Charter co-location: A phantom threat

Charter co-location — having a charter school share a building with a district-run school — is a “phantom threat,” argues Marcus Winters in a New York Daily News commentary. Co-locations don’t affect test scores for students in traditional public schools, his research shows. 

“Rent-free co-locations have helped charter schools expand rapidly in New York City,” despite receiving no state funding for facilities, Winters writes.

More than half of New York City’s traditional public schools share space with other schools and with community organization, he notes. Only charter co-location is controversial.

Complaints range from fairly small issues such as insufficient closet space or changes to the building’s lunch schedule to more serious issues that could impair a school’s effectiveness, such as classroom overcrowding and the loss of classroom space used for small-group instruction and teacher preparation.

Looking at test scores over five years, co-locations — whether with other traditional public schools or with charter schools — do not show “any discernible impact on student achievement.”

New York City charter students outperform similar students in traditional public schools, two studies have found. A 2013 CREDO study found gains for urban charter students in New York City and elsewhere.

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  1. Miller Smith says:

    Why not fight the for profit charter movement by opening NEA and AFT non-profit schools that dine at the taxpayer table as well?

    We could ruin their buisiness plan by taking all profit out of the equation. By running NEA/AFT Charter Schools as non-profits, putting money into instruction and salaries to attract the best experienced teachers we could destroy any profit margin the for profit industry is promising their stockholders. We could even dump all state tests and partner with colleges and tech schools to write standards that actually match what they are looking for.

    • palisadesk says:

      Didn’t the AFT try this? I vaguely remember reading something about it (in NYC, too, I think) but not any recent updates. Perhaps someone here will know.

      • A quick Google search yields this story from the New York Daily News – – which has the union-run charter elementary school being a dog and the two union-run charter high schools doing well.

        I wonder how go the lives of lousy teachers in the union-run charters?

        Does the warm embrace of union brotherliness operate in union-run charters as it does at district schools or do lousy teachers, in a union-run charter, get shown the door? My experience of unions suggests strongly it’s the latter since union brotherliness quickly becomes strained when it’ll cost your union brothers much at all.