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New York Charter Schools. Legislative Advocacy January 2010. History of charter schools. The charter school movement began in the early 1990s Minnesota was the first state to pass a charter school law in 1991

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New York Charter Schools

Legislative Advocacy

January 2010

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History of charter schools

  • The charter school movement began in the early 1990s

  • Minnesota was the first state to pass a charter school law in 1991

  • New York followed in 1998 with the New York State Charter Schools Act (Education Law no. 2850-2857)

  • Currently 41 states and the District of Columbia have laws allowing for Charter Schools

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Charter schools by the numbers

  • Currently, there are nearly 5,000 charter schools in 39 states and the District of Columbia, attended by more than 1.5 million students

  • As of fall 2009, New York City has 99 charter schools serving more than 30,000 students

  • For the 2009-10 school year, approximately 40,000 students applied for 8,500 available seats in New York City

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Graphic source: The Effects of New York City’s Charter Schools on Student Achievement (2009) by Caroline Hoxby, Sonali Murarka, & Jenny Kang

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Charter school governance

  • Charter schools operate independently, and are governed by a not-for-profit board of trustees

  • They are exempt from many state and local regulations regarding curriculum, personnel hiring, and financial management

  • However, all charter schools are accountable for student achievement on state exams; students must take and pass NY Regents exams

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Charter school funding

  • charter schools are public schools, funded by tax dollars, but they can also receive funding from private donors and non-profit organizations

  • primary revenue source: per-pupil allocation from the state government, determined by a standard formula that assures fewer dollars per pupil than the local district schools

  • charter schools are eligible for federal funding for disadvantaged and disabled students

  • unlike traditional public schools, charter schools do not receive any funding for school facilities

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Charter school student selection

  • Student entry to charter schools must be based on a lottery system

  • Research shows that lotteried-in and lotteried-out applicants are alike on every observable dimension: race, ethnicity, gender, poverty, disability, English proficiency

  • Students in New York City charter schools may not be selected on the basis of factors such as demographics or test scores

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NYC Charter school: KIPP

  • KIPP = Knowledge is Power Program

  • KIPP NYC serves 1,300 students and 700 alumni; 80% from low-income families, 98% African American or Latino, all selected by lottery

  • 95% of KIPP NYC students scored at or above grade level in state math testing; 83% in English

  • 93% of KIPP NYC students graduated from high school (twice the New York City average)

  • 86% of students go to college (more than twice the national average for low income students)

  • Innovative programs: longer school days, Saturday school, music program, college support team

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NYC Charter school: The Equity Project Charter School

  • The Equity Project is a 480-student middle school in Washington Heights that opened in September 2009 (5th grade, building to 8th)

  • Based on the premise that teacher quality is the most important school-based factor in academic success

  • three-pronged strategy “the 3 R’s”: Rigorous Qualifications, Redefined Expectations, & Revolutionary Compensation

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New York City Charter Schools Evaluation ProjectCaroline Hoxby et al. 2009

  • Funded by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Education Sciences (IES), part of theU.S. Department of Education

  • Data on absolute test scores, value added performance, lottery-in vs. lottery-out data and social demographics

  • Data analyzed for this study ranges from the 2000-2001 through the 2007-2008 academic years

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Hoxby et al. 2009

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Hoxby et al. 2009math and language arts grades 3 to 8

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Hoxby et al. 2009Regents performance, grades 9 to 12

The impact of these incremental increases is that for every year of charter school attendance, students are 7% more likely to pass the Regent’s examination on graduation

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Scarsdale-Harlem modelHoxby et al. 2009

  • The Scarsdale-Harlem achievement gap is a term used to compare achievement levels of students from one of the most affluent New York suburbs, Scarsdale, with those of students in Harlem

  • Hoxby's report shows that, on average, students who attended a charter school from kindergarten through eighth grade closed the Scarsdale-Harlem achievement gap by 86 percent in math and by 66 percent in English

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Hoxby et al. 2009: key factors

  • In evaluating the progress made by charter school students versus students who were lotteried-out, the Hoxby report cites policies that seem to be tied with school success:

    • Long school year

    • Larger amount of time devoted to English every day

    • Disciplinary policies that offer small rewards/small penalties for student behavior

    • Teacher pay based on performance rather than solely based on seniority/tenure

    • Mission statement that underscores academic performance over other goals

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Hoxby et al. 2009: conclusions

  • Charter schools have a positive effect on student achievement

  • The nearly always positive effect is due to things charter schools share: autonomy, governance, incentives, flexibility

  • The size of the effect is moderate for a single year, but adds up over time to close the achievement gap

  • Certain policies should be tested more broadly, such as longer school year and flexible pay

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Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) ReportCharter School Performance (2009) by Margaret Raymond, Stanford University

  • study examined 20,640 students from 49 public charter schools and compared them to demographically matched students in nearby public schools

  • 17% of charter schools reported academic gains that were significantly better than traditional public schools

  • 46% showed no difference from public schools

  • 37% were significantly worse than their traditional public school counterparts June 2009

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CREDO Study 2009: conclusions

  • U.S. Charter schools showed a significantly greater variation in quality as compared with the more standardized public schools

  • Many charter schools seem to fall below public school performances, while a small number few exceed them significantly June 2009

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Race to the Top

“ It's time to stop just talking about education reform and start actually doing it. It's time to make education America's national mission.”

