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flerp • 8 years ago

Name the schools and show the evidence. Pretty simple.

Guest • 8 years ago
Larry Littlefield • 8 years ago

(They would need to provide evidence that they have a child who was enrolled in a charter school, of course).

Those being pushed out of district schools couldn't call the number?

parent010203 • 8 years ago

Larry Littlefield, one thing I have noticed is that the complaints about being pushed out of district schools are about high schools and teenagers. Have you heard them from parents of 5 and 6 year olds being "pushed out" of their neighborhood Kindergarten and first grade? I would certainly support those being investigated by an independent source if you can name a public elementary school with high attrition rates that isn't a charter school.

flerp, I have named a school -- Harlem Success Academy 5, where the enrollment went from 106 2nd graders in 2011-2012 to 80 3rd graders in 2012-2013, which is a loss of about 25% of the students. In addition, 3rd grade is supposed to be a year where Success Academy does replace students, so it is unclear whether even more students left and were replaced. There may be a very good explanation for this sudden decline, but expecting taxpayers to accept on faith that there was no subtle "encouragement" is important, especially since this is a school that in 2010 - 2011 gave out of school suspensions to 14% of the students when it ONLY served Kindergarten and first graders!!

nycdoenuts • 8 years ago

Merriman said that the center had “no evidence” that charters counseled out students before testing.

He's right. Charters counsel students out at the end of October, once funding is locked in for the year and they money stays with the charter after the student is counseled out. They don't wait until test time.

NYC Educator • 8 years ago

If you can't trust a paid advocate, who can you trust?

James Merriman • 8 years ago

This is not correct. Under state regulation, specifically 8 nycrr 119.1, charter school per pupil amounts are calculated based on attendance and not on a count day/BEDS day structure as in the case for districts and how their state aid is calculated. If you read the regulation, you'll see the process for making that calculation and adjusting for increases and decreases in enrollment (based on actual attendance) each bi-monthly payment period with a final true-up at the end of the year.

FC White • 8 years ago

Nice try, Mr. Merriman, but your smoke and mirrors bit, couched in bureaucratic BS is absolute nonsense.

You DO push kids out and you do it in a way that makes it difficult, if not impossible to track and prove. Do you think we parents and taxpayers who are paying attention aren't on to you?

Your pathetic excuses and attempts to obscure and confuse us just won't wash, Mr. Merriman. They just won't wash.

NYC Educator • 8 years ago

If you can't trust a paid advocate, who can you trust?

parent010203 • 8 years ago

NYC Educator, James Merriman is stating here clearly that he supports complete transparency, so I am taking him at his word. If any charter school sues to prevent such transparency, I would expect that the NYC Charter School Center would speak out critically against such a school.

James Merriman • 8 years ago

Not to belabor the point, but here is everything you might want to know about invoicing process:



nycdoenuts • 8 years ago

Sounds like a bit of a straw man argument to me. Seems you're speaking of state aid. The district (the DOE) directly gives charters quite a chunk of cash every two months as well. I was referring to that. Seems to me those chunks are based on enrollment. From that law: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ps...

(d) Public school district of residence obligations.

(1) No later than the first business day of July, September, November, January, March and May of the current school year, each public school district with resident pupils attending a charter school shall pay directly to such charter school the appropriate payment amounts as specified in subdivision one of section 2856 of the Education Law that are attributable to the enrollment of such pupils as reported to the public school district by the charter school no later than 30 days prior to each such payment date...

(3) The school district financial obligation per resident student enrolled in a charter school shall equal the sum of:

(i) the product of the school district's adjusted expense per pupil and the current year enrollment of the pupil in the charter school as defined in paragraph (b)(3) of this section; and

(4) The total annual obligation due to a charter school by a public school district shall be the sum of the annual financial obligations for all resident students enrolled at any time during the current school year in the charter school.

(5) School districts shall include the enrollment of resident students attending charter schools in the enrollment, attendance and, if applicable, count of students with disabilities reported to the department for the purposes of claiming State aid.

