Manhattan Institute Provides A Sharp Focus on Charter Schools
Charter schools have been on the public education agenda for many months, being the topic of panel discussions at Teacher’s College, the University Club, and Roosevelt House (part of Hunter College), and of two new books, A Light Shines in Harlem and A Smarter Charter. A recent panel assembled by the Manhattan Institute and Sy Fliegel, head of CEI-PEA, at the University Club explored the 15th anniversary of charter schools.
Today there are 2.5 million charter school students in the United States, and 83,000 in New York City. Four expert panelists Michael Duffy, Michelle Haynes, Stephen Klimsky, and Harvey Newman discussed the issues. Fifty thousand students can’t attend charters because there is no space. Education is a civil right, according to the panelists, and it’s being “abridged by the denial of revenue for charter schools.”
Mary Bounds, author of A Light Shines in Harlem asked, “How can charter schools retain and attract special ed and ELL students?”
Haynes, a principal of a charter school in New York City, replied, “Advertise in their language; we can do a better job at marketing to attract special education and ELL students.” For example, after her students graduate, Haynes keeps up with them via Facebook.
Newman stated, “We don’t have equal resources to address the needs of all children. Humanism exists in charter schools and does not exist in regular schools.”
Fliegel stated, schools can learn from each other. Therefore, “co-locations are great and make sharing easier.”
Michael Duffy, another participant, is the president of the Great Oaks Foundation, which has 50 percent ELL students and 20 percent special education students.#