Foundation for Education Reform and Accountability

Charter Schools


“What’s Next?” Establishing High School Preparatory Programs at Charter Middle Schools
December 2012
Published in cooperation with the New York Charter Schools Association, this paper identifies several key design elements for establishing and operating successful high school prep programs in charter middle schools. These programs can effectively prepare and assist students in the move to competitive high school environments and keep them on the path to college.

Report Rates Legislators’ Votes on Public Charter Schools
November 2012
An analysis of New York State legislators’ votes on recent bills affecting public charter schools found strong support in the Senate from Republicans and the Independent Democratic Caucus, and the weakest support from Assembly Democrats.

Union-Represented Charter Schools Not Making the Grade
December 21, 2010
On the 2010 New York City Progress Reports, non-union charter schools significantly outperformed UFT-represented charter schools in each of the three categories upon which the schools were grades. Based on the latest scores, one has to wonder how long it will be until the list of closed unionized charter schools expands.

How Charter Schools Can Respond to the Catholic School Closure Crisis
October 2010
New York’s Catholic schools continue to be in crisis, with school-closure announcements regularly emanating from virtually every urban diocese overseeing inner-city Catholic schools.  One solution to this problem is churches converting their Catholic schools into charter school.  This report explores this and other ways churches and charter schools can work together.

State Legislators’s Votes on Charter Schools Tallied
October 29, 2010
Votes on bills affecting public charter schools by New York State legislators during the 2009-10 legislative session were tallied to gauge legislators’ support or opposition to one of the most significant education reforms to be enacted by the state legislature in the last dozen years.

Key Charter School Legislation Voted on by the New York State Legislature (2009-10 Session)
October 2010
During the 2009-2010 legislative session, the New York State Senate and Assembly voted on ten charter-school bills, including pro-charter bills such as lifting the cap on the number of charter schools that can operate in the state, allowing charter schools to contract for services with BOCES, and extending the length of time charter school can operate before needing to be renewed. Anti-charter bills cut per-pupil funding for two consecutive years, proposed increasing facilities costs, and imposed unnecessary burdensome mandates.

Analysis of Albany Public Charter and District Student Proficiency Rates on New York State English Language Arts Exams
May 25, 2010
An examination of student proficiency rates shows that Albany public charter school students outperformed district students in five out of the six tested grade levels and that performance gaps between public charters and traditional district schools have grown over time.

New York Teachers Unions: A History of Opposition to Public Charter Schools
May 21, 2010
While union bosses of the statewide and New York City teachers unions claim that they don’t oppose public charter schools, a review the numerous public comments they’ve made shows a different story. Union bosses have routinely mischaracterized these innovative schools and to turn public opinion against them.

Charter Schools Lead the Pack of New York’s Highest-Performing High-Minority Schools
May 18, 2010
Public charter schools in New York disproportionately top the list of the highest-performing high-minority schools. Charter schools’ widespread success in educating Black and Hispanic students to high levels of academic achievement is unlike anything New York has seen before.

State Legislators Who Refused to Expand Charter Schools Themselves Benefitted from School Choice
January 22, 2010
In the aftermath of a failed attempt by the New York State Legislature to strengthen the state’s charter-school law and better compete for millions in federal education funds, a survey of state legislators found that Democrats responsible for killing the expansion of choices in public education were themselves beneficiaries of school choice.

Analysis of the Charter-School Bond Market
August 2009
While President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan strongly support the growth of charter schools, access to facilities is hindering their growth and the tightening credit markets have dramatically slowed the pace of tax-exempt financing for charter school facilities.  This report offers a comprehensive analysis of the nation’s charter school bond market and explains the characteristics of highly rated charter-school transactions.

An Examination of What the CREDO Charter School Study Does and Doesn’t Show
August 20, 2009
The results of the national charter school study conducted by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University were immediately oversimplified and used by charter school opponents to cast a negative light on charter schools.  Careful analysis and reflection of the facts show a different story.

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Unionize ‘Em
March 13, 2009
New York teachers unions are aggressively working behind the scenes to kneecap the state’s most innovative charter schools.  Having failed to stop charter schools outright – the union’s first preference – the teachers unions now are pursuing a new strategy: speak more softly and attempt to coax one charter school after another into its dues-paying fold.

Charter Schools in Albany: The Brighter Choice Experience (pdf)
February 13, 2008
Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability President Thomas Carroll was the featured speaker at The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government’s public policy forum on the nationally-significant charter school reform movement in Albany, New York.  In the state’s capital city, a group of charter school leaders are striving to make it the first city in America where charter schools have attained high market share and uniformly high quality.

Press Releases

New NAEP Results for New York City Highlight Part of the Solution to Close the Racial Achievement Gap
May 20, 2010
New National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading exam scores show that New York City’s racial achievement gap remains large, with White students two-and-half to three times more likely to read proficiently than their Black and Hispanic peers.  The results support the call for expanding public charter schools, schools where Black and Hispanic students are overwhelmingly and disproportionately achieving high levels of academic success.