James Merriman • 8 years ago

I can understand the confusion and I was not as specific as
I should have been in using the word attendance. First things first: charter schools do not receive distinct per pupil aid in the form of state aid directly from the state and then some additional aid from the district (special education funding is a special case and somewhat different in some respects as is federal title funding). Rather state law and implementing regulations require the district to turn over a per pupil amount to the charter school calculated (to simplify) as a subset of the per pupil expenditure of the

As to how one calculates enrollment, the implementing
regulation for the state statute is controlling, since state law gives the commissioner the power to determine it. That regulation, 8 NYCRR 119.1 defines enrollment as:
“Enrollment for each charter school student shall mean the quotient, calculated to three decimals without rounding, obtained when the total number of weeks of the period of enrollment of such student is divided by the total number of weeks in the full school year of the educational program or service of the charter
school. For the purposes of this section, three consecutive days of enrollment within the same week and within the same month shall be the equivalent of one week of enrollment, provided that no more than four weeks of enrollment may be counted in any calendar month.“
In other words, enrollment is determined by the number of weeks a
student is enrolled divided by the number of weeks in the charter school’s yearly schedule. In explaining this, I sloppily used the word attendance, which is a related but different concept. Because of how the commissioner’s regulation defines enrollment for this purpose, and If you read the entire regulation, you’ll see
there is a process for truing up projected enrollment for a billing period against the “actual enrollment” meaning actual weeks the student is enrolled, which is necessary given that students may come and go during each of those bi-monthly payment periods.

I appreciate and understand your skepticism but on this
issue, there is little room for interpretation.

parent010203 • 8 years ago

James Merriman, would you support an audit that looks at why a charter school went from 106 2nd graders to 80 3rd graders in a single year (coincidentally, a testing year)? We know the numbers from the NYSED, but what we don't know is where all those students went. Nor do we know why there seemed to be no effort made to replace them with new students, since the charter's policy is to fill those seats in 3rd grade. To alleviate taxpayers' fears that there is something funny going on, would you support such an audit? If charter school representatives such as yourself would support that kind of transparency, many parents would be much happier to support them. I know it is unfair to tarnish all charter schools just because some may be aggressive in "encouraging" struggling learners to leave. So transparency would be a wonderful thing and I hope you agree. And I would support you if you know of any public elementary schools that lose 25% of students in a single year -- they too should be audited so it is transparent as to why so many students left.

FC White • 8 years ago

ALL charter schools are scams; and every single one has the same goal: to destroy free, universal public education for every child and to eliminate the locally controlled, neighborhood public school.

FC White • 8 years ago

More lies. When will you stop, sir?

nycdoenuts • 8 years ago

That was actually a straight forward explanation and thanks for it. Reading it over, it does look like the distribution is handled on a bi-monthly basis but, as you say, Special Ed funding is a bit different (as are titles I and III funding). Just putting that out there.
First, the statute seems to be interested in the total number of students enrolled. So if a given charter releases students that do not seem to be the type they can work with, replacing those students with others would seem to be a fairly simple solution. There is great demand for charters. If a students 'isn't a good fit' and goes to a district school, there is another student waiting for the seat, no? Some thoughts on a practice like this (asking because there are lots of charters who do play by the rules and work with the students they select from start to finish. It would seem practical to call the others out).

Second, your defense is admirable (honest observation), but it really doesn't square with the oodles of anecdotes out there from district schools, Those stories say -pretty clearly, I think- that charters release students to the district schools (and, as I've heard, particularly after the DOE school budgets are locked at the end of October. The accusation is that the district school receives the students, but not budget adjustments for the students). Right now, the defense doesn't square with that. It seems like you've given the chancellor a choice to either present enrollment information to prove her assertion -which would, of course, call out powerful charter organizations by name, and start another word war (6 weeks before budget season) or shut up about the topic altogether. Those are tough terms to dictate. Have you at least checked with district schools as to what some of their experiences are on the ground?

