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    Hamilton Director Thomas Kail Visits Namesake Classroom




    Acclaimed Broadway Director Thomas Kail spent the morning with his first grade Namesake classroom at Boys Prep Bronx Elementary School earlier this month in his second visit to the school since it opened its doors last year. The students shared their favorite Morning Meeting greeting with Kail and asked him questions, including whether he makes plays for kids and if he ever fights with his "brother," fellow Boys Prep Namesake Lin-Manuel Miranda. Kail described his recent work on Hamilton, which opened on Broadway this summer and broke ticket sales records, and Grease: Live, which will air live on Fox on January 31st, 2016

    When asked if he has ever had to work on a project that he didn't like, Kail responded, "Sometimes you are assigned things that you don't necessarily love. What you have to do is find something you love within that assignment."

    We are grateful to have Kail as a role model for the Miranda/Kail Class. He inspires our boys to chase their dreams and demonstrates that anything is possible 
     especially with the support of your brothers!

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    In First ‘Algebra for All’ Effort, City Will Push Schools to Centralize Fifth Grade Math

    In a change that could shift the way elementary schools work across New York City, officials want more fifth-graders to learn math from teachers chosen to focus on the subject, rather than their general classroom teachers.

    The city will begin centralizing fifth-grade math next year at interested schools, according to a memo sent to principals this week, and will spread the policy further over the next five years. That memo and other documents posted online for principals describe the change as the first step in the city’s campaign to make sure more eighth-graders are prepared for algebra, a goal Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled last fall.

    At most of the city’s elementary schools, core subjects like reading and math are taught by the same classroom teachers. In the memo, officials asked interested principals to designate fifth-grade teachers to take on the central math role for their grade.

    Some researchers say quality of math instruction increases with a designated teacher, especially since many elementary-level teachers aren’t excited about math or don’t feel prepared to teach it.

    “It’s almost like people who are afraid of math flock to elementary school education,” said Clara Hemphill, one of the authors of a 2015 report from the New School’s Center for New York City Affairs that called for more intensive math teaching in fifth grade.

    The introduction of the Common Core standards have added to the complexity of the task. Last year, about 41 percent of city fifth-graders the state’s math exam. Meanwhile, recent statistics show that few are prepared for upper-level math by the time they reach high school.

    “With the Common Core, we’re expecting more mathematics understanding from teachers, and this enables districts to focus resources,” said Diane Briars, the president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

    “Departmentalizing” math allows teachers with math anxiety to focus on other subjects, Hemphill said, and leaves those passionate about math to teach it. That’s what happened at the Girls Prep charter schools when they separated math instruction, according to Ian Rowe, the leader of the Public Prep charter school network.

    “The folks who are our dedicated math teachers love the fact that they can really dive deep and really focus on not just procedural math but really getting our scholars critical thinking skills in math,” he said.

    Some schools have long used or experimented with more specialized approaches. P.S. 183 Robert L. Stevenson and the Lower Lab School, both on the Upper East Side, have separate math instruction, Hemphill said.

    Others were surprised that this would be the city’s move to improve math instruction.

    Darlene Cameron, principal of STAR Academy-P.S. 63 in the East Village, said she would have questions about placing the responsibility for a grade’s math instruction in the hands of a single teacher, especially since so many students are already far behind when they reach fifth grade.

    “Are people looking at the fifth-graders we have today? Many of them are still working on basic, single-digit multiplication,” she said.

    It’s unclear how many schools the city would like to include in the new plan. Education department officials said the training would be research-based and that schools can choose to participate.

    According to the posted overview of the initial “Algebra for All” initiatives, the first wave of participating teachers will have three days of training this spring, 12 days of training over the summer, and sessions throughout next school year.

    To Courtney Allison, the deputy director of Math for America and a former sixth-grade teacher, encouraging schools to departmentalize fifth-grade math is a smart idea that could help make sure students arrive prepared for middle school.

    “It’s exciting to see them turn their attention to mathematics,” she said of the city.


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    Charter school advocates hold funding rally in Albany

    Associated Press, Updated 1:44 pm, Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Hundreds of charter school students and parents from New York City have rallied at the state Capitol in what has become an annual event to push for greater funding.

    Speakers at Wednesday's rally said they'll push lawmakers to increase funding for charters, which they say are a useful and innovative alternative to traditional public schools when given the appropriate resources.

    Charter advocates say the institutions are underfunded when compared to regular public schools and they want lawmakers to support Gov. Andrew Cuomo's call for more equitable distribution of resources.

