Posts tagged "success charter network"
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…)
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…)
May 30, 2012
A judge has tossed out a parent lawsuit against a charter school set to open in Cobble Hill this fall, even as he agreed that the school could have done more to solicit community feedback.
In March, the parents filed suit against the city and Eva Moskowitz, CEO of the Success Charter Academies network, charging that they circumvented state education laws when they abruptly changed plans for the school late last year. Brooklyn Success Academy 3 — now renamed Cobble Hill Success Academy — was originally approved for either District 13 or District 14, but the city revised its proposal in late October and announced the school would instead move into a District 15 building.
The parents also argued that the charter network had not sufficiently consulted the local community before the school’s charter was approved. Their suit presented the network’s consultation efforts, which included gathering signatures of support and holding a handful of public meetings, as “feeble, bordering on a sham,” according to today’s ruling.
The State Supreme Court justice, Peter Moulton, ruled that the school’s move from District 13 to District 15 had not violated state law. And he rejected the claims that the Success network had not fulfilled the state’s community consultation requirement — a requirement that he said is “weak” because it does not identify who should be consulted, suggest a strategy for soliciting opinion, or bar schools that register fierce opposition from receiving charters.
“Petitioners are correct that Success Academy could have engaged in a more thorough-going canvas of the relevant neighborhoods in Brooklyn to surface concerns and opposition to BSA 3,” Moulton ruled. “However, the statute does not require that charter applicants conduct such an exhaustive survey of support and opposition.” (more…)
April 10, 2012
At some city charter schools, Monday of spring break was earmarked for filling out next year’s class.
The Success Charter Network held its annual enrollment lottery Monday morning, selecting students for 12 schools that are set to be open this fall. The schools have about 1,200 open seats, and 12,374 families applied for them, some for more than one school, according to figures provided by the network.
About 30 percent of applicants are considered English language learners, according to the network, meaning that at least 20 percent of new students at most of the network’s schools this fall will be learning English as a second language.
The Children’s Aid College Prep Charter School also held its admissions lottery, its first ever, on Monday, using a tiered system of preferences to the neediest of 500 applicants for 60 spots in the inaugural classes. The school aims to serve high-needs students and had recruited heavily among families in the foster care system and non-English-speaking communities.
The state’s 2010 charter schools law set April 1 as the earliest allowable lottery date, and most city charter school chains held their lotteries last week before the break began. The nine schools in the KIPP network held lotteries last Wednesday. The Achievement First network, which has 11 schools in New York City, selected its students during a public lottery on Thursday, just before dismissing for spring break. (more…)
March 22, 2012
More than 60 parents, teachers and students trekked to Chelsea last night to beg Panel for Educational Policy members to reject a slate of space-sharing proposals.
As usual, the panel approved all of the proposals — but when it came time to vote on a series of contracts later in the evening, three were tabled unexpectedly after several members said they could not cast impartial votes.
Three panel members who were appointed by Mayor Bloomberg said their ties to the City University of New York were too close to allow them to vote on contracts relating to CUNY. After they recused themselves, an unusual occurrence, four panel members who comprise a consistent opposition block also said they would not cast votes on the contract, making it impossible for the contracts to get enough votes to pass.
The panel did approve a $20 million, three-year contract for six nonprofit groups that have been working since last summer in 14 schools that were supposed to get money from the federal government through the School Improvement Grant program. That money did not materialize after the city and teachers union were unable to agree on new teacher evaluations.
Now the city plans to ask the state to restore the funds when it submits applications for “turnaround” at the schools — but the restoration wouldn’t happen until next year. The panel members okayed a $6.5 million payment for the partnerships for this year. The contracts will be canceled next year if the state does not restore the federal funds at the schools, according to a Department of Education spokesman.
The turnaround plans are not on the agenda until next month’s panel meeting, but they came up again and again on Wednesday evening. Several of the proposed co-locations were set for schools that could be closed and reopened under the turnaround program, drawing criticism from parents and students who attended the meeting. (more…)
March 2, 2012
After hearing nearly two hours of public testimony in support of a charter school slated for Williamsburg, a member of the Panel for Educational Policy said she worried charter school supporters’ voices were being drowned out.
