Charter Advocates Make Their Case on BNN

Jon Clark, Executive Director of Edward Brooke Charter School, interview on BNN 7/2/2014;

  • 1000 families in 3 Brooke Schools want a high school.
  • They want a rigorous high school, to be challenged, placed in great college, and graduate
  • Brooke cannot have a high school because of the cap on charter spending at 18% of budget.
  • We have 5000 families on Brooke waiting lists right now looking for kindergarten spots and cant get it.
  • If we're doing our job right as teachers, we're responsive in our communications with parents
  • A 5% cap lift adds 3000 charter seats
  • We (Brooke? Charter Association?) want to see the cap doubled from 18% to 36% of budget
  • If we were able to double the cap, our analysis says the 8th grade math achievement gap, that Boston has with the state, would be closed
  • We (Boston charters) have several high-performing schools. This would be a team effort
  • "Kids come to us achieving significantly below grade level. Their growth rates are through the roof. They're working extremely hard. Our teachers are working extremely hard. And we're all on the same page about delivering great teaching to our kids and then making dramatic progress as a result. So yeah, there's no question that's why the waiting list are so long. There's families that know that this an opportunity for their kids to achieve at a much high level then they've been achieving at."
  • "There are great moms all over the city who are desperate for great schools."
  • Charter kids are at school from 7:30 to 4:30 rather than 9-3.
  • They get a rigorous education. They get a lot of individualized attention.
  • "The [new MassINC] poll actually showed that there are NOT a lot of parents in Boston who worry that charters are taking money away from districts school, in fact it was only 21-22% of parent who said they think the cap should NOT be lifted, and 62% who said the cap should be lifted. And that number went up to 70% if it were lifted just for schools with a proven record. Those result are very much in line with a WBUR poll that was done last year. There's no misreading that message. Parents are overwhelmingly in favor of lifting this cap."

Yolanda Howe (sp?), Parent of 3 in district and charter;

  • 2 kids at Brooke Roslindale. 1 at BCLA, HydePark
  • She said she's a supporter of charter school education and not a supporter of BPS
  • Why? Top reason: Charter school teachers communicate better with parents
  • BPS says go on Aspen. "I want teachers to return my phone calls."
  • Yolanda Howe is for increasing funding to charters and decreasing funding to public schools because: "I see a great thing. Charters school provide what we need. We need an institution where we know our children will be safe. Our children will have an education. And, you know, if it's not a charter school then let's make it school that can be one, like UP Academy. We're not asking for money to be taken out anywhere or from children in district schools, we just want everyone to have a quality education where they're going to perform and actually be merited."

Free tagging: 

Comments

SpEd/ELL

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The charter school crowd never mentions that charter schools enroll/maintain/graduate significantly fewer SpEd/ELL students than the BPS.

Before we talk about lifting the cap, why don't we require all charter schools to fill their empty seats. Most charter high schools have shockingly low 12th grade numbers compared to their 9th grade numbers years earlier. City on a Hill has a drop out rate of over 50%. Why is this allowed to continue? Why would we dream of opening more half-filled high schools?

Charter School Advocates

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Also never mention that they graduate barely any of the students they claim to want to serve:

Codman Academy Charter School had only 6 boys graduate out of the 19 students who graduated in 2013 (9th grade incoming class of 53 students);
City On A Hill had only 4 boys graduate of the 31 students who graduated (9th grade incoming class of 130 students); and,
Match Charter School also had only 6 boys graduate out of the 23 students who graduated (9th grade incoming class of 72 students.)

There are other extremely disturbing statistics regarding charter schools and who they really serve that the public are not really aware of, I do hope people will start to realize that winning the "lottery" seat at a charter school does not guarantee everything they claim, and for those who have the most need the data shows a slim chance of them ever graduating!

Look at the actual numbers

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The charter schools keep claiming these long waitlists. However, when you look at the actual enrollment you see large attrition. Before using public moneys to fund new ones, make them change their enrollment policies that restrict when they allow new students to enroll.

In the statewide reports issued http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/state_report/

You can see that the enrollment for all the Brooke charter schools drops.

Brooke Charter Roslindale 60 K and 34 8th graders
Brooke Charter Mattapan 63 K and 25 7th graders
24.2% of Brooke students have out of school suspensions (remember they don't have high school students)
Most of their teachers under 40
The number of students with disabilities is under 10% of their enrollment

One problem with your numbers

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How many students that enter the Brookes end up at an exam school, therefore not in grades 7 or 8?

I'm not necessarily a supporter or opponent of charter schools. I guess my only feeling about the Brooke is that I wish St. Clare was still open- sis went there. But, I would only want to see attrition stats for K and 6, not 7 or 8.