    Advocates of traditional public schools say charters can't serve all students and say the state must focus on increasing funds to high-need public schools in poor districts.


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    Charter school groups rally for more funding at state Capitol

    By Bethany Bump 

    Hundreds of parents and children from New York City converged on the state Capitol Wednesday to call for parity in the way the state funds district schools and charter schools.

    The rally, organized by Families for Excellent Schools, featured musical performances and speeches from parents and elected officials. In their quest for more state funding, charter school advocates point out that the state has increased its spending per student by $2,113 at New York City district schools and only $350 for New York City charter schools.

    Here’s more from their news release:

    Hundreds of parents from New York City public charter schools will travel to Albany on Wednesday for “Education Equality Day.” They will call on legislators to fix a growing gap in school funding that shortchanges public charter school students and threatens the future of their schools. Parents will hold meetings with their elected leaders to explain the growing need to reach funding parity for the nearly 100,000 students in New York City charter schools, and the event will feature exhibitions and performances highlighting their exceptional quality and depth of parent demand. Assembly Members Robert Rodriguez, Mark Gjonaj, Luis Sepúlveda, and many others will address the crowd of families in the Well of the Capitol Building.

    Since 2010, the funding formula providing to public charter schools has been frozen, allowing the per-pupil funding that flows to students in district schools to outpace that of charter schools by more than six times. This year, Governor Cuomo took a critical step forward by proposing an “unfreeze” in the charter funding formula. Now, the State Legislature has an urgent opportunity to equalize funding for public charter school students.

    FUND OUR KIDS EQUALLY

    Since the creation of charters the lack of equal funding has plagued parents who desperately want to choose their child’s school. Unfortunately in 2010, this lack of parity for district public schools and public charter schools worsened.  Last week, Governor Cuomo took an important step forward by proposing unfreezing the state’s funding formula for New York City charter schools, and in so doing, his administration endorsed the most viable solution for ending education inequality in the state: public charter schools and parent choice.

    Public charter schools are a proven solution to ending separate and unequal schooling. Serving some of New York City’s highest-need families, charter schools have become the alternative to a separate and unequal school system that robs children of opportunity. Black and Hispanic students in New York City’s charter schools performed nearly twice as well in math and nearly 50% better in English Language Arts than their peers in traditional district schools.

    Yet despite these amazing results, NYC’s public charter school students have often been shortchanged when it comes to funding, and are in serious need of relief.

    When New York’s legislature passed the charter school law in 1998, it included a formula pegging public charter school funding to district school spending to ensure that charter schools would not be discriminated against when district school funding increased. In 2010, however, that formula was “frozen,” and it remains so to this day. As a result, public charter school funding has been lagging dramatically, particularly in New York City.

    As the chart shows, Mayor de Blasio has significantly increased NYC district school spending while charter school funding has stagnated. Although the state legislature has added a few hundred dollars per student to public charter school funding in recent years, those increases have fallen far short of district school increases.

    As an example, over the past five years, funding for New York City’ district school students grew by $2,113 per student. But public charter school funding increased just $350 in the same time period, and even that slight boost is due only to temporary supplemental funding, set to expire after 2016-17. That increase in spending for New York City’s district school students was six times as much as the increase in funding for public charter school students.

    Moreover, since they were created in 1998, New York public charter schools have received less per pupil funding than district schools. While the Independent Budget Office has argued this disparity is relatively small, that math is based in a problematic calculation of “supplemental public support” — the benefit of using space in co-located DOE buildings — at about $4,000 per pupil, the value of both the space and the associated services. This estimate includes expenses such as transportation, food service, textbooks, which not all charter school students use.  Additionally, it fails to recognize that public charter schools also do not get funding for renovations or the costs related to opening a new school.

    Without equitable funding, public charter schools:

    • Won’t be able to offer the robust and varied curriculum so essential for preparing students for college.

    • Won’t be able to provide competitive compensation or high-quality professional development to teachers and staff, potentially losing valuable talent.

    • Will be forced to reduce expenses, which would impact staffing, salaries, programming, field trips, chess tournaments, robotics, music, art — many of the special programs that families love about public charter schools.

    • Will be limited in their ability to serve more students from waiting lists.  In New York City, more than 43,000 families are on waiting lists, desperate for the opportunity to exercise choice.

    • Public charter school students, families, and teachers deserve better.  And so do their friends and neighbors stuck on waiting lists, or in failing schools.

    • It’s long past time for New York to fund all students equally — so that every child can get the education they deserve.  It’s time for funding parity for public charter schools.