- President Barack Obama, November 4, 2009

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Race to the Top legislation

  • Signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009

  • Sponsored in the Senate by Ted Kennedy

  • 4.35 billion dollar incentive program designed by the US Dept of Education to promote progressive reform in the US education system, grades K through 12

  • Competitive program whereby states will be appropriated funding based on the merits of their reform proposals

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Race to the Top: goals

  • Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy

  • Building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction

  • Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most

  • Turning around the lowest-achieving schools

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Race to the top: selection criteria

A. State Success Factors (125 points)

* (A)(3) Demonstrating significant progress in raising achievement and closing gaps

B. Standards and Assessments (70 points)

* (B)(1) Developing and adopting common standards

C. Data Systems to Support Instruction (47 points)

* (C)(1) Fully implementing a statewide longitudinal data system

D. Great Teachers and Leaders (138 points)

* (D)(2) Improving teacher and principal effectiveness based on performance

E. Turning Around the Lowest-Achieving Schools (50 points)

* (E)(2) Turning around the lowest- achieving schools

F. General Selection Criteria (55 points)

* (F)(2) Ensuring successful conditions for high-performing charters and other innovative schools

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Race to the Top: Charter Schools

(F)(2) Ensuring successful conditions for high-performing charter schools

(i) The State has a charter school law that does not prohibit or effectively inhibit increasing the number of high-performing charter schools in the State…

(ii) The State has laws, statutes, regulations, or guidelines regarding how charter school authorizers approve, monitor, hold accountable, reauthorize, and close charter schools; in particular, whether authorizers require that student achievement be one significant factor, among others, in authorization or renewal…

The State’s charter schools receive equitable funding compared to traditional public schools, and a commensurate share of local, State, and Federal revenues…

(iv) The State provides charter schools with funding for facilities…and the extent to which the State does not impose any facility-related requirements on charter schools that are stricter than those applied to traditional public schools

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“Right now, there are many caps on how many charter schools are allowed in some states, no matter how well they're preparing our students. That isn't good for our children, our economy, or our country.”- President Barack Obama, March 10th 2009

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Race to the Top: timeline

  • Phase 1 applications for funding were due on January 19th, 2010

  • 40 states applied for funding

  • Phase 1 winners will be announced in April 2010

  • The deadline for submitting Phase 2 applications is June 1st; phase 2 decisions will be announced in September 2010

  • New York State’s share of the funding could be as large as $ 700 Million dollars

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New York charter schools: new legislation

  • New York Charter Schools Act of 1998 allowed for 100 charter schools in the state

  • Cap on charter schools in New York was raised to 200 in 2007

  • Charter Schools in NY are evaluated and selected by The New York State Board of Regents and the State University of New York’s Board of Trustees

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NYC charter schools:understanding the cap

  • 100 charters may be authorized by the SUNY Board of Trustees

  • 100 charters may be authorized by the NYC Schools Chancellor (Joel Klein), other local school boards, or the state Board of Regents

  • When an authorized school closes (or if it never opens at all), it still counts against the cap

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Hoyt legislation 2009

  • Part of New York’s application for educational funding through Race to the Top

  • Proposed by State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (D-Buffalo) in October 2009

  • Bill would double the number of charter schools allowed in the state (from 200 to 400)

  • Reserves at least 50 of the new schools for large urban districts like New York City

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Hoyt legislation: limitations

  • Bill would impose new regulations on the process of evaluating and approving new charter schools, particularly in NYC

  • Removes authority from the city (Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein) and the SUNY Board of Trustees to approve new schools, giving ultimate authority to the state’s Board of Regents

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Hoyt legislation: limitations

  • Requires a more stringent review process, in particular requiring parental approval from schools where new charter schools will be built alongside existing public schools

  • Mandates public hearings each time a charter schools is opened or moved

  • Also prohibits for-profit corporations from opening charter schools

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Bloomberg on the new bill

“The bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, plain and simple, that would destroy a charter law that is a national model -- and surely weaken our application for federal dollars…There are tens of thousands of New York City children on charter school waiting lists, and they deserve better than this.”

- Michael Bloomberg, January 18, 2010

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Sheldon Silver on the new bill

“Contrary to Mayor Bloomberg’s statements, this bill would place no limit on continued charter school growth in New York City. The only limits it places are on his and Chancellor Klein’s unchecked ability to completely disregard the voices of traditional public school parents”

- Sheldon Silver, State Assembly Speaker

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Governor Paterson on the new bill

  • Governor backs the lifting of the charter cap, but not the additional restrictions

  • Likely to veto the bill if it is passed in the New York State Assembly

    “It would ultimately undermine the improvement that the Race to the Top grants intend to achieve”

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Current status: NYC RTTT

  • New York State submitted an application to the Race to the Top program on January 19th, 2010

  • The bill lacked a plan allowing for more charter schools (no change to the cap on the number of NY charter schools)

  • It remains to be seen what funding will be allocated to New York, given its failure to include this fundamental element of RTTT

  • Second round of applications are due June 1st, 2010…what will happen then?

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