Read analysis and interact with data visualizations about the New York City charter school sector. If you have a question about these analyses, please contact Michael Pih by email.
REPORTS, BLOG POSTS AND MORE
By Melissa Katz, Director, English Learner Supports
The NYC Special Education Collaborative’s mission is to empower schools to develop inclusive education environments. This is an ambitious undertaking given that inclusion is not a teaching strategy, but rather a mindset. In the most basic language, inclusion means any student...
On Tuesday, the New York State Education Department released results for the 2016-17 grades 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) and math assessments. Unlike 2015-16, when the state implemented new testing procedures that differed from past years’ Common Core assessments, the 2016-17 results are directly comparable to those from the year prior. Across New York City, both charter and traditional district schools made improvements in ELA and math. However, following last year’s trends, New York City charter schools outperformed and outgained traditional district schools in both ELA and math.
By Michael Pih
And the funding gap between charters and the district continues to grow...
The IBO released an updated report comparing public spending for charter schools to traditional district schools, and its analysis is clear: not only do NYC charter schools receive less in public spending than their district counterparts, but this funding disparity continues to grow.
By Dixon Deutsch, Vice President of Special Populations
Accountability: College Football vs. Public Schools
While enjoying the holidays in my home state of Texas, I received an email from my alma mater - the University of Texas at Austin. The email caught my eye because it referenced a new head coach for the university football team. For those that don't know, college football is big in Texas. So big in fact, that when a relatively new head coach didn't perform after three years, the university let him go. This isn't surprising, considering that the football program is a multi-million dollar endeavor. What is surprising is the very public nature and the reasons that the university gave for firing the head coach.
By Megan Davis-Hitchens, Director of the NYC Special Education Collaborative
When we say, “We do inclusion,” what do we mean?
In my third year attending CHIME Charter School’s Creating Inclusive Schools conference, I continue to experience shifts in my conceptualization of inclusion. By observing and learning directly from the teachers and school leaders at CHIME, it becomes clear that behind their inclusive systems are highly passionate and committed educators - educators who believe, whole-heartedly, that all students can be successful and truly belong in their school community. They continuously adapt, modify, shift, and learn, in order to ensure that all students are included.
By Melissa Katz
Inclusion: We Must Get There
It’s 6:00pm on a Saturday and I’m sitting on a flight back to New York after three days of intensive professional development about inclusion. As the Charter Center’s Program Manager of English Learner Supports, I’m constantly on the lookout for the best educational practices around recruiting and supporting English language learners. This trip took me to CHIME, a well-known and successful charter school in Los Angeles that started as a Pre-K for students with moderate to severe disabilities. Eventually, their successes and parent demand skyrocketed and the school grew to serve Kindergarten through 8th grade with plans to expand to high school.
By Michael Pih
In what can be described as yet another transition year for New York State testing, NYC charter schools made significant gains, and outperformed their district counterparts in both ELA and Math. As the sector has done for the past three years, math proficiency continues to exceed district averages—this year by +12.3 percentage points (48.7% vs. 36.4%). Most encouraging is the fact that charters outperformed the district in ELA for the first time since the transition to the Common Core assessments in the 2012-13 school year (43.0% vs. 38.0%).
By Corey Callahan, Director of Legal Affairs
In a recent op-ed, James Merriman, the Charter Center’s CEO, reminds us of one of the bedrock principles of chartering: that the autonomy to operate free of many of the hurdles faced by district schools comes with the price of accountability. He goes on to assert that the price of this autonomy can be particularly high when the price is school closure. Merriman’s piece references a recent charter school closure where an authorizer’s non-renewal decision was based on the schools’ failure to meet set academic benchmarks. This non-renewal decision was challenged by the school in court, but the court held that charters do not have the right to judicial review of non-renewal decisions.
By Christina Reyes, Executive Director of Inwood Academy for Leadership
Starting Your School Right
The proverbial saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time,” is one that I constantly refer to as I relate the process of opening a charter school. It seems like an impossible task at times – opening a school that teachers want to teach in, parents want to send their children to and that will help students succeed could seem like the largest elephant of them all. The reality is, no one can eat the elephant on their own. An excellent team and support from the field are the keys to success. The charter sector in NYC is one of the most open environments that I have ever seen. Charter leaders and educators, in general, are willing to share best practices and learn from one another in a way that not many other competitive fields do. The New York City Charter School Center is at the heart of this open communication and best practice sharing.
By Michael Pih
Each morning, my inbox contains a digest of all the latest in education news here in the city, which gives me some sense of what the day has in store. It was with some shock, then, that I recently read an opinion piece in which the author claimed the death of the New York charter movement. As proof, we’re told that in 2015, just six new charters were approved (so far) by the two state authorizers—the State Education Department (SED) and SUNY—while the New York City Department of Education seeks to close seven charters. Anyone with a basic understanding of arithmetic can tell you that is a net of negative one.