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    Charter school supporters rally in Albany for equal money

    By Kirstan Conley and Bob Fredericks
    January 21, 2016 | 1:03am
    New York Post

    More than 500 cheering, chanting New York City charter-school students and supporters rallied in Albany on Wednesday to demand equality with traditional public schools when it comes to state funding.

    Wearing bright-yellow shirts with the rallying cry, “I Love My Charter School,” they gathered in the Legislative Office Building next to the state Capitol to complain that the Big Apple’s regular public schools have been allocated a lot more money than the charters, which also are public schools.

    “Over the last five years, funding for traditional- school students has grown six times faster than funding for public charter-school students,” Joe Herrera of Families for Excellent Schools, which organized the rally, told the crowd.

    Supporters said spending in the city per student rose from $20,619 in the 2010-11 school year to $22,732 this school year, a $2,113 increase.

    During the same period, spending per charter student increased from $13,527 to $13,877, only a $350 hike.

    “Thanks to Gov. Cuomo, we have an opportunity this year to make sure our children are funded equally, and now it’s up to us to make sure that all of our leaders know that this is a top priority,” Herrera said.

    Cuomo has called for more equitable distribution of funding for charters.

    Charter school students from The Bronx cheer during the rally.Photo: AP

    Kennedy Swan, 6, took a bus from The Bronx with her dad, Trevor Swan, 37, a union bridge painter, who said the Bronx 4 Success Academy his daughter attends keeps her engaged.

    “She was in Catholic school but we felt the charter school was more in tune, nontraditional,” he said. “It caters to these children. I love them.”

    At the rally, Bronx 4 Success students performed a dance routine — a demonstration of one of many activities Swan said keeps the students excited about school.

    Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez (D-Harlem) said charters could serve more students with more money.

    “What we’re saying is that we have a clear method and way for educating our kids,” he said.

    “What we don’t have, or what we see is clearly lacking, is the funding.”

    A Cuomo spokesman said the governor’s new proposed budget increases funding to charters by $27 million and “unfreezes” the charter-tuition formula in New York City to allow for more local funding.


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    INSIDE THE HIGH SCHOOL ADMISSIONS PROCESS 

    WITH GIRLS PREP 8TH GRADER, ZOE


    Friday, March 4th marked an important day in the lives of eighth graders at Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle School. Emotions were running high as students tore open their NYC public high school admissions notifications.Notable offers came from Bard High School Early College, Millennium High School, Harvest Collegiate, and more. We are proud to report another successful year of results, including:

    • 100% of scholars received an offer from a right-fit, college-prep high school to which they applied
    • 88% of scholars received an offer from one of their top three choices

     

    The NYC public high school admissions process is singularly complex compared to throughout the country. Public Prep got the inside scoop on all things high school admissions by sitting down to chat with Girls Prep 8th grader, Zoe.  

    Public PrepWe are so excited to get to know you better and hear about your experience applying for high school! Why don't we get started by hearing a little about you and your time at Girls Prep.
    Zoe: My name is Zoe and I am thirteen years old. I am in eighth grade in the Judith Jamison class. My favorite subject is science. I have been in Girls Prep since kindergarten, but I went spent 7th grade in Puerto Rico because my grandma got sick. The school wasn’t single sex and it was a big transition to be out of New York. I just wanted to focus on my work and be with my grandma. Girls Prep still had a month left of school when I returned, so I finished the 7th grade here.

    PPWhen you received the 500-page high school directory, where did you begin?
    Z: I was searching for schools based off of location. I started in the Manhattan section of the directory because its in the middle of all of the boroughs. I was looking at all the schools they had, first judging them by their names and then researching them more. 

    PP: What were the main requirements that you were looking for in a high school?
    Z: I wanted to make sure it was a safe school and didn’t have a lot of security. I wanted small high school with a feeling of community. Because my favorite sport is tennis, I hoped that one of the schools would offer it. Unfortunately, when I went to the high school fair a lot of the schools didn't have a tennis program, and the ones that did didn't really interest me in other ways. My final requirement was that the school had a focus on art. While my favorite subject is science, my passion is drawing. I saw The High School of Art and Design at the top of Manhattan section and it became my first choice! 

    PP: Did you consider single-sex high schools?
    Z: I love this school and I would say I am more comfortable learning with all girls, but you know, I want a change and to meet and learn with other people. My mom suggested an all-girls school, though, and I put it as one of my top three choices. She said it was a really good school and it is a lot like Girls Prep and Girls Prep is great!

