It started with a conversation last summer. We were sitting around the office trying to come up with ways to draw more attention to the stories of New York and Connecticut charter schools on our blog. What could we do to shine a spotlight on what is going on in the classrooms, what great work these schools are doing, and the fight for equitable funding for all students?
That conversation planted the seeds for Extra Credit. But to understand where we wanted to go, we had to look at where we came from.
Before we were the Northeast Charter Schools Network, representing schools in New York and Connecticut, we were the New York Charter Schools Association. The old NYCSA blog was called the Chalkboard, and it enjoyed a modicum of popularity. The Chalkboard included commentary, responses to articles, analysis and featured guest posters. It was a powerful tool for making sure people heard the real stories about charter schools.
But over time the Chalkboard phased out, and eventually our blog lost that strong voice.
With Extra Credit, we’re bringing that voice back. We want this to be a resource for all things charter schools. For families, schools, supporters, decision makers or people who just want to learn more about charter schools, we want Extra Credit to be a go-to place to see what the charter school movement is about.
There is a critical need for quality schools across Connecticut and New York, and charter schools are answering that call. They are proving that all children can learn and succeed. It doesn’t matter what ZIP code, what language their parents speak or how much money they have – if they have great schools, they can achieve. We want to highlight the stories of the schools doing this incredible work. Charters are doing so much in some of the most underserved communities in our states, and we want their stories to be heard.
But despite the amazing work these schools are doing, they are faced with inequitable funding and have been for far too long. We will be bringing more attention to the funding disparity charters in New York and Connecticut face and the need for all children to be funded fairly.
We will respond to and comment on the latest charter news, and you can come here for analysis on the legislative developments at the state Capitols in both Albany and Hartford.
Most importantly, Extra Credit is going to be a platform for the voices of people directly involved with the schools. School leaders, teachers, parents and students will all be able to share their stories – the real stories of the real people behind the charter school movement.
The people in charter schools aren’t a bunch of faceless corporate reformers. Lives are changed by charters, and we want Extra Credit to be an outlet for those stories.
We are going to do all this through our written content as well as video and photo content. Later this month we are even launching a podcast. We want to constantly have new content up and make sure that people are constantly hearing about what is going on in these schools.
We hope you enjoy the first batch of posts. We have worked very hard getting this ready, and we are looking forward to the journey ahead.