but if the families are saying don’t come in, I don’t think you should come in,” said Shino Tanikawa, president of the Community Education Council for District 2. Tanikawa said she thinks of charter schools as “vampires.”
Most parents at the public hearing had children enrolled in one of the six schools located at the Julia Richman Education Complex on the Upper East Side or P.S. 158, whose co-located school, P.S. 267, is set to depart for its own space in September.
“What you’re essentially trying to do if you want to get into the complex is put 14 pounds of sand in a 10 pound bag,” said Guy Workman, whose daughter attends Talent Unlimited High School in the Richman Complex.
Widespread crowding is nothing new in District 2, and neither is criticism of Success Academy schools: The charge that it should find its own space has followed the network, which is run by former City Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz, virtually wherever it has sought to open. (more…)