“Exclusive Seven”: Group of Senators Benefitted from School Choice, Voted to Deny Similar Options for Disadvantaged Kids
May 7, 2010
Nearly half the state senators voting against a bill that would have expanded school choice options by raising the legal limit on the number of charter schools were themselves the beneficiaries of private schooling or a selective district school.

Statement on United Federation of Teachers’ “Hit Job” on Charter Schools
January 3, 2010
The United Federation of Teachers’ president Michael Mulgrew has proposed a complete gutting of charter schools in New York.  This is not an effort to “reform” charter schools, but an attempt at killing them through a death by a thousand cuts.

New York Should Run Alongside California for “Race to the Top” Funds
October 13, 2009
To ensure access to federal Race to the Top funds, California Gov.  Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted that his state needed eliminate its cap on the allowable number of public charter schools that can be created and called his state’s legislature into special session to take action.  New York also has a charter cap, of 200, and currently only a few dozen charters remain available to create these innovative schools.  New York should lift its cap in order to ensure that it is competitive for these federal funds.

State Teachers Union Opposes Charter Schools: Wow, What A Surprise!
December 6, 2009
The New York State United Teachers unleashed a biased slash-and-burn report attacking public charter schools on the eve of the state legislature authorizing more charter schools.  FERA’s analysis of the report details how the authors skewed the selection of district schools to compare to charter schools, and corrects false claims made about special education student populations as well as the accountability provisions that charter schools must meet.

New Charter Schools Promise Education Quality for New York City
March 15, 2005
New York City’s Chancellor, Joel Klein, has been a strong supporter of charter schools, as part of a plan to open fifty charter schools in the City.  The Board of Regents recent approval of Achievement First and KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) schools reflect the growing momentum charter schools have gained in response to the City’s failing district schools.

New York City Charter School Plan Signals New Era in Public Education
October 30, 2003
The plan to open 50 new public charter schools announced by New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein marks a dramatic change in the politics of charters schools in New York State.  When the law was adopted in 1998, few would have predicted that just a few years later the New York Schools Chancellor would actively advocate for more charter schools or that the leader of the United Federation of Teachers would want to set up a charter school herself.

Opinion Articles & Blog Stories

It’s Time to Face Up to Rochester’s School Crisis, NY Ed Reform Blog (April 14, 2011)

League of Women Voters Not Independent or Unbiased, NY Ed Reform Blog (January 10, 2011)

Charter School Funding Survives Legislative Session, NY Ed Reform Blog (December 1, 2010)

Race to the Top and Charter School Autonomy, Huffington Post (October 28, 2010)

SED Goes Too Far Regulating Charter Schools under Race to the Top, NY Ed Reform Blog (October 20, 2010)

Will New York’s RttT Mandates Sideline Charter Schools?, NY Ed Reform Blog (October 19, 2010)

Race to the Top Is NOT Good for Charter Schools, NY Ed Reform Blog (October 18, 2010)

“Segregation” Says the Times Union on Charter Schools, NY Ed Reform Blog (September 8, 2010)

Buffalo’s Schools a Mess Says State Ed Report; No News There, NY Ed Reform Blog (August 20, 2010)

“Prevailing Wage”: Profiteering at Schoolchildren’s Expense, NY Ed Reform Blog (June 10, 2010)

The Unions’ Plan to Kill Good Schools, New York Post (April 20, 2010)

Lessons for Charter Schools, Albany Times Union (April 2, 2010)

Streamlining Mandates and Paperwork?  Dream On., NY Ed Reform Blog (March 2, 2010)

Closing Charter Schools, NY Ed Reform Blog (February 24, 2010)

Increasing the Number of Students with Disabilities Served by Public Charter Schools, NY Ed Reform Blog (January 6, 2010)

Gutting Charters, New York Post (January 4, 2010)

The UFT’s Conspiracy Theories, NY Ed Reform Blog (December 23, 2009)

Charter Challenge, New York Post (October 1, 2009)

Stubborn Charter Schools Critics Can’t Handle the Truth, New York Daily News (September 23, 2009)

Brighter Choices in Albany, Education Next (September 2009)

New York’s Charter-School Challenge, New York Post (August 21, 2009)

Slamming Harlem, New York Post (July 22, 2009)

Choking NY Charters, New York Post (May 14, 2009)

Poison School Pills, New York Post (January 13, 2010)

Happy Birthday, Charter Schools, City Journal (December 18, 2008)

The New Threats to Charter Schools, New York Post (September 17, 2008)

Hebrew Brouhaha, New York Post (May 29, 2008)

Albany is No Exception, Education Gadfly (January 10, 2008)

Assault by ‘Audit’, New York Post (September 21, 2007)