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suny charter school institute
By the numbers
October 19, 2015
Charter school demographics coming under fresh scrutiny
This year, charter schools’ progress toward goals for enrolling high-needs students are being scrutinized by state regulators. But it's unclear how strict they'll be.
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 9, 2012
Opened to prove a point, UFT's charter school could be closed
The UFT Charter School’s secondary grades are housed at East New York’s J.H.S. 166. Both schools could face closure this year. The city teachers…
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…
July 12, 2012
Emails illuminate SUNY's 2010 bid to keep authorizing charters
A chart from a 2010 analysis that compared charter schools' performance by authorizer. When a researcher with a penchant for crunching charter school data sat down to compare New York State's charter authorizers in 2010, her impetus wasn't merely academic. For Jonas Chartock, then the director of one of three authorizers, who requested an analysis, the data was a matter of survival. “At the time there was a real push by some politicians to eliminate SUNY as an authorizer,” said Chartock, who headed SUNY's Charter School Institute until early 2011. Chartock asked Macke Raymond, a Stanford researcher who had just wrapped up a broad study of New York City's charter sector, to examine her school performance data based on which office had authorized it. Her comparison showed up as an attachment to one of several hundred Department of Education emails released last week in response to a teachers union's Freedom of Information Law request. Raymond found that students at SUNY-authorized charter schools improved at a quicker pace than students at schools authorized by the State Education Department and the city Department of Education. At schools authorized by SED, she found, students actually lost ground over time.
October 17, 2011
In quest for quality, charter advocates push careful planning
On a recent afternoon, dozens of teachers, social workers, and non-profit administrators, pored over the academic calendars of several charter schools. They were studying how a school can express its mission in the way it builds its calendar. “There’s a lot to think about: Summer school — would that be mandatory?” asked Simeon Stolzberg, a former charter school authorizer who was leading the exercise. “You could have a year-round school, and maybe every eight weeks there would be a two-week vacation. Think about whether or not there is time in a day for teachers to plan and prep and grade — and eat lunch.” Some of the teachers laughed, but Stolzberg was completely serious. “Your calendar is one of the things that will set you a part from a district school,” he told the group, participants in a new program, Apply Right, that is helping prospective charter school leaders by taking them through the most minute details of school planning. The program and two others, projects of the nonprofit New York City Charter School Center, reflect a growing sense that charter school leaders need more support than they have been getting. "There were a number of schools that were approved in the last five years that frankly probably should not have been approved,” said James Merriman, the center’s director. “What I think we are seeing is that the bar of entry is being appropriately raised. … We want to see more charter schools, but we’re only really interested in seeing high-quality schools.”
September 21, 2011
School with substandard scores gets shorter charter renewal
A Brooklyn charter school with a floundering English-language learner program and poor English marks had its charter renewed, but only on a probationary basis. State charter authorizers who reviewed Achievement First Bushwick for its charter renewal found that the school had an inadequate ELL program, according to a renewal report earlier this year. The school also failed to meet English language arts test scores goals since it opened in 2006, which prompted the authorizers to decline the school's request for a five-year renewal. Last week, the state Board of Regents supported the report's recommendations in an official vote at its monthly meeting. The school now has just three years to fix its problems — or close. The school's authorizer, SUNY Charter School Institute, recommended the short-term renewal only on the condition that the school address problems with its ELL instruction before this school year began. The main problem was that ELL students were getting services more appropriate for disabled students, on an ad hoc basis. The services were “ineffective given the absence of a formal ELL program for what is a sizable ELL population," the authorizers found.
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