Statement 8.3


Parents Deliver Letters to City Hall Echoing Message of New Q Poll and State Test Scores: NYC Families Want and Need High-Quality Charter Schools

Families Call on de Blasio Admin to Stop Barring Charter Expansion and Give All Public Schools Fair Access to Public Space

New York, NY – Public charter school parents gathered at City Hall Wednesday morning to deliver letters to Mayor de Blasio demanding that his administration stop blocking the expansion of high-quality public charter schools. This call to action came days after the release of New York State test scores showing NYC charter schools’ remarkable results — especially among black and Hispanic students — and one day after the release of a new Quinnipiac University Poll showing that city parents would rather send their children to public charter schools than traditional district schools.

Over the next two years, New York City’s leading charters plan to open 50 new schools that will educate some of the city’s most vulnerable students, serve families from every zip code, and get as many children as possible off of waitlists and into the classroom. Mayor de Blasio has refused to support the expansion of these innovative schools, despite the rising demand for seats at public charter schools and despite charter schools’ proven record of excellence. Instead, he has repeatedly blocked public charter schools from the public classroom facilities they deserve equal access to  — including the 150,000 seats currently open across the city.

The need for more high-quality charter schools was doubly underscored by the release last Friday of the 2016 New York State Grade 3-8 Math and English Language Arts Assessment results and by the release on Tuesday of a new Quinnipiac University Poll that focused in part on the New York City school system.

This year’s state test results highlighted the especially life-changing impact that New York City’s public charter schools have on the black and Hispanic students who make up 92% of their student body. At 76% of city charters, students outpaced their district school peers in Math, and at 71% of charters students scored higher than district students in ELA. Overall, black and Hispanic students at NYC charter schools scored 73% higher on this year’s state exams than their district school counterparts.

Families across New York City see that charter schools are producing amazing results, and clearly understand the value of a charter education. In the Q Poll released on Tuesday, 51% of individuals surveyed said they would rather send their children to a public charter school than a traditional district school, and 45% believed that Mayor de Blasio should expand the number of charter schools in the five boroughs.

Standing on the steps of City Hall Wednesday morning, parents and advocates explained why public charters were the best choice for their families, and urged Mayor de Blasio to end his discriminatory policies on space.

“Over 44,000 children around New York City are waiting for the opportunity given to my daughter,” said Sharita Moore-Willis, a public charter school parent from the Bronx. “Other families must have the opportunity to choose better schools.”

“These letters are being carried by families who have witnessed the extraordinary impact of public charter schools in their neighborhoods, and are calling on Mayor de Blasio to seize an opportunity to erase the achievement gap simply by increasing the number of schools,” said Jeremiah Kittredge, CEO of Families for Excellent Schools. “The Mayor should listen to the majority of New Yorkers who want to see more charter schools and support their expansion.”

Families for Excellent Schools harnesses the power of families to advance policy and political changes that create and sustain excellent schools.

On Twitter at: @Fam4ExcSchools