The Charter Center publishes original reports about the role of charter schools in New York’s public education system, and supports outside researchers studying the City’s charter sector.

07/01/21 / Published by New York City Charter School Center

Facilities Access Guide

In March 2014, state law was changed to grant a subset of NYC charter schools a statutory right to facilities assistance (Education Law §2853(3)). As this Guide explains below, Charter schools that are new, or adding grade levels, can go through a legally defined process (referred to as “Facilities Access Process” in this Guide) that results in a charter school either receiving co-located space in a school district building; private building space provide at no cost; or funding to cover rental expenses.

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11/12/19 / Published by NewYork City Charter School Center

Charter School Accountability & Oversight

Originally proposed by then UFT President Al Shanker, charter schools were expressly designed to operate independently of local school districts. The expectation was that – free from centralized authority, employment contracts and uniform curriculums – educators in charter schools would be able to explore and implement different and innovative teaching methods in order to improve student learning and achievement. In exchange for this autonomy, charter schools are held accountable for the success of their students.

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11/01/19 / Published by New York City Charter School Center

NYC Charter School Legal Brief: November 2019

In this legal update, the Charter Center’s General Counsel & Vice President of Legal Policy, explains the outcome and impact of Success Academy’s case to secure charter schools’ operational freedom from the NYC DOE when offering Pre-K.

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04/01/19 / Published by New York City Charter School Center

New Provisions Passed in 2019-20 State Budget Legislation

New York State’s 2019-20 budget includes two significant legislative changes affecting charter schools in New York City regarding changes to the per-pupil funding formula and new requirements pertaining to the definition of the roles and responsibilities of school security personnel. The Charter Center has drafted a memo to help schools understand how this legislation impacts their work.

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02/01/19 / Published by The Manhattan Institute

Lift the Cap: Why New York City Needs More Charter Schools

Charter schools have become a significant part of the education sector in New York City since enabling legislation was passed in 1999. They now educate 123,000 students, or 10% of all public school students in the city, in 236 schools. Minority students from impoverished families benefit most from New York City’s charter schools, which offer strong academics and the prospect of upward mobility. Over 80% of charter students are low-income, and 91% are African-American or Hispanic. The state law that allows the creation and funding of charter schools limits the number of charters that can be operated in the city and state.

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05/01/18 / Published by The Manhattan Institute

Finding Room for New York City Charter Schools

Former mayor Michael Bloomberg championed charter schools and accelerated their growth via colocation, the granting of free space in traditional public school buildings. However, during his 2013 campaign for mayor, Bill de Blasio pledged to curtail the practice. In response, in April 2014 the New York State legislature began requiring the city to offer rental assistance to new charters that are denied space in public school buildings. This report examines the de Blasio administration’s record regarding colocations, the extent to which there is space available for charters in underutilized public school buildings, and what additional steps the city and state might take to find room for charters.

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02/01/18 / Published by The Manhattan Institute

New York City’s Charter Schools: What the Research Shows

This report evaluates the current state of research on New York City charter schools. Overall, their effect on student performance is unambiguously positive. Key findings include: (1) Students who attend a NYC charter instead of a traditional public school do much better on math tests and better, but by a smaller amount, on English language arts tests; (2) Differences in resources do not explain differences in effectiveness between charter schools and traditional public schools; and, (3) There is no evidence that NYC charter schools systematically push out low-performing students. In fact, low-performing students are less likely to exit charter schools than they are to exit traditional public schools, especially after accounting for differences in their demographic characteristics.

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02/01/18 / Published by National Association of Charter School Authorizers

Leadership, Commitment, Judgment: Elements of Successful Charter School Authorizing

Great authorizers—those with strong school portfolios and performance outcomes—implement foundational best practices that NACSA has promoted for years. But to achieve outstanding outcomes, more is needed. When compared to others nationally, great authorizers also share certain additional unmistakable characteristics. This report details examples of demonstrated leadership, judgment, and commitment by some of the best authorizing offices in our nation, including New York.

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10/01/17 / Published by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes Stanford University

Charter School Performance in New York City

This analysis shows that in a year’s time, on average, charter school students in New York City show stronger growth in both reading and math. The impact is statistically significant: thinking of a 180-day school year as “one year of learning”, an average New York City charter student demonstrates growth equivalent to completing 23 additional days of learning in reading and 63 additional days in math each year.

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07/01/17 / Published by New York City Charter School Center

The 2017-18 State Legislative Session and Charter Schools

As part of the agreement to extend mayoral control in New York City for two years, the Charter Center has detailed the provisions and commitments by the State Education Department and the New York City Department of Education that will affect charter schools in New York City.

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