    PP: How did Girls Prep support you through the application process?
    Z
    : Ms. Newfield, [Director of High School Admissions and College Completion] suggested a lot of high schools based on what I wanted and what opportunities schools had. We used the website Inside Schools in College Knowledge class. The website helped me because it had a lot of information, like the trains I would have to take to get to the school. Also, I don’t have good internet connection at home so it was really helpful. My other teachers also gave me a lot of suggestions for schools that I had never heard of. 

    PP: What was the most challenging part of the application process?
    Z: It was difficult choosing twelve schools for the application. I couldn’t find any schools that had everything I wanted, so I chose schools that had a few of the things I was looking for, adding other good schools that I had researched. I also had a hard time choosing my preference order. The auditions for the visual arts schools were also difficult. The two schools I auditioned for were Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts and The High School of Art and Design, which both had a requirement of eight designs. I chose my best artwork and had eleven designs in my portfolio.

    PP: The first round of high school acceptances came in on March 4th. Describe what happened.
    Z: Well, my mom wanted me to wait to open my letter at dinner that night, but I didn't want to wait. Ms. George [Social Worker] called my mom, and my mom said that I could open it but that I couldn’t tell her until dinner. When I got home she was like “Tell me, tell me now! I cant wait until dinner!” Anyway, at school I was so emotional because people opened them quickly, people opened them slowly, and people started laughing and crying and screaming. I was trying to open mine slowly because I didn't know what the results were going to be. 

    I think they should change the order of the results by putting the acceptance at the top and the non-offers at the bottom. The top of the letter starts with specialized high schools, and mine said “no offer.” Then it listed "Audition: Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School—no offer.” Finally, I got down to the main list and I saw that I got accepted into my first choice, The High School of Art and Design! I was crying originally because of the "no-offers," and then I was crying of happiness, and then everyone else was crying so I was crying because they were crying! Then I walked around and saw what offers everyone else received, supporting my friends. They were hugging me and I was hugging them. It was very emotional.

    PP: What are you going to miss the most about Girls Prep?
    Z: I'm going to miss the community and the feeling of everyone encouraging me and the friends that I have. I’m getting teary talking about it! I'm excited to make new friends and excited about the classes, but I will miss everyone here.

    Zoe is a true model of our core values.
    She has and will make the world a better place. 
    -Emily George, Social Worker

     

    Zoe's voice is not loud, but her determination and unrelenting curiosity are what will propel her as a leader through high school and beyond.

    -Alex Newfield, Director of High School Admissions & College Completion

     


     

    Click here to see the full list of Girls Prep public high school offers.


    Support our high school and college completion initiative by signing up for the Public Prep Memorial Day 5K/10K: Race for College Completion. The run is the culminating event of our week-long annual campaign for college completion, College and Career Week, which launches on May 23rd. The run is supported by our Title Sponsor and partner, NY’s 529 College Savings Program. All proceeds will benefit our college completion initiative, which includes matching families' contributions to students' tax-free NY's 529 College Savings Accounts. 


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    INNOVATING EDUCATION TO CREATE COLLEGE-READY ACADEMIC ACHIEVERS

    Harvard Business School

    Ian Rowe (Harvard MBA 1993) is navigating a clear path to success for students at Public Prep, a network of tuition-free charter schools in New York City. Like the North Star-shaped model that frames the schools’ mission, Rowe is building a foundation for children in pre-K, elementary, and middle school with five points of light: character, academics, organizational stability, family/scholar engagement, and college knowledge.

    “What’s constant is the aspiration to create a greater good,” he says. “We can prove the possible and create hope in communities where so many institutions have failed our students and families.”

    Rowe, whose résumé includes leading roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MTV, the White House, and Teach for America, joined the organization in 2010 at the urging of sectionmate and Public Prep cofounder Bryan Lawrence. Today, Public Prep’s single-sex schools in the Bronx and Manhattan have graduated 100 percent of their eighth-grade classes to a college-prep high school.

    “What we are doing for 1,500 students in New York City can become a model for hundreds of thousands of students across the country,” he says.



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    Girls Prep Names Cornell Tech Senior Director as 2016 Commencement Speaker

    For Fourth Consecutive Year, 100% of Graduating 8th Grade Scholars Accepted into College Prep High Schools

     

    Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle School is proud to announce Diane Levitt, Senior Director of K-12 Education at Cornell Tech and National Chair of Computer Science Education Week, as Commencement Speaker at 2016 ceremony on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 1 PM. Ms. Levitt is the fourth female university leader to provide a commencement address to graduating Girls Prep 8th grade scholars, following Presidents Dianne Lynch of Stephens College in 2013, Beverly Daniel Tatum of Spelman College in 2014, and Kathleen McCartney of Smith College in 2015.


