Charter Schools

In his book, Reinventing America’s Schools, author David Osborne argues that we should treat every public school like a charter school. He suggests an emphasis on autonomy, accountability of performance, diversity in school design, and parental choice. Osborne is in Rochester to meet with school leaders to discuss his ideas for the future of education, but first, he joins us Connections.

What are your thoughts on charter schools? That question garners many different answers, and it is one of the most polarizing subjects we can discuss on the program. This hour, we preview a documentary called Backpack Full of Cash. It will be screened at The Little Theatre on November 30, and it explores how different cities have privatized their schools, and the impact that move had on their public schools.

This hour, we discuss the costs and benefits of charter schools, the impact on public school funding, and how to create schools that work well for all students. Our guests:

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Eight charter schools in Rochester and New York City are getting $500,000 each to share what makes them successful.

The New York State Education Department announced the three-year, federally funded grants on Wednesday.

The schools are to use the grants to disseminate their best practices to school districts, including school leadership structures, professional development programs, disciplinary practices and school calendar changes.

Charter School Advocates Call for Equal Funding

Feb 23, 2016
Alex Crichton

For every dollar spent on a Rochester City School student to be educated, a Rochester Charter School Student only gets 68 cents, and that's not fair.

That's according to Advocacy Manager with the Northeast Charter Schools Network, Duncan Kirkwood, whose group supports a lawsuit filed against the state over the way New York funds charter schools.

Parents, students and charter school advocates gathered at the Rochester Academy Charter School to not only call for equal funding, but to register voters so they can contact their lawmakers.

We look at the growth of charter schools with reporter Justin Murphy, who wrote the recent story in the Democrat & Chronicle titled, "Charter Schools: As Movement Grows, Oversight Lags." Murphy's investigation looked at the money and connections involved with a local group. Our guests:

  • Justin Murphy, education reporter, Democrat and Chronicle
  • David Hursh, professor of teaching and curriculum, University of Rochester Warner School of Education
  • Shawgi Tell, associate professor of social and psychological foundations of education, Nazareth College
  • Geoffrey Rosenberger, chairman of the board, True North Rochester Preparatory Charter School

A charter school in Brooklyn has been in some trouble for creating a so-called "Got to Go" list of students. The allegation is that the school can boost its scores and other numbers by removing troubled students.

That kind of list is illegal, and a story in the New York Times prompted parents across the state to ask if other charter schools are stacking the decks. Locally, they say the answer is no. We talk about how discipline is handled, test scores, and more. Our guests:


Parents of charter school students in Rochester and Buffalo are suing New York State for more money. What's it all about? We'll learn about Brown v. New York, the case that contends charter schools are getting shortchanged when it comes to funding. The suit says New York's funding system is unconstitutional because charter students receive as little as three-fifths of what public districts receive to educate students. Who's right? What happens if charter schools see an increase in funding? Our panel:

  • Maria Delmau, parent of two daughters at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School
  • Jeff Halsdorfer, principal at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School, the oldest charter school in Rochester
  • Harold Hines, Legal Director of the Northeast Charter Schools Network
  • Eamonn Scanlon, Education Organizer for Metro Justice and the Alliance for Quality Education
  • Sally Williams, grandparent of public school students

Education Friday: The Charter School Debate

Mar 21, 2014

The charter school debate continues as Frank Cegelski talks with Mehmet Demirtas, Cheryl Sampson, and Jennifer Doyle.

A new charter school could be coming to Rochester next fall with a focus on connecting young men, some high school drop-outs, to local employment. WXXI’s Hélène Biandudi Hofer has more on Vertus Charter High School. The school for boys is still awaiting approval from the New York State Education Department. A decision will be made this fall.