New York City
The teacher unions oppose charter schools, they can’t tell you why, just that they don;t work.
The Labour party opposes charter schools, they can’t tel you why, just that they will abolish them.
The Green party opposes charter schools, they can’t tell you why, and they haven’t even visited a single one, but they don’t want them either.
What those three groups are all afraid of is people thinking for themselves and giving people choice.
But everywhere in the world where choice exists charter schools flourish and so do the students.
In November 2003, Eva Moskowitz, then a freshman member of the New York City Council, held explosive public hearings about how union contracts imposed inane work rules on public schools. The city’s political establishment was astonished.
Mosowitzâ€”a former history professor, public school teacher, and self-proclaimed liberal, whose politics up until that point seemed to resemble those of every other Democratic politician in New Yorkâ€”was sacrificing her political career to take on organized labor. Exposing the consequences of teacher union contracts was a direct affront to the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), which wields enormous influence in New York City elections.Â Read more »
Eva Moskowitz writes in the Wall Street Journal about the positive impact of charter schools…and shows clearly the much improved outcomes for children/families.
This is the sort of stuff the teacher unions don;t want you to hear.
Upon his re-election in 2006, then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein offered the free use of underutilized school facilities to a bumper crop of charter schools opening that yearâ€”including my first. Fueled by this policy, charter-school enrollment in the city grew from 11,000 to almost 70,000 by the end of Mr. Bloombergâ€™s second term in 2013, and my one school grew to 22.
As the founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schoolsâ€”free public schools open to all children in New York City through a random lotteryâ€”Iâ€™ve seen firsthand how allowing â€śco-locationâ€ť with district schools has helped charter schools and their students thrive. Success Academy currently has 32 schools spread across the Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Queens boroughs and recently was granted approval from our chartering authority, the State University of New York, to open 14 more.
Three-quarters of our students are poor enough to receive subsidized lunch, and 94% are children of color. Our students have excelled. They not only rank in the top 1% in math and top 3% in English among all state schools, but they take top honors in national debate and chess championships. They compete in ballroom dancing, soccer and track and field.
The unions can’t possible deny those stats…but they do, and they continually try to destroy a system that is clearly working.
Critics charge, however, that the academic successes posted by our schools and other charters result from cherry-picking the best studentsâ€”and that since the harder-to-educate students are dumped in district schools, any academic gains by charters are offset by losses in district schools.
It is now possible to evaluate that claim.
New York City has 32 community school districts. The availability of free facilities in some of them has spurred rapid charter-school growth, while in others, the absence of such facilities has thwarted it. As a result, charter enrollment varies widely, from nearly half of students in the Central Harlem district to none at all in other districts.
This divergence, much like Germanyâ€™s division after World War II into a free-market West and a Communist East, has created perfect conditions for a real-world experiment. We can examine the 16 districts where charter school enrollment is highest (charter-rich districts) and the 16 districts where it is lowest (charter-light districts) and see how their relative rankings, based on their results on statewide English and math proficiency exams, changed between 2006 and 2014.
Of the 16 charter-rich districts, 11 rose in the rankings. And of the eight among those 16 with the highest charter enrollment, all rose save one. The district that jumped furthest, rocketing up 11 spots between 2006 and 2014, was District 5 in Central Harlem, which has the cityâ€™s highest charter-school enrollment (43%).
And what about the 16 charter-light districts? Thirteen fell in the rankings, and not one rose. For example, District 12 in the Bronx, which in 2006 ranked higher than Central Harlem, now ranks 13 spots lower. District 29 in Queens, which in 2006 ranked 15 spots higher than Central Harlem and has fewer poor students, now ranks lower.
The Shot That Shattered The Velvet Underground
New York City has an acclaimed Charter School system.
Unions decided to get in on the act and show the rest how it is done. Results predictable.
Almost a decade after the United Federation of Teachers launched a charter school to prove that a school could thrive under the cityâ€™s union contract, new data show the school continues to struggle.
Kindergarten through eighth grade of the UFT Charter School in Brooklyn failed to meet the cityâ€™s targets for student achievement, progress, environment and closing the achievement gap, according to the Department of Educationâ€™s School Quality Guide, which was released Monday.
Among nearly 1,700 schools reviewed under the cityâ€™s new reporting system, the kindergarten through eighth grade part of the charter is one of a handful of schools citywide that didnâ€™t meet goals in four out of five categories.
While the teacher union focus o opposing charter schools there is a thought in the US that the schools should be embraced and extended such is the successÂ of them.
The teacher lobby, as we have seen, uses emotive clap-trap and very few facts to support their argue that charter schools are evil.
Let’s look at some facts though.
This month, New York State approved 17 new city charter schools to open over the next few years. Sadly, they could be among the last.
Sometime in 2015, New York State will have to stop approving new charters. Thatâ€™s not because these schools havenâ€™t proven themselves (their achievement often far exceeds that of the districts they reside in). Itâ€™s not because there isnâ€™t enough demand (50,000 families are on waitlists).
Rather, itâ€™s because state law currently caps the number of charters allowed to open, and weâ€™ve almost reached the limit.
Putting the brakes on a wildly successful education strategy is bad policy. Itâ€™s terrible for the cityâ€™s kids, thousands of whom will be denied schools that have shown they can close the achievement gap in some of our most disadvantaged neighborhoods.
There is an obvious answer: Simply eliminate this arbitrary and artificial barrier to creating more great public schools. After all, weâ€™ve already twice raised the number of charter schools that can be opened in New York City, from 100 to 200 in 2007 and then again by another 114 in 2010.Â Read more »