NYC Charter School Network Urges Governor Hochul to ‘Raise the Ceiling’


The leader of a network of Brooklyn charter schools whose mission includes promoting diversity in classrooms is urging Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state legislature to raise the cap and allow schools to open. more private public schools.

“I hope the Legislature spurred on by former Mayor Bloomberg’s generous philanthropic pledge will lift the charter cap, allowing thoughtful licensing institutions like SUNY to identify and support the growth of schools like ours. because all parents and students, regardless of neighborhood, deserve a place at a great school that will allow them to truly thrive in the future,” Tresha Ward, CEO of Brooklyn Prospect Charter Schoolstold the Post.

Ward also said the State University of New York should continue to have the authority to approve new charter schools. Legislation was introduced that would give the Board of State Regents sole authority to approve or reject charters and strip SUNY of the power to do so despite its successful track record.

All six charter schools in Brooklyn Prospect have been approved by the SUNY Charter School Institute over the past decade.

Billionaire Bloomberg pledged $750 million nationwide to help create more charter schools, state-funded alternative schools that are privately run and exempt from many Department of Education regulations and union contracts.

Charter expansion can only happen if NY lifts the cap on the number of schools.
Don Pollard

There are currently 272 operating charter schools in the city. But 11 proposed charters are stuck on a waiting list as the state cap prevents more popular alternative schools from opening in the city. The expansion will only happen if Hochul and the Democratic-led legislature approve legislation to lift the cap.

All six Brooklyn Prospect schools use the IB International Baccalaureate Diploma Program curriculum. The liberal arts-focused curriculum promotes creative inquiry, problem solving, critical thinking, personal reflection, and collaborative learning and exceeds state standards.

Tresha Ward is the Executive Director of Prospect Schools.
Ward says the charter system is important in school choice.

“Our program aims to provide our students with a comprehensive curriculum that includes ELA, math but also Mandarin or Spanish, dance, musical theater,” Ward said.

“We marry rigorous academics with deep care and focus on the socio-emotional environment our children need to excel. Our non-selective high school, International Baccalaureate, was also recently named New York State’s “Recognition School” and ranked in US News & World Report. »

Regular education is complemented by extracurricular programs.

Brooklyn Prospect is part of the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition and its 2,100 students are among the most racially diverse in the city.

The racial and ethnic breakdown of students at Brooklyn Prospect schools is 38% white, 23% black, 20% Hispanic, 9% multiracial, and 4.5% Asian.

Most charter schools serve a 90% black and Hispanic student population.

“We were founded and authorized by SUNY over 10 years ago, to directly address the city’s segregated school system. We’ve been a leader in using school choice to integrate public schools,” Ward said.

A classroom inside a Brooklyn Prospect Charter School.
Ward says charter schools offer “a well-rounded curriculum” in math and language arts.
Gabriella Bass
One of the Brooklyn Prospect Schools at 355 Bridge St., Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Prospect Charter has six schools using the IB curriculum.
Gabriella Bass

“Nor do we have a racial majority among our students who, in grades 3 through 8, consistently outperform other city and state peers on ELA and Math exams.”

For example, 72% of students at Prospect’s Downtown Elementary School and Clinton Hill Middle School were rated proficient on state ELA exams in grades 3-8, 24 points higher than surrounding traditional public schools. of District 13.

Seventy-six percent were proficient on the math exam, 34 points higher than surrounding schools.

Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pledged to donate $750 million to charter schools across the country.
Dave Benet/Getty Images

Other Brooklyn Prospect charter schools include Windsor Terrace Elementary, Windsor Terrace Middle, International Elementary, and Brooklyn Prospect HS.

Brooklyn Prospect HS students scored 1,063 points on the school assessment test used for college admission — slightly above the state and national average and nearly 200 points higher than students at nearby schools.

Many Prospect staff members practice what they preach by enrolling their children in one of the schools. Jon McIntosh, Prospect’s director of studies, has a daughter, Petra, a second-grade student who attends downtown elementary school.

A classroom inside a Brooklyn Prospect Charter school.
According to the data, elementary and middle schools in Brooklyn Prospect score higher on state ELA exams than their public counterparts.
Gabriella Bass

McIntosh said Prospect teaches students to have a global perspective and be good citizens.

“We come with a big perspective of social justice,” he said.

McIntosh also pointed out that Prospect works closely with neighboring schools to share best practices. Two principals from other Brooklyn schools spend time training at Prospect.


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