    2016 also marks the fourth consecutive year in which 100% of the Girls Prep 8th grade graduating scholars were accepted into high-quality, "right-fit" college-prep high schools that will ensure the scholars remain on a path to college completion. Moreover, Girls Prep has become one of the premier feeder schools to leadership development programs such as Prep for Prep, TEAK, Breakthrough, Oliver Scholars and A Better Chance, and its alumnae now attend 33 of the top nationally ranked public high schools in NYC (by US News & World Report) and a range of top parochial, private and public high schools, including Philips Exeter Academy, Bard Early College High School, Manhattan/Hunter Science School and Sacred Heart Academy. 
     

    "As Chair of National Computer Science Education Week, I selected Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle School to be a launch site for a group of its sixth grade female scholars to build a working computer," said Diane Levitt. "I was thrilled to accept the opportunity to speak at the 8th grade graduation, and support Girls Prep in its quest to develop the next generation of female engineers, programmers, scientists and mathematicians."
     

    Cornell Tech is a revolutionary model for graduate education that develops pioneering leaders and technologies for the digital age. Cornell Tech includes the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute, an academic partnership between Cornell University and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Cornell Tech has been up and running since 2012 at a temporary space in the Google building in Chelsea and now has more than 200 graduates. Cornell Tech’s state-of-the-art campus will open on Roosevelt Island in summer 2017. In her role leading Cornell Tech's K-12 partnerships, Ms. Levitt has a particular interest in addressing the lack of computer science education and other STEM content in New York City’s public schools, particularly among girls and underrepresented groups.
     

    In April 2016, ten Girls Prep 8th graders toured Cornell Tech and sat down with Ms. Levitt and participated in an interactive panel with three female Cornell Tech graduate students to discuss careers for women in STEM. It was a unique opportunity for Girls Prep 8th grade scholars to meet “near-peer” mentors to learn how they navigated their path to Cornell Tech and cement the idea, in middle school, that they can have a future in technology and engineering.
     

    "Girls Prep Lower East Side Elementary School is one of the only elementary public schools in the nation that requires its scholars to take daily science classes five days a week, taught by departmentalized instructors who teach nothing but science," said Ian Rowe, CEO of Public Prep, the non-profit network that supports Girls Prep and Boys Prep schools. "Securing Diane Levitt as Commencement Speaker further solidifies our relationship with Cornell University and underscores our mutual commitment to have girls develop a love of science and math from an early age."
     

    For each of the last four years, ten Girls Prep Middle School scholars spent a week atCornell University in Ithaca, NY taking university level classes in physics, science fiction writing and veterinary science, as part of Girls Prep overall commitment to ensure every elementary and middle school scholar has immersive college experiences that demystify what it means to be successful in a college setting. In summer 2016, ten Girls Prep Middle School scholars from both its South Bronx and Lower East Side campuses will take classes at Cornell in Engineering and Writer's Circle.
     

    Girls Prep Lower East Side Middle School is part of Public Prep, a New York City-based nonprofit organization that develops high-quality Universal Pre-Kindergarten and single-sex elementary and middle public schools that pursue excellence through continuous learning and data-driven instruction. Public Prep is currently comprised of four tuition-free, all-girls public charter schools, one tuition-free all-boys public charter school, and one tuition-free Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program. All Public Prep schools are open enrollment, can only be entered via a random lottery and serve urban districts in which students face significant academic and social risk factors. To learn more, please watch our video: http://publicprep.org/video
     

    Cornell Tech develops pioneering leaders and technologies for the digital age. CornellTech brings together faculty, business leaders, tech entrepreneurs, and students in a catalytic environment to produce visionary results grounded in significant needs that will reinvent the way we live in the digital age. Cornell Tech’s temporary campus has been up and running at Google’s Chelsea building since 2012, with a growing world-class faculty, and about 150 master’s and Ph.D. students who collaborate extensively with tech-oriented companies and organizations and pursue their own start-ups. Construction is underway on Cornell Tech’s campus on Roosevelt Island, with a first phase due to open in 2017. When fully completed, the campus will include 2 million square feet of state-of-the-art buildings, over 2 acres of open space, and will be home to more than 2,000 graduate students and hundreds of faculty and staff. For more information, visittech.cornell.edu.



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    Girls Prep Selected by Facebook Social Good Team as Inaugural Launch Partner 


    New Fundraising Tool Empowers People to Raise Money for Favorite Nonprofits


    On June 30, Facebook launched a new movement in citizen philanthropy, which allows people to fundraise for their favorite nonprofits on Facebook.

