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November 19, 2018
Politically progressive charter advocates search for new strategy in wake of New York’s blue wave
In the wake of this sea change, what charter-school advocacy will look like is an open question. Little hope exists that state politicians will raise the controversial charter cap — even as only eight slots for new city schools remain.
get out the vote
April 19, 2018
Can schools encourage students to be more involved citizens? A new study suggests yes they can.
A new study concludes that Democracy Prep, network of charter schools, makes students far more likely to vote once they turn 18.
the big city
March 14, 2018
17 minutes across 5 boroughs: How New York City students protested gun violence during #NationalWalkoutDay
The conditions were ripe for widespread participation by New York City students in the national school walkout to protest gun violence: the biggest enrollment…
charter kids go to college
August 29, 2017
Do ‘no-excuses’ charter schools lead to success after high school? At one high-profile network, the answer seems to be yes
A new study offers evidence that attending the Chicago-based Noble charter network does help students succeed after high school.
July 12, 2017
Some New York charter schools could soon be allowed to certify their own teachers. What could that look like?
A handful of training programs at charter schools may soon substitute for the formal state certification process.
June 27, 2017
A new study reveals which NYC charter school networks are outperforming their peers
The results are part of a broader study released this month that analyzed hundreds of charter schools and networks across 26 states to assess which types of charters are most effective in boosting student learning.
June 12, 2017
Who’s helping and who’s hurting? New national study looks at how charter networks measure up, from KIPP to K12
"Why are some networks with terrible average growth allowed to continue to operate multiple schools?” the report asks.
By the numbers
March 12, 2015
District and charter schools post similar attrition rates, as enrollment debate presses on
New research shows that low-performing students leave charter and district at similar rates. But a debate about what that means for charters is growing increasingly feisty.
February 23, 2015
Suspensions at city charter schools far outpace those at district schools, data show
Charter schools suspended 11 percent of their students in 2011-12.
February 3, 2015
City charter school CEO to senators: Testing has its place
A city charter school leader told a group of U.S. senators Tuesday that there is value in testing students throughout the year if the focus is on progress, not just proficiency.
July 18, 2013
Democracy Prep students learn about end of apartheid firsthand
Democracy Prep alumni learn about different fossils found in Sterkfontein Caves, which is north of Johannesburg, South Africa. On the occasion of Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday and Mandela Day, celebrated worldwide, GothamSchools is collecting tales from New York City schools about the former president of South Africa and his impact on his country. On her last night in Cape Town, Diana Vega sat in front of a glowing computer screen and explained over Skype what it was like to see Nelson Mandela's impact on South Africa firsthand. Vega is one of 11 recent graduates of Democracy Prep Charter High School who spent the last two weeks touring the country that Mandela shepherded out of legal segregation as president after decades as a political prisoner. The trip also took students briefly to Egypt, where they had a long layover at the height of the country's recent revolution, and to Lesotho, a small country inside South Africa that boasts ski resorts. The school's annual trips come out of its public funds, in keeping with the charter network's mission, according to founder Seth Andrew. Andrew, who recently stepped down as the network's CEO, said the trips allow students to experience the classroom lessons they learn throughout the year.
May 16, 2013
Student moderators grill mayoral candidates at Harlem forum
Perhaps the candidates who showed up to Wednesday's mayoral forum in a Harlem school auditorium thought they'd get a break when they saw who was asking the questions: a couple of high school kids. But Michael Cummings and Alize-Jazel Smith, seniors at Democracy Prep Charter High School, turned out to be tough moderators. They shushed Bill Thompson when he spoke out of turn, politely interrupted Comptroller John Liu when his time was up, and pushed candidates to answer the questions they were asked if they had strayed off topic — as one candidate did often. "So, Mr. McMillan, just to be specific," said Cummings, referring to Jimmy McMillan, the perennial also-ran candidate of the Rent Is Too Damn High party. "Do you support or do you not support co-location inside school buildings for public schools and charter schools?"
January 22, 2013
Students watch inauguration, put themselves in Obama's shoes
PHOTO: Alex ZimmermanDemocracy Prep students and their families watch President Obama's inaugural address. An inauguration event at the Harlem Armory on Monday drew students too young to remember any president but Barack Obama — and others who said his presidency changed the way they see their own futures. While most schools across the city were closed for the Martin Luther King Day, the Democracy Prep charter network convened students, parents, teachers, staff, and community members to watch Obama’s inauguration on the big screen. Leesandra Moore brought her four daughters to the inauguration event. Her oldest is in eighth grade at Democracy Prep, and her three younger daughters were born during Obama’s first term. Referring to her three-year-old, Moore said, “I wanted her to experience it so she can say that she was there. She doesn’t understand race … but she will grow up in a world that does talk about race. Right now it just seems to her like, all these people are making a big fuss, what are they making a fuss over?”
December 18, 2012
In Manhattan conference room, students get networking workout
College and career readiness isn't just about what students know — it's about whom they know, too. That's the philosophy behind the Opportunity Network, a 10-year-old nonprofit organization that aims to develop professional skills in students who might be the first in their family to attend college. Last Wednesday, that development came in the form of two-minute conversations with an array of young professionals during an event that the organization bills as "speed networking." (Watch part of the event in the video above.)
December 3, 2012
Inverting conventional wisdom, Korean leader lauds city school
Democracy Prep Charter High School students who recently took an exchange trip to South Korea, met with South Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-Sik during his visit to the school. Last month, students from Democracy Prep Charter High School were honored guests at Seondeok High School and Dong Seong Middle School in South Korea. Today, they honored a guest of their own: Kim Hwang-Sik, South Korea's prime minister. Kim met with school leaders; spoke with the students; and hobnobbed with Congressman Charles Rangel, who supported the exchange trip, during Kim's brief stop at the school this afternoon. He was in New York City to visit the United Nations as part of a tour of North America. All students at Democracy Prep High School study Korean, and last month, three dozen of them traveled to South Korea to see the country up close. They visited the schools, toured Buddhist temples, and stayed in the homes of South Korean families. One student told Kim that the trip had brought the Korean culture she had studied at school to life for her. "Now I want to travel more and ... see things with my own true eyes," she said. Democracy Prep Superintendent Seth Andrew told Kim that American education leaders often point to South Korea and Finland as two countries whose students far outpace students in the United States. Korea, he said, is the more instructive example of educational excellence because of its economic history.
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