Very exciting times in the charter school world. Here is the latest news.
On Friday, the New York State Education Department released the grades 3-8 ELA and math test scores. There was some great news for charters as the results showed:
- Charters schools outperformed state and district averages in both math and ELA. As you know, the state average includes high-performing, low-need districts, so for charters to have met this metric is notable.
- In both subjects, charters made the largest gains of any of the need/resource categories that the state analyzes. This demonstrates a key strength of chartering - the ability to swiftly improve student achievement.
- More than three-quarters of charters outperformed their host districts in both math and ELA.
- Finally, the data show just how successful charters can be with at-risk students. On average, charter schools outperformed their host districts and the state in each high-need category. This comes at a time when our opponents recently tried to shut us down, saying charters do not do enough for the hardest-to-reach kids.
The Associated Press covered the release and included a quote from our NY State Director Andrea Rogers, who said:
"The results ... reinforce what we already know — charters are working for families and students across the state."
Last night was our Emergency Town Hall Meeting in Buffalo. Over 100 members of the community came out to share their thoughts on how to solve the educational crisis affecting Buffalo's school children. Our Western New York Advocacy Manager Duncan Kirkwood hosted the event and moderated the discussion.
There were guest speakers, a panel discussion with community and clergy leaders, and a robust question-and-answer session. To fix a system as big and as broken as the Buffalo school system, it will take the entire community. Last night's event was a great starting point.
On the Blog
Our Overtime series rolls on! We had the pleasure of featuring University Preparatory Charter School for Young Men in Rochester. Their summer program prepares kids for industries of the future with a robotics course and a solar car project.
Our latest Hero in the Classroom is Mary Ellen Stacklyn from Rochester Academy Charter School. Mary Ellen is opening the world to her students by opening their minds, and constantly finding ways to break down barriers and help her kids communicate.
NECSN in the News
Make sure you check out the aforementioned coverage of the New York State test data and the Buffalo town hall.
In previewing the town hall, Pastor Edward Jackson spoke of the need for this type of meeting saying:
"In this educational debate and discussion, the group that needs to come out victorious is the one with the smallest voice. It’s not the grown-ups; it’s our children. If our children do not win, we all lose."
You can read the full piece here.
Our Duncan Kirkwood discussed the historic decision to allow charter parents on the Buffalo District Parent Coordinating Council, saying:
"Charters are working for the thousands of students who attend them – parents who are opting for schools that work, by and large, instead of schools that are failing. Including the charter parent voice in a district partnership is a great step forward for education in our city."
Read the full piece here.
New York News
More on charters and the state exams:
- From the New York Post: Charter school kids outpace public schoolers on state tests.
- Black and Hispanic charter school students in New York City were twice as likely to be proficient in math and 50% more likely to be proficient in ELA than their district school counterparts.
- Post editorial on charter school performance: Charters are driving the gains in New York City schools.
- Success Academy continues to knock it out of the park.
Families for Excellent Schools is organizing another charter rally in New York City in September.
Uncommon Schools is inspiring teachers of color to work in Brooklyn.
Time Warner Cable News also covered UPrep's Solar Car Project.
Amazing and inspiring story about a Democracy Prep Charter School senior: An Advocate For Trafficked Child Sex Workers Becomes Harlem's Youngest Community Board Member.
Governor Malloy shared his story of overcoming a learning disability at a recent Education Reform Now event.
Connecticut's budget deficit has improved slightly.
Great read from ConnCAN's Jen Alexander: Let’s educate all, not jail more.
The Yankee Institute for Public Policy takes a look at the Hartford teacher contract, which "outlines in detail what teachers will get from the city – but reflects far less concern for what students will get from teachers."
From the New Haven Register: New Haven schools plan aggressive targeting of early grades for improvements in reading.
Good profile of new Bridgeport school board member Annette Segarra-Negron.