    Girls Prep, along with Donors Choose, is honored to be have been selected as the inaugural partner to be featured in a Facebook Story to launch this tool.

    Here is the link to the fundraiser, which is designed to assist Girls Prep in its quest to develop the next generation of female engineers, scientists, and mathematicians.




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    25,000 rally to demand de Blasio double number of charter seats

     

    By Selim Algar
    September 29, 2016 | 12:54am
    New York Post

    Cheering and chanting for choice, an unprecedented crowd of roughly 25,000 parents, children and teachers swarmed Prospect Park on Wednesday to demand the doubling of city charter school seats by 2020. Pouring into Brooklyn by coach, subway and city bus from across the city, the swarm of boosters implored Mayor Bill de Blasio to raise the total charter population to 200,000 to accommodate bursting demand.

    The rally’s organizers, Success Academy and Families for Excellent Schools, argued that the increase — branded Path to Possible — would help erase the chronic achievement gap between minority kids and their peers. Charter schools currently serve 10 percent of all city kids.

    “For decades the system has failed tens of thousands of children who in many cases have been doomed to life sentences of disadvantage and despair,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Brooklyn) told the energetic crowd. “We need to turn the situation around. And what has become clear to everyone who is paying attention is that the charter school movement has been a tremendous part of the solution.”

    Jeffries, a potential challenger to de Blasio next year, was one of 22 local politicians who signed a letter pushing for the expansion.

    While charters contended with negative press and political setbacks this year, backers have been able to rely on one constant — strong achievement scores.

    Rapper and actor Common, who addressed the crowd before performing, told The Post he was startled by Success Academy’s metrics. “These are kids who weren’t supposed to perform like this,” he said. “It’s impressive. You have to pay attention to the numbers. There’s truth in numbers.” The Chicago native said his mother, a teacher, opted to send him to private school rather than the city’s turbulent public system. “She had a choice,” he said. “She had the ability to make that choice and I still benefit from it to this day. I think that’s what parents want — a choice.”

    Attendees argued that the opportunity to look for their children’s talents at a charter campus should not be reduced to lotteries. Parents cited high test scores as evidence that charter kids were shedding negative expectations and conceiving of academic progress as inevitable.

    “For my entire life, New York City public schools told me, ‘You can’t.’ They set me up for failure,” said Sharita Moore-Willis, of 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.”

    Kezia Wilson, 25, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, said pursuing a charter education for her son, Jonah Gillespie, 5, grew urgent after she learned of test score gaps. “Just give me the choice,” she said. “Give all parents this choice. If we equally and properly educate our kids, they can change the world.”

    Prior to the rally, de Blasio told WNYC radio host Brian Lehrer that he was willing to collaborate with charters but was still focused on traditional public schools. “I think the focus has to be on the 90 percent of our kids in the traditional public schools who deserve better, and that’s where our energies have to go, and it’s about fixing the entire school system,” he said. De Blasio, who has criticized charters for selecting promising kids to boost stats, cited higher graduation rates and his pre-K initiative as evidence of improvement.

    But Jeffries challenged de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña to consider that weathered strategies with reupholstered branding aren’t likely to create needed change. “The chancellor is committed to the traditional public school system and making change from within,” Jeffries told The Post. “Many of us are of the view that you can’t continue to do the same thing and expect different results. And that’s why we are pushing the administration to embrace the reality that charter schools have made a difference.”

     


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    Male role models welcome students back to school

    Updated 
    News 12 Bronx

     

    THE BRONX - An all-boys school recruited fathers, uncles, grandfathers and other male role models to welcome back students Wednesday ahead of the upcoming school year.

    It marked the second year in which Boys Prep Bronx Elementary School held the event.

    Organizers say the program gives students a glimpse of what their potentially bright futures may bring.


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    #ISTANDFOR: Transforming Educational Opportunity

    By Ian Rowe
    Featured on Onassis Foundation USA

     

     

    Building off a decade of success at its sister Girls Prep schools in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and the Bronx, Boys Prep launched in 2014 as the first and only all-boys public elementary school in the Bronx. 

    Boys Prep was founded on the simple idea that every parent, regardless of race, income level or zip code, should have the power to choose a great, tuition-free public school for her or his son. Moreover, if that parent wanted their son to attend a rigorous, single-gender elementary school, then they should also have the option to do that.  

    Until Boys Prep opened in heart of the South Bronx in 2014, only private schools with expensive tuitions and selective admissions standards offered a high-quality, primary all‐boys education to Bronx families. But parents living in one of the highest poverty districts in the country wanted more for their kids. Indeed, in 2016, Boys Prep Bronx received more than ten applications for every available seat in its random lottery.

