At #PathtoPossible March, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Civil Rights Activist Common, Families and Educators Make United Call: Double City’s Charter Sector to 200,000 Students by 2020

**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE** SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

At #PathtoPossible March, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Civil Rights Activist Common, Families and Educators Make United Call: Double City’s Charter Sector to 200,000 Students by 2020

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Joins City Leaders and 25,000 Parents From Every Borough in Unprecedented Show of Support for Public Charter Schools

Nearly 6,000 Letters Delivered Today to State Senators, Assemblymen, City Council, and Congressional Delegation in Support of 200,000 Students in Charters

New York City Charter Sector is Now Highest-Performing Scaled Charter Sector in the United States

#PathtoPossible Trends on Twitter and Earns More Than 11 Million Impressions

New York, NY – 25,000 parents, students, and educators marched alongside Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and civil rights activist Common in Prospect Park Wednesday morning to embrace the power and promise of New York City’s public charter schools as they double in size to serve 200,000 students by 2020.

This fall, city charters surpassed the milestone of educating more than 100,000 students per year, or 10% of the total school population. New York City is now the highest-performing scaled charter sector in the country, larger than the entire school districts of Washington D.C., Baltimore, Boston, and San Francisco.

Celebrating this turning point, the march was an unprecedented demonstration of community support for public charter schools. Parents marched from 150 schools and all five boroughs, and were joined by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Earlier this week, more than 20 city and state elected officials signed a public letter of support for the march.

“New York City charter schools have had an incredible impact on children across the city,” said Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. “I strongly support public charter schools, and the effort to double charter school enrollment by the end of the decade.”

“Every kid from every neighborhood deserves a great education, and New York City’s public charter schools are bringing this vision to life,” said Common. “I’m proud to support charter school families in their fight to put 200,000 students on the Path to Possible.”

“Serving over 100,000 students is a critical milestone, but it is not the top of the mountain,” said Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “I’m proud to stand with parents, teachers and community leaders as they rally in support of these great public schools.”

“We’re marching because all children deserve what ours have,” said Johanna Cabral, a public charter school parent from Manhattan. “We’re marching because the stakes for our city’s children are way too high for us to fail. We need 200,000 kids to be able to attend a public charter school by 2020.”

“For my entire life, NYC public schools told me ‘you can’t’. They set me up for failure,”,” said Sharita Moore-Willis, a mother from the Bronx. “I am marching so my daughter, and 200,000 children in communities like mine will never go through the same experience and will finally get the great schools they deserve.”

“We may be from different places, but we all believe in the same idea: public charter schools are the path to possible for children all across New York City,” said Fatimah Barker, Principal of Achievement First East New York Middle School and the march’s emcee. “That’s why we’re going to fight to serve 200,000 children by 2020.”

“New York City’s public charter schools are changing lives from Staten Island to the South Bronx, but parents will not rest until every child can access the path to possible,” said Jeremiah Kittredge, CEO of Families for Excellent Schools. “If city leaders will stand with public charter schools and give them equal access to public space, together they can double their reach to serve 200,000 kids by 2020 and close the racial achievement gap once and for all.”

The city’s charter sector is now a national model, and the solution to urban education inequality. Doubling the size of the sector to 200,000 children served would eliminate the city’s racial achievement gap. New York City can reach this milestone by 2020 if city leaders treat charter school children equitably by providing access to public school space, which is prolifically available.

As “The Path to Possible” demonstrates, public charter schools have had an especially profound impact on New York City’s most underserved neighborhoods, where they act as a vital alternative to failing district schools. In the eight lowest-performing community school districts, 90% of students are low-income children of color. The black and Hispanic charter school students in these neighborhoods have improved by 19 percentage points in reading and math since 2013, showing three times as much academic growth as their peers trapped in district schools and outpacing the city average by 10 percentage points.

If the public charter sector doubles in size, charter schools will be able to eliminate the achievement gap in the city’s failing school districts. In Brownsville and Bedford-Stuyvesant, for example, it would mean these districts would outperform city-wide averages on state exams.

Key Findings from “The Path to Possible”:

In New York City’s eight worst community school districts, public charter schools are the only viable path to possibility for high-need children. Since 2013, public charter school students in these neighborhoods have improved by 19 percentage points in reading and math — 10 points more than the city as a whole and more than three times the gains of their district school peers.

In the three lowest-performing districts — Central Harlem, Brownsville, and Bedford-Stuyvesant — nearly 90 percent of the growth in students passing state exams came from charters, even though charters enrolled just 35 percent of test takers.

Despite serving just 9 percent of test-takers, 29 percent of the city’s overall growth in students passing state exams since 2013 has come from charter schools. This means that a sector enrolling less than 10 percent of the city’s children is responsible for nearly one-third of its overall improvement.

Doubling the public charter sector to 200,000 children would boost the number of students passing state exams far enough that they would surpass New York City’s district-wide averages — closing the citywide achievement gap.

