What We're Doing, What We're Reading - August 30, 2016

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NECSN New York State Director Andrea Rogers penned an op-ed in the New York Post on the Brown v. New York lawsuit. On September 7th the case will be back in court in Rochester as the state is again fighting to have it thrown out. Andrea said:

"Charter school children are being shortchanged. The state is denying these students funding, resources and support they deserve and need to fully participate in society as adults.

"New York prides itself on being a leader when it comes to addressing other obvious inequities. Now is the time to stop discriminating against charter families. Too many children depend on their public charter school for this unequal treatment to prevail."

You can read the full piece here, and see our advisory to the media on the September 7th hearing here. And don't forget:

We need your support in Rochester!

Brown v. New York 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!

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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 dkirkwood@necharters.org.


Charter schools all over New York and Connecticut are getting in the back to school spirit, and we are celebrating on Facebook! Over the next few weeks we'll be sharing perspectives from school leaders, teachers and parents as the new school years get underway.

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Head on over to Facebook to share with us what you love most about this time of the year!

On the Blog

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Last week we wrapped up our Overtime series! It was a joy getting to share the stories of remarkable charter schools in New York and Connecticut that are going above and beyond for their students. This type of dedication not only staves off the summer slide, it really helps students to develop and improve thanks to unique opportunities you won't find at many schools.

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Students at Invictus Preparatory Charter School beat the summer slide with an excellent program that kept them active both physically and mentally. Under the theme of "A Better Me," kids at this Brooklyn charter school were able to grow - and have a good time doing it!

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DREAM Charter School's summer program was just that - a dream program for kids of all ages! DREAM's program on academics, literacy workshops, critical thinking, physical fitness, and teamwork. On the field and in the classroom, it was a huge success!

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Also, see how Broome Street Academy Charter High School used technology in the arts - including virtual reality - to give their students endless possibilities to create some extraordinary projects!

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And for Discovery Charter School in Rochester, strong community partnerships and the help of an Olympian made summer learning fun!

We want to extend a huge thanks to all of the schools that participated in this series. Your work is changing lives and we love getting to share your stories!

NECSN in the News

Make sure you read Andrea's piece in the Post.

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A group of Connecticut parents are suing the state over access to high-quality schools for low-income families. Our Connecticut Policy Manager Christopher Harrington showed support for the federal suitMartinez v. Malloy. From the article:

“It’s unacceptable to us that children languish on waitlists,” said Christopher Harrington, the Connecticut policy manager for the Northeast Charter Schools Network, which also commented on the suit. He added that “it should not matter a child’s ZIP code, their race, or the amount of money his or her parents make – that child is entitled to a great education. Right now, that is not the case for all of Connecticut’s children. In fact there are unnecessary barriers in place that are keeping great options at bay."

You can read the full article here, and see our statement of support for the case here.

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The National Labor Relations Board ruled that when it comes to unionizing, charter schools in New York and Pennsylvania are private and fall under the NLRB. The 74 took a look at the rulings, and Andrea said:

"The NLRB ruling applies only very narrowly to the issue of labor. It does not or can not change the very real fact that state law explicitly says charters are public schools. They are tuition free, and open and accepting of all kids. Any attempt to say otherwise is pure fiction."

You can read the full article here.

Interesting Reads

Here's something neat. The Center for Education Reform is holding a video contest called "Hey John Oliver, Back Off My Charter School!" The winning school will receive $100,000! Learn more about the contest here.

Uncommon Schools is recruiting back its graduates in order to diversify its teaching network.

From The Wall Street Journal: The NAACP vs. Minority Children.

From Richard Whitmire: Charter Schools: The Reform That Sticks.

New York News

Capital Prep Harlem Charter School has opened, founded by Connecticut charter and magnet school head Dr. Steve Perry and hip-hop mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs. NY1 has more.

Really nice profile of Mott Haven Academy, a charter that is doing some wonderful work with students in foster care.

Mayor de Blasio's answer to charter schools is the PROSE program, which has been slammed by critics.

Charles Sahm of the Manhattan Institute responds to John Oliver, taking a look at New York and New Jersey's serious approach to chartering.

A couple charter schools in Buffalo are getting healthier food options thanks to the Food Bank of Western New York. See what their food pantry pilot program is doing for the Charter School for Applied Technologies and Western New York Maritime Charter School!

Very interesting look at some of the charter excitement in NYC from the Queens Chronicle: Charter chat heats up over summer.

Connecticut News

More on the federal suit filed against Connecticut, backed by Students Matter, the California-based group that recently challenged teacher tenure in the Vergara vs. California case. More from The CT Mirror and Connecticut Post.

Counsel for the plaintiffs in the Martinez and Vergara cases took the The Wall Street Journal: Poor Children Need a New Brown v. Board of Education.

Speaking of court cases, a decision in the historic Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding case is due next week.

From the Connecticut Post: Summer’s over for some kids.

Joe was the Deputy Communications Director for New York for the Northeast Charter Schools Network.
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Brown v. New York, standing with CT families and more!
What We're Doing, What We're Reading - August 30, 2016
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