    It is no wonder: In district 8 where Boys Prep is located, only 37% of boys graduate from high school and a staggering 2% receive an Advanced Regents diploma, meeting the definition of "college ready." It does not have to be this way.

    By entering the Boys Prep lottery, the families of these young men are saying they are tired of hearing their son’s lives must be inevitably dictated by the negative statistics we unfortunately know so well. So are we. Rather than start with a deficit model, Boys Prep builds a culture around a growth mindset, the sense of possibility that exists within every boy.

    From PreKindergarten, Boys Prep unique learning environment places equal emphasis on character development, college knowledge, and academic achievement across science, math, literacy and the arts through an integrated curriculum to ensure our scholars are on a path to our North Star of college completion and beyond. 

    Boys Prep scholars embody the core values of Scholarship, Merit, Responsibility and Brotherhood and use these values to guide their choices. Against the backdrop of seemingly daily stories of tragic violence befalling young men of color, Boys Prep presents a compelling alternative that can help break barriers for aspiring boys, and empower them to realize their full potential.

    Our Boys Prep and Girls Prep schools are part of a larger movement that is now educating more than 100,000 children in NYC, with truly impressive outcomes: Despite serving just nine percent of test-takers, 29 percent of the city’s overall growth in students passing state exams since 2013 has come from charter schools, meaning a sector enrolling less than 10 percent of the city’s children is responsible for nearly one-third of its overall improvement. 

    Given these achievements, the city has a moral, political and economic obligation to double the size of the charter sector to 200,000 children by 2020. In so doing, we can transform educational opportunity at scale, and put generations of low-income kids on a path to college completion. 


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    Yale University.  
     
    As I reflect on the results of the 2015-16 school year and now embark on the seventh year of my tenure as CEO of Public Prep, I continue to ask the single-most important question to assess the longitudinal impact of our Girls Prep and Boys Prep schools: “Are we graduating 8th grade scholars who are accepted into and excelling in high-quality, ‘right-fit’ high schools that will keep them on a path to college completion?” 
     
    Girls Prep was founded in 2005 as the first and only all-girls public charter school in New York City. Back then, as we do now for every incoming class, we made an enduring promise to the parents of the scholars starting in Kindergarten and 1st grade: We are determined to achieve our goal to graduate 8th grade students who are on a predictive path to be accepted into high-performing public, private or parochial high schools, and ultimately graduate from a four-year university.
     
    I am pleased to report that in 2016, for the fourth consecutive year, Girls Prep graduated 100% of its 8th graders into a fantastic parochial, private or public high schools.
     
    Indeed, Girls Prep now has 196 alumnae in grades 9 through 12. This fall, the first cohort of Girls Prep scholars that graduated in 2013 will be applying to college. Thus, I have added an essential question we must now also ask ourselves each year: "Are Girls Prep alumnae being accepted into and excelling in high-quality, ‘right-fit’ colleges that will keep them on a path to college completion?"

     


    We won't know until the spring where all of our alumnae have landed, but I am thrilled to share that Kesi - one of the scholars who started with Girls Prep as a first grader in that 2005 founding class - was just accepted Early Decision to Yale University! It is fitting that Yale's mascot is a Bulldog, because it represents the tenacity and resiliency that Kesi and all of our Girls Prep alumnae demonstrate in living out our core values of sisterhood, responsibility, merit and scholarship.
     
    The pipeline is also strong. The 2016-17 school year will be the first time in which both Girls Prep Lower East Side and Girls Prep Bronx graduate 8th grade scholars. And Girls Prep continues to be the premier provider of scholars to leadership development programs that place middle schools students in top independent high schools. This includes TEAK, Prep for Prep, A Better Chance, Breakthrough NY, Bridge to Enter Advanced Mathematics, and the STEM program at the High School for Math, Science and Engineering at CCNY.
     
    Along with these successes, I am focused on building a robust team at both the network and school levels to ensure Public Prep has the leadership to be an enduring institution that propels generations of scholars on a path to college completion. 
     
    In that spirit, on May 1, I hired the amazing Janelle Bradshaw in the new role of Superintendent of Schools to empower and directly manage our Principals to more effectively lead their campuses. Janelle is a native New Yorker, who grew up between the Bronx and Mount Vernon, and is a proud graduate of a single-sex education at Smith College. She is an extraordinary educator with sixteen years of experience in the field of urban education as a successful Teacher, Principal, and most recently as a Leadership Coach to network leaders and three of our Public Prep Principals.
     