City, State, and Federal Elected Leaders Supporting The Path to Possible

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries
Senator Martin Golden
Senator Diane Savino
Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.
Senator Simcha Felder
Assembly Member Phillip Goldfeder
Assembly Member Michaelle Solages
Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez
Assembly Member Marcos Crespo
Assembly Member Carmen Arroyo
Assembly Member Mark Gjonaj
Assembly Member Guillermo Linares
Assembly Member Luis Sepulveda
Council Member Darlene Mealy
Council Member Rafael Espinal
Council Member Robert Cornegy
Council Member Rafael Salamanca
Council Member Annabel Palma
Council Member Eric Ulrich
Council Member Fernando Cabrera
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson*
Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Borough President of Staten Island James Oddo

Participating Charter Schools:

Achievement First Apollo Elementary School
Achievement First Apollo Middle School
Achievement First Aspire Elementary School
Achievement First Brooklyn High School
Achievement First Brownsville Elementary School
Achievement First Brownsville Middle School
Achievement First Bushwick Elementary School
Achievement First Bushwick Middle School
Achievement First Crown Heights Elementary School
Achievement First Crown Heights Middle School
Achievement First East Brooklyn Elementary School
Achievement First East New York Elementary School
Achievement First East New York Middle School
Achievement First Endeavor Elementary School
Achievement First Endeavor Middle School
Achievement First Linden Elementary School
Achievement First North Brooklyn Prep Elementary School
Achievement First University Prep High School
Achievement First Voyager Middle School
Coalition of Community Charter Schools
Northeast Charter Schools Network
Brooklyn Ascend Lower
Brooklyn Ascend Middle
Brooklyn Ascend High
Brownsville Ascend Lower
Brownsville Ascend Middle
Bushwick Ascend Lower
Bushwick Ascend Middle
Canarsie Ascend Lower
Central Brooklyn Ascend Lower
Downtown Brooklyn Elementary School
Windsor Terrace Middle School
Clinton Hill Middle School
Brooklyn Prospect High School
South Bronx Classical 1
Coney Island Prep Elementary School
Coney Island Prep Middle School
Coney Island Prep High School
Icahn Charter School 1
Icahn Charter School 2
Icahn Charter School 3
Icahn Charter School 4
Icahn Charter School 5
Icahn Charter School 6
Icahn Charter School 7
Boys Prep Elementary School
Girls Prep Bronx Elementary School
Girls Prep Bronx Middle School
Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary School
Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle School
Academy of the City
Bronx Charter for the Arts
Bronx Charter School for Children
Bronx Charter School for Excellence 1
Bronx Charter School for Excellence 2
Great Oaks Charter School
Growing Up Green I Elementary School
Growing Up Green I Middle School
Growing Up Green II Elementary School
Hellenic Charter School
New Dawn Charter High School
Renaissance Charter School
VOICE Charter School
KIPP Academy Elementary
KIPP Academy Middle
KIPP AMP Elementary
KIPP AMP Middle
KIPP Infinity Elementary
KIPP Infinity Middle
KIPP NYC College Prep High School
KIPP STAR Harlem College Prep Elementary
KIPP STAR Harlem Middle
KIPP Washington Heights Elementary
KIPP Washington Heights Middle
KIPP Through College (KTC)
Success Academy Bed-Stuy 1
Success Academy Bed-Stuy Middle
Success Academy Bed-Stuy 2
Success Academy Bed-Stuy 3
Success Academy Bensonhurst
Success Academy Bergen Beach
Success Academy Bronx 1
Success Academy Bronx 1 Middle
Success Academy Bronx 2
Success Academy Bronx 2 Middle
Success Academy Bronx 3 Lower
Success Academy Bronx 3 Upper
Success Academy Bronx 4
Success Academy Bushwick
Success Academy Cobble Hill
Success Academy Cobble Hill Middle
Success Academy Crown Heights
Success Academy Far Rockaway
Success Academy Flatbush
Success Academy Fort Greene
Success Academy Harlem 1
Success Academy Harlem 2
Success Academy Harlem 3 Upper
Success Academy Harlem 3 Lower
Success Academy Harlem 4
Success Academy Harlem 5
Success Academy Harlem East
Success Academy Hell’s Kitchen
Success Academy Midtown West Middle
Success Academy Prospect Heights
Success Academy Rosedale
Success Academy South Jamaica
Success Academy Springfield Gardens
Success Academy Union Square
Success Academy Upper West
Success Academy Washington Heights
Success Academy Williamsburg
Success Academy Williamsburg Middle
Success Academy Bronx 2 MS
Success Academy Harlem Central
Success Academy Harlem North Central
Success Academy Harlem North West
Success Academy Harlem West
Success Academy High School of the Liberal Arts
Bed-Stuy Collegiate
Brooklyn East Collegiate
Brownsville Collegiate
Excellence Boys Elementary Academy
Excellence Boys Middle Academy
Excellence Girls Elementary Academy
Excellence Girls Middle Academy
Kings Collegiate
Kings Elementary
Leadership Prep Bed-Stuy Elementary Academy
Leadership Prep Bed-Stuy Middle Academy
Leadership Prep Brownsville Elementary Academy
Leadership Prep Brownsville Middle Academy
Leadership Prep Canarsie Elementary Academy
Leadership Prep Canarsie Middle Academy
Leadership Prep Ocean Hill Elementary Academy
Leadership Prep Ocean Hill Middle Academy
Ocean Hill Collegiate
Uncommon Charter High School
Uncommon Collegiate Charter High School
Uncommon Prep Charter High School
Williamsburg Collegiate
Teaching Firms of America

###