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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
 

Michael Mulgrew

Michael Mulgrew

  • success academy rally crop

    A charter school rally (photo: @SuccessAcademy)


    Questions: How do you turn a 25 percent graduation rate into a misleading claim of 100 percent success? When does a school’s 30 percent proficiency rate on an 8th grade reading test translate into the assertion that nearly half of the students passed?

    Answer: when charter schools do their own accounting, and authorizers allow them to paper over the fact that huge percentages of the children who start in charter schools get driven or eased out.

    Charters claim that they serve the same children

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  • mulgrew classroom

    Michael Mulgrew, the author (photo: UFT)


    Children who miss 20 or more days of school in New York City have lost so much instruction time that they are classified as chronically absent, which studies have linked to lower test scores and higher dropout rates.

    So it is hard to see the educational purpose behind Success Academy's suspending a special-needs 7-year-old for 45 days, even if some form of alternative instruction was provided. This one recent example is part of a much larger pattern, both for Success Academy and the larger charter school sector

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  • uft teacher floor

    (photo: UFT)


    Even as they are pleading poverty to the Legislature in Albany, charter schools across New York State are sitting on nearly half a billion dollars in cash and unrestricted assets.

    An investigation by the state teachers union has shown that New York City charter schools alone have at least $323 million in unrestricted net assets, most of it in cash. When you add in charters in the rest of New York State, the sector as a whole has unrestricted assets of more than $450 million.

    Those are resources that can be used to pay for academic

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  • de blasio uft

    Mayor de Blasio at a UFT conference (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Four of New York's top labor leaders assembled recently to give a state of their unions, and to assess the broader union climate in New York and elsewhere.

    Each sounding like a determined boxer in the middle rounds of a grueling fight, they decried attacks on unions across the country, but indicated that they are pleased with the strength of the labor movement in New York. They credited intra- and inter-union solidarity for much

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