    As Janelle shared with us during the interview process, she is "excited to return home to make an impact and provide young girls and boys with the chance to be educated in a network which values high standards and academic performance with a balance of the arts, grit, character development and joy."
     
    The future of our Girls Prep and Boys Prep schools is bright. Thank you for joining us on this journey of educational excellence for our scholars. Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season.
     
    With gratitude,



    Ian Rowe, CEO Public Prep




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    Girls Prep Names Princeton University Dean Cecilia Rouse as 2017 Commencement Speaker

    For Fifth Consecutive Year, Senior Female University Leader to Make Major Commencement Address to Next Generation of Girls Prep Alumnae


    http://wws.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/content/Typical-Meet-the-Dean_175x240_1.jpgNew York, NY (March 21, 2017): Girls Prep — the first all-girls public charter school founded in New York City — announced that Cecilia Rouse, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, will be its 2017 Commencement Speaker. In what has now become an annual tradition, Dean Rouse will be the fifth female university leader to provide a commencement address to graduating Girls Prep 8th grade scholars, following Presidents Dianne Lynch of Stephens College in 2013, Beverly Daniel Tatum of Spelman College in 2014, Kathleen McCartney of Smith College in 2015, and Senior Director Diane Levitt of Cornell Tech in 2016.

    This year marks a very special milestone in the history of Girls Prep, as it will be the first time in which both Girls Prep Lower East Side and Girls Prep Bronx Middle Schools graduate 8th grade scholars, and the year that the first cohort of Girls Prep scholars that graduated 8th grade in 2013 will be entering college. As a result, a new tradition will be created in which a unified ceremony will celebrate a procession of graduating 12th grade Girls Prep alumnae who announce their intent to enroll in private colleges, public universities, community colleges, technical programs, or other career endeavors. Moreover, graduating 8th grade scholars will receive their own recognition while being inspired to see their near-peer Girls Prep scholars announce their post-secondary plans and be reminded that high school is not an end, but merely the beginning.

    Dean Rouse’s record of leadership as an economist, professor, member of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, and as a Ph.D. recipient from Harvard University, will be an inspiration to Girls Prep scholars. In sum, Dean Rouse’s life accomplishments embody the Girls Prep core values of sisterhood, scholarship, responsibility and merit.

    “I am delighted to have the opportunity to deliver the Girls Prep 2017 Commencement Address,” said Dean Rouse. “A strong secondary education is imperative for future success. It is clear that the girls graduating from Girls Prep in June are the beneficiaries of a strong foundation on which to build upon as they take the next steps in their educational journeys.”

    Committed to using its resources to attract the most talented students in the world, in 2001, Princeton became the first university in the country to launch a groundbreaking “no-loan” policy. This watershed initiative, which inspired major universities nationwide to launch similar no-loan programs, offers every Princeton student an aid package that ensures his or her financial need will be fully met and that replaces loans with grant aid that students do not pay back. With the help of its generous aid program, Princeton University has one of the best need-based financial aid programs in the country, reflecting its core value of equality of opportunity, regardless of a student's financial circumstances.

    “The Woodrow Wilson School brings together world-class practitioners dedicated to the mission of public service, while also offering a world-class education to students who can be confident their financial need will be met and they will graduate with little or no debt,” said Ian Rowe, CEO of Public Prep. “We are honored that Dean Rouse has chosen to bring the WOO spirit to Girls Prep.”

    Girls Prep Lower East Side was founded in 2005 as the first and only all-girls public charter school in New York City; and Girls Prep Bronx was founded in 2009 to serve female scholars in the South Bronx. Girls Prep alumnae have now been accepted into some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges, including Yale University, Stephens College, St. John’s University and Howard University. Girls Prep alumnae in high school attend 33 of the top nationally ranked public high schools in NYC (by US News & World Report) and a range of top parochial, private and public high schools, including Bard Early College High School, Manhattan/Hunter Science School and Sacred Heart Academy. Girls Prep is part of Public Prep, the nation’s only non-profit network that exclusively develops exceptional, tuition-free PreK and single-sex elementary and middle public schools. We are determined to graduate 8th grade scholars who thrive in “right-fit,” high-performing public, private, or parochial high schools, and ultimately earn a degree from a four-year college or university.

    Founded in 1930, the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University is a major international center of advanced training and research in public affairs. The Woodrow Wilson School is an institution with the energy and strength to tackle the most serious issues of the present day, and the vision and experience to prepare the leaders who will shape the public policies of the future.


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