Families for Excellent Schools (FES), a grassroots charter school organization based in New York City, has announced it will call on state leaders to place all 178 state-designated “priority” schools in New York under receivership this fall, according to a press release.
Priority schools are those which have been designated as the lowest-performing in the state, with the lowest test scores, and graduation rates, officials from the organization stated.
Rochester has 16 schools which have been designated as priority schools.
Officials said state receivership can mean a school has been turned over to a state-appointed receiver, such as a charter school operator, or other official in educational management, who may offer a turnaround strategy for the school.
Locally, the plan would be similar to the University of Rochester’s proposal to takeover leadership of East High School.
According to FES, a receivership model would free chronically failing schools from bureaucratic obstacles, placing them under the stewardship of proven operators.
And, if the schools were unable to improve, organization officials said they would then recommend the schools should close.
“When cities like New York City refuse to take bold action to fix the city’s failing schools, we need the state to act urgently,” said Jeremiah Kittredge, CEO of Families for Excellent Schools. “Statewide, 800,000 children fail every year—we cannot accept that any longer.
FES officials said additional, specific features of the state’s 178 failing schools include:
- Title I (high-poverty) schools that are persistently low-achieving, and among the bottom 5 percent of the lowest-performing schools in the state.
- Title I, or Title I-eligible, secondary schools with graduation rates which have been less than 60 percent for a number of years.
- Title I, or Title I-eligible, schools implementing school intervention models using the School Improvement Grants fund (SIG).
Reportedly, FES was founded in 2011, and four of its five founding board members are Wall Street players, including Paul Appelbaum, an investor who is the principal at Rock Ventures LLC, and Bryan Lawrence, who runs an investment firm and has years of experience with charters.
Click here for additional information regarding the organization.