charter schools

Some of the state’s top ranking education officials are condemning a vote by a State University of New York committee that would weaken regulations for teachers at some charter schools.

Every child should be taught by a highly skilled, qualified teacher.

WAMC's David Guistina talks with Mike Spain, associate editor of the Times Union about a charter school proposal that would allow uncredited teachers to work, and a push to sue pharmaceutical companies that produce opioids.

Most New Yorkers just aren’t that familiar with charter schools.

Governor's press office via Twitter

     Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker praised an innovative approach to improving underperforming urban schools during a visit today to a Springfield school.

Karen Magee: Fix The Charter School Mess

Mar 30, 2017

As a concept, charter schools once held promise.

Children at school on a computer
Lucelia Ribeiro/Flickr

New York charter school advocates are emboldened by promises from Senate leadership and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to increase funding for charter schools across the state.

Karen Magee: The DeVos Threat To New York State

Jan 24, 2017

In New York State and our nation, public education is the great equalizer.

The logo of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol
Facebook: Massachusetts Marijuana Initiative 2016

    Massachusetts voters Tuesday legalized marijuana for recreational use by adults, and soundly rejected a proposed expansion of charter schools in two of the most watched and hotly contested ballot referendums.

Picture of marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Voters have approved a ballot measure making Massachusetts the first state in the eastern U.S. to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

This is a picture of a teacher's classroom desk
WAMC file photo

A downtown Albany charter school is moving to more spacious digs.

A couple of weeks ago we ran a segment talking about a new report on the state of charter schools in the US. The report was released by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, and though it was factual it certainly highlighted the advantages of charters. I’ve been asked to give an opposing view and realized we already had.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, my talk with former US Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch, who calls the privatization movement a Reign of Error.

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

This is the 25th year that charter schools have been operating in the US, and new report says that, enrollment wise, they are doing better than ever. Hundreds of new charter schools have opened this year. However, a couple hundred have closed. And the head of a national charter school group says that’s fine with them.

Today on the Best of Our Knowledge, we’ll catch up with the charter school movement.

 Not for the first time, blue state Massachusetts is in the midst of a Republican administration.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Tim Vercellotti, director of the Western New England University poll and professor of political science, tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about Governor Baker’s first year in office.

Charter school advocates

A campaign to lift an enrollment cap on charter schools in Massachusetts is building momentum that could lead to a showdown vote on Election Day 2016.

About a dozen people wearing blue T-shirts that read “Great Schools Now” held a noontime rally in downtown Springfield Monday to call for lifting the charter school cap that they claim is arbitrarily denying children in poor communities a chance at a good education.

  When Mark Zuckerberg announced to a cheering Oprah audience his $100 million pledge to transform the downtrodden schools of Newark, New Jersey, then mayor Cory Booker and Governor Chris Christie were beside him, vowing to help make Newark “a symbol of educational excellence for the whole nation.” But their plans soon ran into the city’s seasoned education players, fierce protectors of their billion-dollar-a-year system. It’s a prize that, for generations, has enriched seemingly everyone, except Newark’s children.

Dale Russakoff explores all of the ins-and-outs in her book, The Prize: Who's In Charge Of America's Schools?

  Some legal developments regarding charter schools and common core.

The state attorney general's office has asked a Supreme Court judge to toss out a lawsuit challenging New York's formulas for charter school funding. A group of parents filed the challenge, claiming the formulas discriminate against charters in favor of traditional public schools. The judge did not issue an immediate decision.

SUNY trustees voted Friday to close two Brighter Choice Charter Middle Schools in Albany. The boys and girls schools have been instructed to finish out the current school year and close in June.

The public meeting began at 10 a.m.- the Brighter Choice three-year charter renewal requests were the last items on a lenghty committee agenda.

The State University of New York Charter Schools Committee heard presentations from both Brighter Choice and the SUNY Charter Schools Institute as to why and why not middle schools should remain open.

It was the charter schools’ turn to rally at the State Capitol Wednesday in support of Governor Cuomo’s proposal to allow 100 more charter schools in New York.

Thousands of charter school students on 450 buses, along with their parents and teachers, came to the Capitol for a rally that was billed by organizers as a school field trip.  They heard nearly two hours of speeches, watched dance performances, and saw celebrities like Grammy winning singer Ashanti.

Among the speakers, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Parents and community members are set to join faculty, staff and students at the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School Wednesday morning to cut a ribbon on the school’s expansion.

Ark Charter School

  Education will be a big issue in 2015, with lines already drawn between teachers at public schools, and Governor Andrew Cuomo and the charter school movement.

Before the New Year even began, the state’s largest teachers union was already making its displeasure with Governor Andrew Cuomo known, by protesting outside the governor’s mansion.

New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee says teachers are angry over what they see as Governor Cuomo’s increasingly negative view of their union, and the public education system in general.  

Ark Charter School

Charter school advocates want New York to re-write the formula used to fund its public charter schools.  A lawsuit filed in Buffalo Tuesday says the current formula is unconstitutional and that the state is falling short of its obligation to provide every student with a sound basic education.

The state Supreme Court lawsuit names the state of New York, along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state Assembly, Senate, budget office, Board of Regents and education commissioner.

DennisInAmsterdam's photostream Flickr

The charter school business is booming in New York's Capital City, with 2,200 students are enrolled in nine publicly financed, privately operated charter schools in Albany. Five charter schools have filed applications that will be up for public comment Thursday.

The City School District of Albany has scheduled a public hearing Thursday at William S. Hackett Middle School at 6 p.m. to hear public comment on the applications, including one proposal that would create a new 400-student charter elementary school in Albany.

A Capital Region charter school could close for good due to academic failure.  A last-ditch effort is under way to save it.

Some 220 students at Ark Community Charter School in Troy may be displaced if final court proceedings affirm a SUNY Trustees Charter Schools Committee decision that agreed with findings by SUNY's Charter Schools Institute that Ark failed to meet its academic goals.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School in Adams, Massachusetts held a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday for a $3.9 million renovation and expansion.

A charter school in Troy scheduled for closure is fighting back against the SUNY trustees who voted to shut it down.

Children at school on a computer
Lucelia Ribeiro/Flickr

A new report reveals New York State's public schools are the most segregated in the nation.

The report released Wednesday by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California at Los Angeles used U.S. Department of Education statistics: it noted increasing segregation in the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany and New York City metro areas.   It found many black and Latino students attend schools with virtually no white classmates throughout New York.

3/24/14 Panel

Mar 24, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao and political consultant Libby Post.

Topics include:
More Debris
DeBlasio Charter Schools
Russian Aggression
Washington Mudslide
Russia & Crimea
Gay Marriage - Michigan


Charter school advocates are urging Massachusetts lawmakers to allow for the expansion of the schools in underperforming urban school districts.

A coalition backing a bill that would lift the charter school caps called on the Education Committee on Tuesday to release a bill before a legislative deadline next week.


Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he would revoke the city's offer of free classrooms in public schools for three charter schools. Enraged parents filed a historic lawsuit against the city yesterday, re-igniting a firestorm debate over charter schools.