What We're Doing, What We're Reading - August 16, 2016

Very exciting times. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio discredits the amazing gains by charter students - and many push back, we hear from a Connecticut charter school leader, and we have a brand new podcast for you!

We need your support in Rochester!

On Wednesday, September 7th the families of the Brown v. New York lawsuit will be back in court, fighting the state’s effort to dismiss them. This landmark lawsuit challenges the state’s funding scheme for charter school children, which short-changes students statewide. That is fundamentally wrong - and we need to make our voices heard if we want to fix it.

Come rally with us before the hearing to show how important this is to schools and families. Share the following flyer and information with your community. Let's make some noise!


What: Brown v. New York rally
When: Wednesday, September 7th at 8:40am
Where: 275 East Main St. (Near the Appellate Court at 50 East Avenue), Rochester, NY 14604

RSVP to joeshahen@necharters.org.

On the Blog


We have been sharing the stories of some remarkable charter schools in New York and Connecticut as part of our Overtime series. These schools are going above and beyond to keep their students engaged during the summer months, and providing them with some unique opportunities along the way.


Most recently we featured the Math, Engineering, and Science Academy (MESA) Charter High School in Brooklyn, students had a unique opportunity for college prep. Thanks to the week-long CollegeFlier program, students in MESA's first senior class have their applications all set to send in this fall.

Read more about the program now


Students at the Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication in New London, CT are getting a unique opportunity this summer thanks to a partnership with Writers Block Ink. David Howes from ISAAC and Adriane Jefferson from Writers Block join The Grade to discuss how kids are getting engaged in social issues through the arts.



New Beginnings Family Academy (NBFA) will become Connecticut's first progressive school with emotionally responsive practice this fall. Ronelle Swagerty, NBFA's CEO, took to Extra Credit to tell us a little bit more about what this means and what the process has been like.

Read more on Extra Credit now

Interesting Reads

Charles Sahm of the Manhattan Institute looks at how charters are sharing best practices. Among the ways: New York's State Education Department recently distributed grants to encourage charter-district collaboration, Achievement First has a residency program in Connecticut, and charter networks have banded together to offer trainings across the country.

From US News: In charter school fight, who speaks for children of color?

New York News

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio completely discredited the performance of charter students on the state's ELA and math exams, saying charters just focus on test prep.

Shockingly, when met with much opposition to his statements, he chose to double down. He even went so far to say charter schools are “not going to expand greatly in the coming years.”

The New York Post and New York Daily News both criticized de Blasio for his remarks, as well as his hypocrisy. He praised district schools for their performance on the very same exams.

Charter parents also hit back at the mayor for his comments.

Buffalo charter pioneer Joy Pepper is retiring from Tapestry Charter School.

Also out of Buffalo, Nicole Neily of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity had a great op-ed in the Buffalo News: Unions are fighting for teachers, not their students.

Connecticut News

From the Hartford Courant: In Final Arguments, State Acknowledges Challenges But Defends School Financing System.

State Rep. Andre Baker resigned from the Bridgeport school board with more than a year left in his term.

The New Haven Promise Scholarship is sending more than 300 students to college.

A recent New Haven Board of Education meeting focused on the district's statewide standing.

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Mayor de Blasio dumps on charters students; CT charters talk social justice
What We're Doing, What We're Reading - August 16, 2016
Read the blog at Extra Credit