Also mentioned in the editorial (here) is New York's rigorous approval process, that is, "licensing," for charters and the oversight they are under. It credits the New York City Department of Education for allowing charter schools to use free space, which has attracted exceptional charter school operators around the country.
This discussion by the Times should give state legislators support to raise the cap and also give them pause for larding up any bill with a host of new charter mandates including more hurdles on on space sharing, salary caps on charter school operators, or bans on management companies. The absence of such mandates, the Times basically confirms, are factors in charter school academic success in New York.
Will a "Compromise" on RttT bill "meet the White House Test"?
Meanwhile, the New York Post reports today that legislation will get done this week to position New York for Race to the Top, including raising the cap on charter schools. A legislative source informed the Post that both the teacher unions and charter advocates "will have problems with" the "compromise" bill, but assures that "[the bill] will meet the White House test."
That all depends on how much "compromise" is contained in any final bill.
The "White House test" is actually quite rigorous for Race to the Top funding, and President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have been demanding and consistent on this issue from the outset. And, if Mayor Bloomberg and NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein remain unwilling to sign onto a "compromise" bill, that's a pretty good indicator it fails the "White House test."
What this article also reveals is the peculiarity of New York's approach, and how out of step it can be with other states on reforming their laws for Race to the Top. More than two dozen other states that have made improvements to their education laws rather cleanly, as the Democrats for Education Reform list shows (dfer).
New York would be wise to minimize any negative provisions and impediments to charter schools and other education reforms under the guise of "compromise." That would defeat the purpose of education reform and fail to impress the Obama administration, which can easily say "no" to New York with no political downside.
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Disclaimer: The Chalkboard is hosted by the New York Charter Schools Association (NYCSA) as a place where members, public education advocates and others can view and respond to informed commentary on timely public education and charter school issues. The views expressed here are not necessarily the official views of the NYCSA, its board, or of any of its individual charter school members. Anyone who claims otherwise is violating the spirit and purpose of this blog. To comment on anything you read here, or to offer tips, advice, comments, or complaints. please contact TheChalkboard.