What We're Doing, What We're Reading - July 5, 2016

Hope you all had a fun and relaxing July 4th weekend. Here is the latest charter news we've been keeping up on.

Jason Zwara, who joined the NECSN team as a Policy Fellow earlier this year, has joined us full-time as our New York Policy Manager! 


Jason previously served as Executive Director of Buffalo ReformEd, a non-profit committed to school improvement, and also serves as a Trustee at South Buffalo Charter School. Jason has a solid understanding of charter issues across the state and the importance of supporting and increasing the number of high-quality charter schools in New York.

On the Blog


We shared an excellent guest post from Lisa DiGaudio, the Founding Principal of New Dawn Charter High School in Brooklyn, on fair accountability measures for all students. Lisa asks: Whatever happened to the true meaning of “no child left behind?”


Last week we launched our latest series, Heroes in the Classroom! This is our nod to the teachers doing tremendously hard work, day in and day out. They don't get enough praise for their dedication, so we will be using this series as a platform to show our gratitude for all they are doing to make a difference.

Our first hero is Latarri Sample, a social studies teacher at Invictus Preparatory Charter School in Brooklyn who shows his students that anything is possible with a great education.

Read his story on Extra Credit.

And over on Youtube hear Mr. Sample talk about his approach to teaching:


And make sure you check out our super cool timeline of Connecticut charter school news and developments from the last two decades!


New York News

From Chalkbeat: Three questions for Steven Evangelista, co-founder of Harlem Link Charter School.

There is a lot going on with NYC charters and public space. Last Thursday, leaders from the city's biggest charters sent a letter to Mayor de Blasio calling for increased access to public space. A study done by Families for Excellent Schools found charter schools co-located in public school buildings are overcrowded.

Two school leaders wrote about their experience in a co-located building. The principals of Success Academy Bensonhurst and I.S. 96 Seth Low in Brooklyn say that sharing space has made both schools better.

And Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, discussed the Walton Family Foundation's donation to support charter school facilities and Mayor de Blasio's antiquated policy of denying charters space.

Congratulations to the graduates from New Roots Charter School in Ithaca!

A very interesting look at how Syracuse is working to improve communication with immigrant parents.

And the Amani Public Charter School in Mount Vernon is raising money for a library and technology center. Amani is doing amazing work in a community that needs a great school option. You can read more about their school and their fundraiser here.

Head over to WNYC for a recap on how the 2015-16 school year went for NYC schools. There were many new initiatives, like expanding pre-k and working to integrate schools, and space was once again a huge issue.

Connecticut News

From The CT Mirror: Malloy directs agencies to save $130M to balance new CT budget.

The Bridge Academy and other Bridgeport charter schools are offering critical, quality options, despite what opponents try to say.

Though overall child health is improving in Connecticut, there are still huge disparities in income and racial segregation.

The Bridgeport Board of Education voted to cut school police officers in light of budget shortfalls.

Cool look at student voices on the New Haven Board of Education: New Haven Board of Education reflects on perceived success of ‘student voice’.

Other Reading

Hillary Clinton was booed at a teachers union event when she showed support for charter schools.

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What We're Doing, What We're Reading - July 5, 2016
What We're Doing, What We're Reading - July 5, 2016
Read the blog at Extra Credit