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57 mins ago
Tennessee charter school bill squeaks out of key legislative committee
A proposal to create a new Tennessee charter school commission squeaked past a key legislative committee Wednesday as several members sought more time…
17 hours ago
Charter school bill won’t bypass local school boards after all, says legislative leader
Gov. Bill Lee’s administration is backing off of its proposal to bypass local school boards with a new state charter authorizing commission.
Seizing a moment
2 days ago
Here’s why voucher advocates are excited about Tennessee this year
School voucher supporters who have had their hopes dashed for years in Tennessee’s General Assembly are more hopeful than ever.
February 19, 2019
Aurora school board votes to close new charter school, saying it failed students with special needs
Vega charter school leaders said they will appeal to the state the Aurora school board’s decision to close the school.
April 2, 2018
To slash costs, Indianapolis charter school operator ‘shops’ for new authorizer
“Loosely, we’re estimating the savings to be worth about the cost of a teacher within our network,” Christel House Head of Schools Carey Dahncke told Chalkbeat.
February 22, 2018
In debt, with too many unlicensed teachers, Indiana College Preparatory School loses charter
The mayor's office revoked the charter after the school’s entire board resigned.
April 24, 2017
Fariña won’t budge on decision to eliminate middle school at charter serving kids with disabilities
“They must demonstrate that they are retaining such students and serving them well,” Fariña wrote. “Unfortunately, it is clear from the data that OCS has not done that.”
March 9, 2017
An unusual charter school that serves students with disabilities is under scrutiny from New York City
"We created charters as alternatives to the system, to be more successful than the system, to have better outcomes."
November 16, 2016
Criticized for how they closed troubled charter schools, Memphis leaders have a new plan
The proposal reflects an effort by Tennessee’s largest charter authorizer to respond to state and local cries for clearer rules to guide its oversight of charter schools.
March 1, 2016
Why New York’s charter movement has stalled — and what it needs to grow
Dirk Tillotson: New York's charter authorizers have new standards. They aren't necessarily higher, but they are designed to reject more schools — which has costs.
Updated June 30, 2015
SUNY charter chair: We won’t authorize more schools without more funding
The SUNY Charter School Institute is facing a choice between maintaining strict standards and stretching its staff thin, according to the chair of its charter committee.
February 4, 2015
SUNY makes rare move to close a Brooklyn charter school
A Brooklyn charter school started by an ally of Mayor Bill de Blasio could become the first city charter school to be shut down for poor performance in several years.
February 25, 2013
Union charter school gets a harsh review and an uncertain fate
When members of SUNY's Board of Trustees consider whether the nation's first union-run charter school deserves to stay open, they won't have much guidance. That's because in what could be an unprecedented move, reviewers from the SUNY Charter Schools Institute have declined to recommend a fate for the struggling UFT Charter School in East New York. The reviewers did not recommend that the school stay open, or that it be closed — despite saying that academic performance was not up to par, discipline bordered on corporal punishment, high-need students were underserved, and basic mechanisms to keep students safe were not in place. Without the advice, the decision will be left up to a three-member SUNY Charter Schools Committee, which will meet Tuesday morning to consider renewals for 10 charter schools. The UFT Charter School was the lone school not given an endorsement for renewal.
October 5, 2012
New York state plans overhaul to its charter authorizing process
State education officials want to raise the bar for charter schools and they’re looking to outsource some of the work to create and carry out…
May 19, 2011
Despite state law, Bronx charter school tests students for entry
The Academic Leadership Charter School, founded in 2009, is housed inside Mother Hale Academy, a district school in the South Bronx. A South Bronx charter school is screening children for admission based on their performance on academic tests, according to parents and several current and former employees of Academic Leadership Charter School. As a charter school, Academic Leadership is required by New York state law to admit students through a random lottery. But multiple parents and staff members described a process designed by the school's director to weed out low-performing students. Four parents who tried to enroll their children at Academic Leadership, an elementary school, this year or last year said that school employees tested their children before deciding whether or not to accept them. "They took my son to a class to watch him in the class and see if everything was okay. He was in the class an hour," said Khalilur Munshi, describing his experience with the school this winter. Dissatisfied with his neighborhood school, Munshi had taken his son, a second-grader, to Academic Leadership to try to enroll him in the middle of the school year. An employee told him that the second grade had open slots and no waiting list, and then his son was taken to sit in on the class, Munshi said. When his son returned, a staff member told Munshi that there actually was a waiting list and that school officials would let him know if a spot opened up. "I could tell they weren't going to take my son," he said. After the visit, he called the school three times to check on the status of the waiting list and never heard back. Several former and current school employees said that the school's director and founder, Norma Figueroa-Hurwitz, a long-time New York City educator, orders teachers to test applicants in order to admit the most advanced students. The employees all asked to remain anonymous out of concern that speaking on the record would jeopardize their careers in education. Reached by phone, Figueroa-Hurwitz denied that students were tested before they were admitted and declined to answer further questions. The same day, her husband and the school's co-founder, Ted Hurwitz, called GothamSchools to respond on Figueroa-Hurwitz's behalf. He said that the school tests students only after they have been admitted through the lottery for the purpose of "placement." Asked why parents would say otherwise, he said, "I don’t know why. I don’t understand that. We do anything and everything we can. We might do that to get a head start, but I can’t understand that personally." Hurwitz said that he now spends one day a week at the school.
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