FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2008
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND CHANCELLOR KLEIN ANNOUNCE THE OPENING OF 18 NEW CHARTER SCHOOLS THIS FALL
City Now Boasts a Total of 78 Charter Schools Serving 24,000 Students
More New Charter Schools Opening in 2008 Than Existed in the Entire City in 2002
One in 18 City Schools will be a Charter School by fall 2009 - Up From One in 70 in 2002
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced that the City's Department of Education will open 18 new charter schools this fall, bringing the total number of charter schools in New York City to 78, serving 24,000 students. These 18 schools are the most new charter schools the City has ever opened in a single year and more charter schools than existed in all of New York City when Mayor Bloomberg entered office. Nearly one in every 18 public schools is a charter school, up from one in 70. The Mayor and Chancellor were joined at the Bronx Community Charter School (BCCS) by Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development Dennis M. Walcott, New York Center for Charter School Excellence Chief Executive Officer James Merriman, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, New York State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt (D-Buffalo), and BCCS Co-Founders Sasha Wilson and Martha Andrews, as well as educators, parents and other charter schools supporters.
"Charter schools have a key role to play in our education system in New York and across the country," said Mayor Bloomberg. "They deliver for our kids, bringing high standards and strict accountability to every school day. We see the results in their students' outstanding academic performance and huge parent demand for seats in these schools."
"The results achieved in charter schools are proving that public school students, regardless of their background, can achieve excellence," said Chancellor Klein. "Last year, charter school students in our City-who are overwhelming black or Hispanic and poor-performed at the same level as students across New York State. These schools are proof that if we work hard, we can close the achievement gap that has existed for far too long between black and Hispanic students and their white and Asian peers."
"Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein understand what so many haven't: if you want to dramatically improve public education, you not only have to reform from the inside by changing the district structure and district schools, you also have to bring reform from the outside by creating new charter schools," said New York City Center for Charter School Excellence Chief Executive Officer James Merriman. "The Mayor and the Chancellor are doing both, and children in New York City public schools - both district and charter - are better served because of this."
"The Bronx leads the city in the charter school movement so it is fitting that we announce the next generation of charter schools in the Bronx today," said Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion. "Charter schools have proven to be successful models for educating or children and sound investments in the future of our school system. This is a great day for students and a great day for education in New York City."
Charter schools are public schools governed by not-for-profit boards of trustees. In exchange for greater autonomy, charter schools can be closed if educational and operational goals are not met.
When Mayor Bloomberg entered office in 2002, New York City had 17 charter schools serving about 3,200 students. Over the next six years, that number more than quadrupled, with the City adding a larger number this fall than existed Citywide in 2002.
In 2002, charters only accounted for about 1 in 70 New York City public schools. In the 2008-2009 school year, one in every 18 New York City public schools will be a charter school. Some 25 charter school proposals are currently under review, and eight charter schools have already been approved to open in the City as early as September 2009. The Mayor is on track to exceed his 2005 re-election pledge to double the number of charter schools in New York City, which was then 47. In 2007, the Mayor and Albany legislators worked together to successfully lift the cap on charter schools. At least 50 new charter schools were authorized to open in the five boroughs.
In the 2007-2008 school year, 84.9 percent of charter school students met or exceeded grade-level standards in math. By comparison, 70.5 percent of other public school students in districts with charter schools, 74.3 percent of students Citywide, and 80.7 percent of students Statewide met or exceeded standards. In English Language Arts, 67.1 percent of charter school students met or exceeded grade-level standards. By comparison, 53.6 percent of other public school students in districts with charter schools, 57.6 percent of students Citywide, and 68.5 percent of students Statewide met or exceeded standards.
In addition to the approximately 24,000 students who will attend 78 charter schools in New York City this fall, nearly 30,000 students are on waiting lists for enrollment. Students are admitted by lottery, with preference given to those who live in the community school district where the school is located. About 62 percent of the City's public charter school students are black compared to 32 percent for the City; 30 percent are Hispanic compared to 39 percent for the City.
The 18 new charter schools are:
Stu Loeser/Dawn Walker (212) 788-2958
David Cantor (Department of Education)
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