Leonie Haimson does a relentless job in ferreting out Tweed favoritism toward charters followed by Lisa Donlan's response.
While Kindergarten parents are put on waiting lists downtown and on the upper West side, our schools are being deliberately overcrowded and their budgets slashed to the bone, and many of them are being unfairly closed, the DOE’s relentless promotion of charter schools has not ceased. The following appeared on DOE”s home page today:
For the first-time ever, parents can now fill out one general application and apply to any of NYC’s public charter schools without having to visit each school for an individual application form! Applications, available in nine languages, can be downloaded on the NYC Department of Education’s Charter School page.
New: The 2010-2011 New York City Common Charter School Application is now available. You can download, print, complete and submit this application to one of our 99 charter schools citywide.
What is a Charter School?
Charter schools are publicly funded and open to all students in New York City through a non-discriminatory admissions lottery. Each charter school is governed by a not-for-profit board of trustees which may include educators, community members, and leaders from the private sector. Charters have freedom to establish their own policies, design their own educational program, and manage their human and financial resources [
Charter schools are accountable, through the terms of a five-year performance contract, for high student achievement.Charter schools were established to:
- Provide families with an increased number of high quality school choices;
- Improve student achievement;
- Increase learning opportunities for all students, with an emphasis on at-risk students;
- Encourage use of innovative teaching methods/educational designs;
- Create new professional opportunities for teachers, administrators, school staff;
- Change from rule-based to performance based accountability
For Charter Schools
For Aspiring Charter School Leaders
Lisa Donlan's response:
Below (click here NYCDOE Charter School Forms) is the common application that is linked to the webpage Leonie posted.
I am hoping this is DoE's response to the unaudited, unsupervised, individual lotteries held in each Charter School that have resulted in "creaming" of students in charters and pushing the most at-risk kids into the DoE controlled schools.
The business model approach to obtaining necessary enrolled student dollars in charters seems to be essentially via Marketing and PR-
bend the Federal privacy laws to send current students and their families direct marketing mailings ( ideally 10-12 times!)
Flood the media with questionable studies and statistics to sell the idea that charter is better.
To avoid charges of creaming, charters are being encouraged to spread a wide net, and now to centralize admissions, ( I assume this is in addition to each schools individual "competitive" methods) and apparently to give admissions priority to "at-risk students.
At-Risk Categories: This information is optional but providing it may increase your student’s chances of admission to certain schools. Note: Different schools have different at-risk criteria. Please contact each school directly to find out what, if any, at-risk criteria the school may have and provide such information in the space provided on the application. You may also have to provide supporting documentation, if required by the school.
I would not consider these tweaks significant fixes to the admissions irregularities until:
1. The lotteries and waiting list methodologies and data are audited and documented.
Each schools admissions data would need to be reported out in terms of numbers and percentages of applications and admits and waiting lists by gender, district, income level ( including students in temporary housing), race and ability/special needs/language status.
Double, triple or other multiple applications from one student would need to be removed to accurately report number of applicants/students on waiting lists that I suspect are inflated by families that essentially hedge their bets with multiple lottery tickets.
2. Audited attrition rates and tracking of "discharged" students throughout the year (especially after the 11/1 funding date) would need to be reported rigorously- to report on demographic changes of markers such as gender, ability/special needs/language status, income, etc in each school.
3. Finally I am wondering if is it legal for schools to give priority to some at-risk categories as they decide/define as this application implies?
5. At-Risk Categories: This information is optional but providing it may increase your student’s chances of admission to certain schools. Note: Different schools have different at-risk criteria. Please contact each school directly to find out what, if any, at-risk criteria the school may have and provide such information in the space provided on the application. You may also have to provide supporting documentation, if required by the school.
What do others on this list think?