Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Treat Public Schools Like Ross Global Charter

More charter school scandal stuff flying around. Ross Global is fighting to survive and is will to pass the dirt on how other charter chains survive by political influence. Oh, what fun! In the meantime, failing charter Harlem Day School founder is leaving and they are passing the lemon the Seth Andrews' Democracy Prep, which it self was thrown out of Rhode Island recently (Permalink). A report has come in that all of Harlem is being reserved for 3 charter chains: Dem Prep, Eva's Harlem Success and KIPP. Oh, poor Kitchen Sink and other independent charter vultures who get caught in the monopoly squeeze of so-called market- based forces.

From Lisa Donlan
We are trying to send a message that if DoE is closing our community schools based on "accountability" per the very premise of charter schools, but then keeping the really bad charters open and closing our struggling schools, then there is no reason to justify the very existence of charters.

Let's remember that charters were granted all types of extra freedoms and advantages in exchange for being "accountable" to the terms of their performance contracts, called "charters".

This is the premise that has allowed the drive to hold district schools accountable, and to be closed down.

The biggest difference is, the DoE is fully in charge of how community schools are run, what resources they have access to , and the terms of accountability. But if a charter school "fails" it is the fault of their Board, which manages these privately run institutions with public dollars by terms they agreed to and set themselves.

If our community schools struggle, it is entirely due to the conditions imposed by DoE.

To treat them as equals is highly unfair.

Then, to give a poorly run school like Ross "extra innings" when for 5 years they have not provided a high quality education to kids is just perverse and makes a mockery of charter schools, doing a huge disservice to the kids. Furthermore it underlines just how uneven the very playing field is in this market-style competition.

If the charters get a second chance, then all the closing schools should as well!

Otherwise, this is a pure "who you know" situation! If only all our schools had connections and high priced lawyers like Ross Global!

Lisa Donlan

Below please find a new petition to the Regents saying if RGA is given an extension and not shut down, the same extension should be given to all district schools.

Signing this petition will immediately send email letters to the State Legislators, the Governor and every member of the Board of Regents. This petition is started by Lisa Donlan. Kindly forward widely.

The online link to sign is:


"We want all our schools to be given more time to prove themselves, just like Ross Global"


If charters are not held to their performance contracts, DoE cannot justify closing any school.

We want all our schools to be given more time to prove themselves!

Charter schools, unlike our regular community schools, were designed to offer innovative programs designed to improve the academic performance of high need students by increase the choices available beyond those offered by the regular school districts.

Charter schools are thus uniquely held accountable through the terms of five-year performance contracts, called "charters" that outline their goals and performance targets.

Ross Global Academy Charter School has not shown either significant improvement during its 5 year charter nor has the organization demonstrated the ability to overcome out sized problems with high
attrition rates for staff, students and principals, poor management or low student performance.
RGA Board member and Founder Courtney Ross has nonetheless petitioned the Board of Regents to overturn the DoE's decision not to renew this 5 year charter.

Should the Regents or the SED Commissioner grant any form of an extension to Ross, then the same or greater flexibility must be offered to the 25 other schools DoE has slated to close.

If the Board of Regents decide to give Ross Global a second chance, then the same leeway should be offered to our community schools, that manage to do much more with less, and deserve another chance too!

The online link to sign is:

Check out Norms Notes for this related item:

Harlem Day School Charter Passes the Lemon to Democracy Prep

1 comment:

  1. The DOE public schools have gotten second, third, and fourth chances before being closed. They are never judged by only one poor year. RGA is being judged unfairly. What will you do once the school is closed? Start to fixate on another charter school? Get a life!


Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.