SUNY offers new details of UFT Charter’s troubles; recommends denying New Hope’s appeal

The UFT Charter School met just one of its 38 academic goals last year, even as it struggled to serve a sufficient number of at-risk students, an analysis by the school’s authorizer shows.

That data was included in a memo sent the State University of New York Charter School Institute to the school Friday explaining its decision not to renew most of its grades, but not shared publicly until Tuesday. The charter school’s elementary and middle schools have officially been recommended for closure, according to documents posted online.

The school’s high school grades also fell short of its goals, but made enough progress for SUNY to give them preliminary approval to stay open for at least another five years, the memo says. A three-member board will vote on SUNY’s recommendations on Friday.


The United Federation of Teachers announced last Friday — the day that SUNY’s memo is dated — that it would be closing its elementary and middle schools. The move marks the end of most of the union’s first-ever charter school, which opened in 2005 under then-UFT President Randi Weingarten and had struggled under a number of principals over its 11-year existence.

The city will now have to find seats for the 670 students currently in those grades in new schools for next year.

An analysis showing how UFT Charter School enrollment by at-risk groups compared to other schools in its district.

SUNY also recommended that a last-minute appeal from another Brooklyn charter school, New Hope Academy, be denied. In Feburary, SUNY recommended that the school close at the end of this year, citing the school’s academic struggles and high staff turnover, but gave school officials and parents a chance to make their case last week. The school was founded in 2010 by Bishop Orlando Findlayter, an ally of Mayor de Blasio, and approximately 360 students attended last year.

“We’re gratified that the Trustees allowed us the opportunity to make our case directly to them and we’re hopeful they heard our message — that our children are more than test scores and that New Hope is succeeding in providing our scholars with an enriching education that includes art, music, science and culture,” Findlayter said in a statement Tuesday.

A three-member board will vote on SUNY’s recommendations on Friday.

Seven other city charter schools got the five-year renewal recommendations they were looking for. One school, Brooklyn Dreams, received a three-year renewal recommendation after it was required to submit details about its science curriculum and its relationship with a for-profit management organization.