Friday, June 29

Applications for new charter schools due today

Since the state announced in April that the cap on charter schools would increase to 200 from its current 100, charter school advocates have been salivating at the opportunity to start more schools. Today, the Charter Schools Institute at SUNY, one of three chartering agencies in the state, is accepting applications for new schools. The other chartering agencies, the State Board of Regents and the city's schools chancellor, have their own deadlines. [For background on how charter schools are organized, check out Insideschools' charter school primer.]

Parents in District 15 are applying to create a new middle school that will open in the fall of 2008, the Brooklyn Paper reported this week; Insideschools' director, Pam Wheaton, told the paper, "Parents have long complained about middle schools in District 15.”

In recent years, many charter school founders have been trying to help kids escape from failing schools. I'm wondering whether we'll now see folks trying to start charter schools so they themselves can escape from the strictures of mayoral control -- and to rescue kids from ever-increasing assessments. It will be interesting to hear next spring what charter schools have been approved for the city, where they will be, and who will be leading them.

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