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January 4, 2019
Why Denver isn’t seeking any new schools
The strategy departs from the "portfolio model" of managing schools.
November 5, 2018
New $85 million Englewood high school to focus on science and technology, careers
Chicago Public Schools announced Monday that it will open a “state-of-the-art” high school focusing on career-preparation and math, science and engineering education in…
August 8, 2018
New high school plan still has some South Side residents feeling neglected
New proposed boundaries for Near South High School has garnered praise from some community members. But not everybody looks at the map and…
July 25, 2018
New data, shifting plans: Denver district calls for new middle school in Stapleton
Six months after Denver district leaders opted not to seek proposals for new schools serving specific grades and neighborhoods, they changed course Wednesday, announcing plans…
May 24, 2018
Denver approves more schools that will wait ‘on the shelf’ to open, despite pushback
Some Denver board members say this approach assumes other schools will close, something they hope won't happen.
January 2, 2018
Decreasing enrollment growth and increasing test scores in Denver add up to no specific requests for new schools
The district will still accept new school applications, which are due April 2.
clearing a hurdle
May 19, 2017
These 20 schools just won approval from the Denver school board
Eleven are new elementary charter schools.
March 7, 2014
“Maker Academy” among new NYC high schools opening in September
The nine new high schools opening in New York City in September include one focused on the “maker” movement of using technology in new ways. That…
November 18, 2013
Walcott continues his ribbon-cutting spree
In the last weeks of his chancellorship, Dennis Walcott has been focusing on the concrete things the Bloomberg administration is leaving behind. Today, he’ll cut…
April 4, 2013
ACTvF aims to avoid common post-founding principal struggle
On his first day as principal of the Academy for Careers in Television and Film in January, Edgar Rodriguez had his hands full. The two…
September 19, 2012
Mixed progress in city's latest plans to open, overhaul schools
Mayor Bloomberg, flanked by Chancellor Walcott and principals, discussed the city's school creation efforts during a press conference in April about the opening of 54 new schools. If the Bloomberg administration has executed any education policy promises with fidelity, it has been around opening new schools. But its record on the trickier task of improving existing schools has been more mixed. That trend continued last year, according to our analysis of the city's progress toward fulfilling the education commitments it made during between September 2011 and August 2012. We found that Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Dennis Walcott are on track to meet most of their school creation goals, but when it comes to improving ones that already exist, their success is less clear. (Each promise is in bold, followed by an explanation of how far the city has come toward meeting it.) The city did better at fulfilling its school creation and improvement goals than it did at keeping its promises about boosting teacher quality, which we examined earlier this week. In the final part of this series, we will look at whether city officials have kept their word about taking new approaches to handling high-need students and engaging parents. On creating new schools: The city will open 100 new schools before the end of 2013, including 50 charter schools. (Bloomberg's State of the City address, January 2012) The city is so far on track to hit this goal. Fifty-four new schools are opening this fall, bringing the total number of schools that have opened under the Bloomberg administration to 589. Of the newest crop of schools, 24 are charter schools. Fifty new middle schools will open by 2013, of which 25 will be charter schools. (Walcott's middle schools speech, September 2011) The city also chipped away mightily at this number, and depending on the method of counting might be more than on track to hit the total. This year, 18 of the 54 new schools opened with middle school grades, including seven charter schools. Another eight of the new schools, all charter schools, opened with elementary grades but plan to serve middle school students once they are at full enrollment in several years. The city will help high-performing charter networks grow faster. (State of the City) When Bloomberg made this promise, he specifically name-checked Success Academies and KIPP as two networks whose strong performance he would like to see replicated. This year, three new Success Academy charter schools and one new KIPP school opened in the city. All of them had sought to open since long before Bloomberg made the commitment. At least five other local charter schools also replicated this year. The city will bring in charter school operators that run successful schools elsewhere. (State of the City) The city has so far struck out here: Except for KIPP, which has long run New York City schools, none of this year's new charter schools are part of national networks. One operator that Bloomberg specifically mentioned, Rocketship Education, opened two new charter schools in its native California but so far has not opened or even proposed a school for New York. Its CEO has said dozens of districts have recruited the network but he is wary of operating under different regulations in different places.