(by the way, honest engagement is always cool Thanks for it.)

FC White • 8 years ago

You're far too kind, and too accommodating, but I admire you for your civility and kindness, despite the fact that Mr. Merriman and his ilk are clearly underserving of either.

James Merriman • 8 years ago

A couple of additional things in response and then I will sign off. First, thank you for taking the time to take a look at the regulation in question. Indeed, other states have a count day for charters; I'm grateful we do not.

You raise the issue that seemingly even if the charter school does not keep the per pupil if the student leaves the school, the receiving district school doesn't get the budget credit from NYC DOE (though DOE itself of course gets to keep the revenue it would have otherwise been required to transfer to the charter). I'm not sure how NYC DOE adjusts the school based budget and to what extent more generally (since this issue is applicable to all students who enter, or who leave, mid-year). But my non-informed thought is that DOE should adjust and it would in most instances be a good thing for money to follow the child. But I can appreciate that this likely gets complicated very fast.

On transparency. The NYC Charter School Center supports more transparency around student enrollment structures and how student load is distributed across district and charter schools. We've called for it many times as have others in my sector and on the district side--though all of us being human we each tend to stress the importance of some data more than others! The conversations folks are having are fraught enough as it is; they should be informed by data and not by anecdote, though anecdote can suggest data that is particularly important to unearth in some instances.

Of course, transparency, important as it is, will not result automatically in agreement on the policies that one supports. The fact is that in public education we have competing values in how we should set up enrollment and distribute load among schools. To name just a few: equity/fairness, parent choice (which is not by any means limited to charters--think G&T and enrollment zones), the efficacy of specialization and economies of scale that it can bring, the desire for schools to serve not just as educational institutions but social ones as well, etc. These values not only do not necessarily co-exist well; they often clash.

But without the data, and in trying to figure out as a society what we value, we truly will be ignorant armies [that] clash by night.

I wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving,.


parent010203 • 8 years ago

I also appreciate your response and I truly hope you will be speaking out if any charter schools try to prevent close auditing of where the many students who left their schools went. It's nice to have you on the record supporting transparency here.

However, your organization and other charter schools have spent a lot of money advertising your concern for the hundreds of thousands of students trapped in failing schools. If your most successful charter schools have policies in place that lead to a good % of exactly those students leaving, it's hard for me to fathom why you would support such a school. Every time you mention "choice", it seems to be an excuse for a charter school to open in a middle class neighborhood where they don't have to educate many of the students in failing public schools. And yes, I am quite certain that there won't be high attrition rates at those schools, either.

I think the enrollment records will tell the tale. If a charter school with students who are primarily middle class and affluent has a low attrition rate, and a charter school with students who are primarily low-income has a high attrition rate, then that needs to be investigated. And not simply dismissed as irrelevant because students leave failing schools in large number (of course they do!) Schools that are doing well do not lose high numbers of students, whether they are low-income or high-income and any that does should be examined closely. I am so glad you support transparency here. Thank you very much.

FC White • 8 years ago

Thank you for writing this. But Merriman's "support of transparency" is as transparent as it comes!

Merriman and the people he is in bed with will do or say anything necessary to keep the wolf---i.e. parents and taxpayers and the rarely supportive media---from the door!

He's not telling the truth. But I agree it's good you've called him out here. Kudos!

FC White • 8 years ago

More nonsense. More attempts to obscure the obvious. The reason you ARE "belaboring the point" is because we have the goods on you and the ilk that supports you and is fully committed to imposing a New Orleans horror show on our public schools in NYC.

You're a disgrace, Mr. Merriman. And you're also an example, unfortunately, of the type of shill who will do or say anything to retain your position, your power and your money; the latter of which is just a "rounding error" to your backers, or, as they undoubtedly think of it, "crumbs from our banquet table that we allow the pets to come and lick off of the floor."

johny appleseed • 8 years ago

charter schools are a complete farce..they are filled with people who came over from the recession from various jobs and they were kicked out...so, what do they do, come to the nyc school system and say hey here is a place we can hang our hat..so you now have these losers from other industries coming into education and thinking they are going to save the world..Piece of crap is what they are believe me..money sucking excuses of humans...basic john smoes...

