Throwing in the towel spares the UFT the humiliation of having state officials close the school, but the debacle should be studied closely, and remembered the next time union officials denigrate the contributions of charter schools.There were bright promises from the UFT's President Randi Weingarten back in 2005;
“Our charter schools will be leaders in scholastic innovation and the perfect environment for the UFT to demonstrate that its educational priorities work,” Weingarten said in a statement announcing a $1 million grant from the Broad Foundation to help launch the school.
“Our schools will show real, quantifiable student achievement and with those results, finally dispel the misguided and simplistic notion that the union contract is an impediment to success,” her statement said.But only dismal performance for the jewel in their crown;
In 2013, only 4% of the school’s eighth-graders ranked as proficient on math exams - the third worst performance of any charter school — compared with 29.6% for district schools citywide, according to the New York City Charter School Center. In English, the school came in dead last among city charters, with only 3% of the kids ranked as proficient.
While students in the school’s upper grades have done much better, the lower grades had worse numbers than its home District 19.
The poor performance can’t be blamed on a high percentage of special-education or English Language Learner students. As the Daily News reported in 2010, only 9% of the school’s students were in special education (compared with 13% for District 19) and only 1% were English Language Learners (compared with 14% for the district).[Thanks to our diligent intelligence operatives in NYC for this information.]