April 20, 2012
Exit strategy for a closing school's principal: Relocate upstairs
Supporters of Washington Irving High School protested its planned closure in December. Two new schools are coming to the Washington Irving High School campus this fall, but Mayor Bloomberg mentioned only one when he visited the building this week to tout 54 new small schools opening in September. The principals-to-be of the venture capitalist-backed Academy of Software Engineering and dozens more new schools stood by Bloomberg’s side as he touted the city's success at replacing large, dysfunctional high schools with smaller schools. The other new school, Union Square High School for Health Sciences, will share more than a street address with Washington Irving, which the city is closing due to poor performance. Its focus is a spinoff of one of Irving's programs, and its proposed leader, Bernardo Ascona, has been Irving’s principal since 2008. Ascona says he applied to lead the new school shortly after the city announced that it was considering closing Washington Irving. Now, some students and teachers say they feel slighted that he sought a way out even as they rallied to keep the school open. They also question why, for the second time in four years, the city has offered a plum new job — the same salary for fewer students and a clean slate — to an Irving principal. "It's unfair, particularly when the management hierarchy always seems to land on their feet," said Gregg Lundahl, Irving's union chapter leader. "The staff at Washington Irving work very, very hard. [Ascona] was only expecting us to do what he had been told to tell us to do, and as we can see it didn't work out so well." "He failed to make this school successful," said Anna Durante, a junior. "Once you have a game over, you don't get an extra token to restart."
April 17, 2012
"Mayor and chancellor show" touts 54 schools opening this fall
Mayor Bloomberg, flanked by Chancellor Walcott and new school leaders, discusses the city's school creation efforts. When Mayor Bloomberg entered office in 2002, there were about fewer than 1,200 schools in the city. By the time he leaves, there will be about 1,800. That number — representing a more than 50 percent increase — had Bloomberg and Chancellor Dennis Walcott in a good mood during a press conference today to tout this year's crop of new schools. Thirty Department of Education-run schools will open in September, as will 24 privately managed charter schools. "We have created so many new schools. It is truly amazing," said Walcott, who stood with Bloomberg and dozens of freshly minted principals at Manhattan's Washington Irving High School, which will house two of the new schools. The pair touted a recent study by the research firm MDRC that concluded that the city's new small high schools have continued to post higher graduation rates than other schools that remained open. The addition of 54 schools created through the department's new schools creation process will bring the total number of city schools to 1,750 this fall, 589 of them opened under Bloomberg's watch. Bloomberg has promised to create at least 50 new schools next year — evenly split between charter and district-run — and he reiterated that vow again today. Another 26 new schools would open under the city's "turnaround" proposals but were not included in the small schools total touted today. Those proposals, which are likely to be approved next week, would close and immediately reopen 26 schools with new names and many new teachers in an attempt to win federal funding for the schools. The sunny event came on the same day as two reports took aim at Bloomberg's school policies, saying that his administration had fostered inequities and closed schools without first trying to improve them. The city decided this year to close Washington Irving, where teachers have said students had grown increasingly needy in recent years. The teachers also said that the school's landmarked library, where the mayor's event took place, had been closed to students since Washington Irving cut loose its librarian last summer. If the criticism bothered Bloomberg and Walcott, they didn't show it during their presentation. Instead, the pair engaged in friendly stage banter about the new schools.
September 23, 2011
City Council eyes new school creation process, as DOE refines it
The City Council's education committee has given a great deal of scrutiny to schools the Department of Education wants to close. Now it's turning its attention to the new schools the department wants to open. Today, the committee held an oversight hearing about the DOE's new school creation process, which has resulted in more than 400 new schools in the last nine years. The process to open a charter school is set in law, but how new district schools come to exist is more obscure, Robert Jackson, the committee's chair, said during the hearing. "Some charge that there's been two many new schools opened in too short a time, with too little planning and preparation and too much emphasis on quantity over quality," he said. Of the 500 district and charter schools that have opened since 2002, just six have closed because of poor performance, said Marc Sternberg, the DOE deputy chancellor in charge of new schools. He said the schools' success stems in large part from the department's selection process for school models and principals. That process has gotten more stringent this year. Prospective school leaders will have to complete a rigid, three-month-long series of assignments, and at three points, some will be culled from the pool.
December 14, 2010
Board of Regents approves 15 new NYC charter schools
New York State's Board of Regents approved 15 new charter schools today that will open in New York City in the fall of next year. Ten of those schools were authorized by the State University of New York's Charter School Institute back in September and the remaining five were authorized today by the Board of Regents. The board also approved charters for three schools that will open in Mount Vernon, Rochester, and East Irondequoit. Among the charter schools approved today is the New York City Montessori Charter School, the city's first public Montessori school. Also on the list is Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School, the first charter school opened by the Expeditionary Learning network in the city. Expeditionary Learning currently oversees ten district schools in New York. The two charter schools that New Visions is opening in the South Bronx are the only typical four-year high schools in the group. Launch Expeditionary Learning Charter School will, at full size, be a 6-12 school, and the Urban Dove Charter School will admit students who are ages 16-18 regardless of what grade they're in.
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