Thursday, May 15, 2008

District 30's resolution on Charter Schools

WHEREAS, the Department of Education (DOE) continues to site new Charter Schools in existing school buildings throughout New York City, where they take valuable classroom and administrative space from our traditional public schools; and

WHEREAS, the state’s highest court concluded that class sizes in New York City public schools are too large to provide our children with an adequate education; and

WHEREAS, District 30 is the second most overcrowded school district within New York City, with some of the largest class sizes; and

WHEREAS, residential development is proceeding rapidly especially in the Astoria/Long Island City areas, which have not been factored into the projected student enrollment; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Education has just announced plans to hopefully move yet another Charter School into District 30; and

WHEREAS, there was no consultation with Community Education Council District 30, Presidents' Council, parents within the community and the community at large, prior to Tweed’s staff coercing a Public Hearing and Presentation, stating that if the Council does not hold it, they will direct the Superintendent to hold a Special Public Hearing and Presentation; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Department of Education should immediately withdraw its unilateral and indefensible offer to provide valuable city tax-funded space in public school buildings to Charter Schools and that maximum space be reserved to alleviate overcrowding in nearby schools.

--passed May 13, 2008


Socrates said...

Why would you not want to replace a struggling public school with a charter school that is likely to be more successful?

Geoff said...

I have not seen anything that says that replacing a struggling public school with a charter/some other form of school will make it more successful. Actually, if a charter school did do better, its likely that its because all of the students who were low performing or had behavioral problems were kicked out of the charter school and dumped at another school.

Why start over when changes like smaller class sizes, more time for teacher collaboration/planning and better programming for students would fix them? Its like youre completing destroying something when all you have to do is slowly make changes here and there to fix it.

Socrates said...

You're making up reasons/excuses why charters are more successful? There are plenty of charters that do very well without expelling any students at all. Charters are public schools - why should the traditional, failing schools get squatter's rights?

Smaller class size does not, in fact, work. It has a counterproductive effect, as has been proven in a number of studies.

Geoff said...

I've gotten several transfer students added to my class during the middle of the year from a charter school up the street from my school. And guess what, their skills are way below grade level. Do they cause behavioral problems? Not more than the other students that I teach.

I agree that there are good charter schools out there, but think about the students that they don't want, where do they go? Or how about the displaced students who get moved around when a school is shutdown.

Socrates said...

Agreed, but when a charter school is bad, it can get shut down. Though that displaces students, it's better than letting a bad charter continue. As a means of serving the public, the charter model is better than the district model for that reason, among others. (the biggest reason is that charters are not unionized in most cases)

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

My son has attended a charter school for the last 4 years. He started in kindergarten and knew how to read at a second grade reading level. His state wide test scores have been in the 90% and he is always getting a very good report card. In charter schools, hands on learning is a major part of the curriculum. As far as behavior goes, all the children seem to behave better than those in public schools. Also, the classes are limited to 25 kids and the children have 2 teacher's until 3rd grade. I have seen nothing but positive results from this charter school. The parent's create a strong union and the teacher's are caring and dedicated. DON'T SLAM A CHARTER SCHOOL TILL YOU HAVE HAD EXPERIENCE WITH ONE!