Guest • 8 years ago

I suggest the NYC Charter School center consider a lawsuit for defamation.

FC White • 8 years ago

They WOULDN'T and COULDN'T do that, because they would lose and they know it. Easier to "Hit And Run" in typical Charter Scam Style, knowing that the news cycle will move on by the time the NYC schools have taken the time and energy and human resources to produce a verifiable report---which they could, without a doubt. Those of us paying attention know this strictly from personal experience and a plethora of anecdotes.

But in a court case, there NYC schools would have adequate time to get this done and Merriman and his cohorts would be left with their shorts down in front of the world.

And their billionaire backers would NEVER tolerate that.

heights res • 8 years ago

After working as a teacher and administrator in public education all around NYC for 34yrs, I KNOW that students regularly appeared at local, neighborhood schools as over-the-counter transfers on Nov 1, the day after school budgets were set for the year. Not one or two students, sometimes up to 10-15 students, per school. Long ago they came from parochial and/or exclusive private schools - in more recent years, almost all from charters. We're talking general ed and special ed, all grades. It's common knowledge among public school educators. The duplicitous "shock" at the Chancellor's comment is sadly humorous - reminds me of a very famous gambling scene in the movie, Casablanca....

vanna • 8 years ago

The charter school sector is a private side show that keeps looking up to the big dog - public schools - and will do anything including throwing kids under the bus or defend any type of critique of how charters operate. Any teacher who works at a charter school is working for peanuts and a bag of books while the operators are sucking up millions.. Only the weak of mind are fooled by the smoke and mirrors.

a.g. • 8 years ago

data from Farina on what's going on with transfers out of Boys and Girls would also be useful!

parent010203 • 8 years ago

I think the DOE is trying to copy the "best practices" of Success Academy. Isn't that what Success Academy keeps telling them to do? At Boys and Girls High School, all those students left "voluntarily", just like the ones at Success Academy did.

Anonymous • 8 years ago

A former teacher colleague of mine left to become a Special Education supervisor for Democracy Prep Charter Schools. During first year in that role, I was contacted for suggestions about how to discuss with a parent that the school might not be the "best fit" for the student. I am not so close with this former colleague anymore.

Here's your proof that they "council out" special education students.

gdecker1 • 8 years ago

Democracy Prep was actually one of the networks found to have the highest attrition rates in Schoolbook's 2012 analysis.

johny appleseed • 8 years ago

Bloomberg snubbed at nyc train yard ceremony.....ahhhh...aha aha aha aha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha everyone cannot stand this guy and no one even wants to mention this sorry creep excuse for a human...He is a midget above the tv show small people ha ha ha omg cannot stand this ...lollollollollollollol rolling over

Larry Littlefield • 8 years ago

Isn't the biggest issue here that savvy special ed parents are forcing the city to bus their kids to the suburbs, or pay for private school, instead of having them in any city school at all, charter or otherwise? How could that be? That is the biggest issue financially.

johny appleseed • 8 years ago

Hey littlefield let me quote you "you said that charter schools are a complete farce and that they are a bunch of people out to just get a job as teachers make only 20 k per school year". You know larry this just is not the case...The teachers at the charter schools make on 18k per year....Now then, can you compute their pension larry littlefield....yeah, you are finally right about pensions...they get 0, zero, nada, bilch, gotcha littlefield...please blog at another site sorry seeing you write about crap nobody cares about

Guest • 8 years ago
FC White • 8 years ago

Oh, nice try, shill. How much are they paying you to post here and defend their attempts to privatize all public schools?

Tell them they're wasting their money. Anyone can cut and paste. You're disgraceful.