People sometimes ask me why the charter sector is so intent on building political power, including working with charter school parents to increase the effectiveness of their advocacy. The simple answer is that families wantóand deserve to getóthe best for their kids. Parents can exert enormous influence over public policy, even those policies that seemingly go against the “values” and voting records of our legislators.
The State Ed Department announced the winners of federal Charter School Program grants today and all of them are in NYC. Eight new charter schools won grants totaling more than $3 million. The competitive dollars are awarded based on the strength of schools’ applications and their plans to use the money to bolster their educational programs. The fact that all the grantees are in NYC says a lot about the potential of schools opening up here. This year’s winners are:
The State Education Department has always had the power to authorize charter schoolsÖ but for the past decade, the role of “quality authorizer” has been played mostly by SUNY and here in the City, by the Chancellor’s office. But in issuing its Request for Proposals (RFP) todayóa process mandated under the new Charter School lawóI’m happy to see the State Ed Department is finally acting like an authorizer and wants to be a part of building up NY’s reputation as a model charter sector.
"What we're clearly seeing from so-called reformers is that they're putting money out there early and clearly threatening to use big dollars against people who don't toe the line," [NYSUT president Richard] Iannuzzi said.
"When Ann and Jonathan Binstock started shopping for an apartment in Manhattan in 2007, their first call was not to a real estate broker. Instead, they hired an education consultant, to show them where the best schools for their daughter, Ellen, were. After the consultant suggested the most desirable zones, they chose a two-bedroom apartment near Public School 87 on the Upper West Side. Public records show it cost $1.975 million."
School leaders and board members from the 27 new charter schools opening in NYC this fall attended a welcome celebration at the Tweed Courthouse on June 23. This is always a proud moment for the Charter Center because we've worked with so many of the teams from the very beginning. This year's group is a great mix of neighborhood-based schools and replications of highly successful charters. We're going to profile each of the new schools in a web series called "Grand Opening." Check out the first installment about the Dr.
Yogi Berra stopped by Bronx Charter School for Children in the South Bronx Thursday afternoon.† The baseball legend met with a small group of students and staff at the high performing K-5 school located less than a mile from Yankee Stadium.
We packed the house in Brooklyn last night for the Charter Center’s screening of "The Lottery".† More than 200 peopleó charter school educators, parents, and some interested citizensó watched the film with us. Here are a few reviews:
New York State's Race to the Top application was delivered to USDOE officials in Washington today, fresh off the Legislature’s passage of a cap lift bill that makes a host of amendments to the state Charter Schools Law.†With a few days of holiday rest and reflection between Friday’s frenzy and today, I still think it’s a pretty good deal.