Success charters lose space in NYC

The high-performing Success Academy charter network will lose space for three schools, the New York Post reports. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Department of Education reversed “co-location” decisions made last year.

The actions block new elementary schools in Queens and at Murry Bergtraum High School near City Hall. Bergtraum is the F-rated school running an online “credit recovery” program that’s left students illiterate.

At Success Academy Harlem 4, already in operation, the decision will leave 210 fourth and fifth graders without a school in the fall.

The Harlem charter is one of the top performing schools in the city, said Nina Rees, president of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. At Success Academy’s Harlem 4, “83 percent of the students passed the state math exam last year, putting it in the top one percent of all schools in the state. Why would anyone want to stop that kind of student achievement?”

Success charters’ success has annoyed the mayor, write Andrew Rotherham and Richard Whitmire in USA Today. The schools, run by the controversial Eva Moskowitz, have shown that low-income minority students can earn high test scores.

Consider the third-graders at Success Academy Harlem 5. They share a public school building with P.S. 123. If Harlem 5 children lose their seats, they might have to enroll in P.S. 123.

. . . The schools have similar students, but 88% of Harlem 5 third-graders passed New York’s math test compared with 5% of P.S. 123’s.

New York City charter students are outperforming peers who attend traditional public schools, a study by Stanford’s CREDO found. There are 70,000 students enrolled in the city’s charter schools and 50,000 more students on charter school waiting lists.

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  1. Perhaps Richard Whitmire has access to statistics that I don’t, but the only way I’d feel comfortable in describing the PS 123 and Success Academy 5 student populations as being “similar” would be if I knew that the overwhelming majority of kids at PS 123 applied for a spot at a Success school and came up unlucky in the lottery.

    As for the stats I do have access to, according the most recently available state report cards, PS 123 has 160 ELLs (26% of its students) vs. 24 for Success 5 (10% of its students). Purely an innocent oversight on Whitmire’s and Rotherham’s part, I’m sure.

  2. In other words, Let No Child Escape?

  3. Charter schools will be OK as soon as they start laundering campaign donations to the Dems.

  4. While the NYC charter sector faithful wait for the sky to land on them, here’s a little context: there were 27 plans for charter school co-locations up for discussion yesterday. 24 of them sailed through without modification, including 5 Success Academy schools. Furthermore, the DOE overturned three district school co-location proposals. All in all, it sure doesn’t look like a politically motivated attack on charters.

    The SUNY Charter School Institute, the authorizer for the Success Academy charters, requires applicants to prepare two versions of its financial plan, one where they pay for their space, one where they get it for free. Unless Success falsified information on their charter application, they have the resources ($30 million in cash on hand, specifically) to open up these two new elementary schools on time, but in private facilities, not a DOE school.