Stacey Gauthier, principal of Renaissance, a pre-K through 12 charter in Jackson Heights, noted that she’s a board member of the Coalition of Community Charter Schools, which she described as a grassroots coalition that has been around a while but doesn’t have “lots in dollars.”

“We definitely are like the little engine that could and we do a lot of grassroots work... [getting] on the ground, getting to know people, relationship-...

August 6, 2018

When I started working for C3S several years ago, the organization was characterized by some as an assortment of under-performing schools and was indeed jokingly called “The Coalition of Low Performing Charter Schools” in certain circles. Obviously, this nomenclature didn’t sit well with my colleagues or with the school leaders who were proud to say their schools were aligned with the values of the organization even if doing so...

May 1, 2018

THE BRONX - A group of elementary students from Rosalyn Yalow Charter School has won this year's New York State Scholastic Chess Championship.

To honor the students, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. visited them to announce that April 30 is now known as Yalow Tigers Chess Champions Day in the Bronx.

The 25-child team, comprised of students between kindergarten and third grade, is only in its second year.

And it's already breaking r...

When Matt Harrington graduated from NYU with a master’s degree in education and social policy, he figured he would become a data analyst crunching stats for the Department of Education. An administrative internship at P.S. 770 in Crown Heights changed his mind. Financial management—especially finding cost savings—became his unlikely passion.

“I fell in love with it,” said Harrington, now director of operations at The New American...

I want to suggest another New Year’s Resolution: Speak up for teachers!  The bashing and the budget cuts continue, the new tax bill undercuts public education in a major way, children and teachers in Baltimore City are forced to spend their days in unheated public school buildings, and teaching is–understandably–losing quality women and men.  We can fight back in lots of ways, starting with organizing to see that schools are ade...

November 22, 2017

The New York State Board of Regents gave several reasons for their recent rejection of two charter school applications but one of those reasons—that the curriculum was insufficiently innovative—seems rather incredulous. In fact, one of the two rejected schools, which would have been located in the beautiful upstate town of Truxton, would have been the first agriculture-based rural charter school in New York State and their propo...

October 23, 2017

“You shoulda been there,” John Merrow wrote on his blog a few days ago, referring to our inaugural Independent Charter School Symposium. Indeed, you shoulda -- but many were and many more would have been if we’d had the wherewithal to advertise more broadly. For a fledgling in a crowded nest of education conferences, the Symposium overperformed and there’s every reason to believe that the goodwill and energy unleashed at the con...

October 17, 2017

Stand-alone charter schools say they’re often overlooked in favor of big-name networks like KIPP — while at the same time being unfairly tied to Betsy DeVos’s agenda.

At a symposium last week, a number of school leaders agreed to try to change that by launching a new national organization dedicated to independent, or “mom-and-pop,” charters.

“When people think of charters, they do not think of us,” said Steve Zimmerman, an organiz...

As a longtime believer in the possibility of charter schools, the so-called “charter movement” has been a disappointment. But last week in New York City some folks got together at the Independent Charter School Symposium with the goal of fixing that.

Many of the ideas that initially attracted me to charter schools—community empowerment, authentic education for youth left behind, piloting promising practices to share with tra...

Students dressed in uniforms standing in military-straight lines under a dangling line of college pennants. An ethos of "no excuses" for low academic achievement.

That, perhaps, is the most popular notion of what makes a charter school. And that's because a relatively small number of charter networks—KIPP, Success Academy, and YES Prep to name a few—dominate the sector in ways that over the last decade or so have shaped the natio...

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