Lisette Nieves, a mayoral appointee to the citywide school board, defended her plan to vote in favor of the school’s co-location proposal against the suggestion that vocal community opposition to the plan should sway panel members’ votes.
“Even in our last meeting we had about a third who were in support of seeing change … so when I keep hearing that there’s only one large group feeling one way, I know there’s dissent that’s not allowed to speak,” Nieves said. “I can vote with complete confidence to support the co-location because at the end of the day I know that I am too impatient and will not accept that young people who look like me … to be in a school that’s not high quality.”
About 100 parents and students who attend schools in the Success Charter Network came to the panel meeting to advocate for the network’s plans to open a new school inside Williamsburg’s M.S. 50. That plan has drawn vocal opposition, particularly among the neighborhood’s Spanish-speaking community, that has included both a guerrilla sticker campaign and a lawsuit.
The plan also drew a spirited protest outside the panel meeting.
“We are boycotting the meeting! It is a puppet panel!” declared a ring of protesters organized by the advocacy group Southside Community Schools Coalition during a rally outside Brooklyn Technical High School, where the panel was meeting. The protesters were referring to the fact that the PEP has never rejected a city proposal. (more…)
March 1, 2012
On the agenda of the Panel for Educational Policy tonight: changes to schools in six buildings in three boroughs, the city’s plan for school construction, and regulations about how students are admitted to schools.
The meeting — one of two set for March — is sure to be mild compared to the last one, when the panel approved 18 school closures and plans to shrink five other schools after a contentious meeting that lasted until nearly midnight. But that’s not to say that there isn’t likely to fierce debate tonight, too. The panel is set to vote on a proposal open a Success Charter school inside the M.S. 50 building in Williamsburg, and some neighborhood parents are very upset about the plan.
The parents — who today filed suit over the network’s efforts to engage the largely Spanish-speaking community, which they charge was lackluster — are holding a 5 p.m. protest against the co-location plan. They’ve had plenty of time to refine their arguments: There were two heated public hearings at the school building about the co-location.
Rachel is at the meeting, taking place in Brooklyn Technical High School’s cavernous auditorium, and just as we did in January, we’re going to stream our Twitter updates all evening. (This time, though, we’ll save them afterwards so they don’t vanish over time.) (more…)
March 1, 2012
The city’s school board isn’t set to vote on the last of the Success Charter Network’s 2012 expansion plans until tonight. But plans for the network’s 2013 additions are already well underway.
In a letter sent last month to elected officials and community leaders in central Brooklyn, Success CEO Eva Moskowitz announced that she intends to apply for charters to open three schools in the area in the 2013-2014 school year.
One school would go in District 13, an area of Brooklyn that Moskowitz had originally said would house the school now set to open this fall in Cobble Hill. The two others would go in District 17, which includes Crown Heights and parts of Flatbush.
Already, the tentative plans are drawing criticism. The district manager for Community Board 2, which covers much of District 13, told the Brooklyn Paper that the community would be hesitant to embrace any such plan after Moskowitz suddenly opted out of her plans to open a school in the district this year.
“The board is not prepared to go down that road again,” Rob Perris told the newspaper.
City Councilwoman Letitia James, whose district covers large swaths of both districts, said she has grown wary of co-location battles in public school facilities, something that has accompanied nearly all of the Success network’s school openings. (more…)
January 13, 2012
An advertising onslaught to promote a new charter school is being met by anonymous adversaries who have a guerilla marketing strategy of their own.
Glossy ads featuring smiling children went up this week in the Lorimer subway station for a Williamsburg branch of the Success Charter Network set to open in August. On one poster, a child is playing with blocks; in another, a child is looking through a magnifying glass.
“Most students learn science from a book,” one ad reads. “We teach science by allowing them to experience it.”
Within days of the ads’ arrival, someone had adorned the posters with quote bubble-shaped stickers criticizing the network, whose already ambitious expansion plans Mayor Bloomberg promised to fast-track during his State of the City speech Thursday. (more…)