National School Choice Week

With Soaring Parent Demand in The Bronx, Families Have More High-Quality School Options Than Ever Before

Public charter Schools from across the Bronx today celebrate the start of “National School Choice Week” – an annual nationwide event to shine a spotlight on the need for children to have quality school options. Today, there are a record number of school options in The Bronx, with 83 public charter schools serving more than 30,000 students – or 14 percent of all children in the borough.

“When we were founded nearly 15 years ago, we set out to offer children in the South Bronx something they never had before. We wanted to prepare tens of thousands of students for the future by giving them an education rooted in the classics, with Latin, debate, and so much more. Today, we’re one of the highest performing networks in the city. The ability to choose a great public school shouldn’t be a privilege for a limited few. It should be a right for all – and that’s what we’re delivering in The Bronx,” said Classical Charter Schools Founder and Executive Director Lester Long.

“Mayor de Blasio needs to act now to show he will support the children that want to attend our schools,” said Ian Rowe, CEO of Public Prep.

“No matter who they are or where they live, every child deserves to have high quality school options. That’s what celebrating school choice is all about, and we need to continue expanding high-quality options for families – options like Public Prep, the only network offering single sex all-girls and all-boys options for families through our schools. It’s plain and simple: all of our children deserve a fair shot,” said Ian Rowe, CEO of Public Prep Charter Schools.

“School choice is about the ability to deliver options for students who need them most, and it’s about designing programs that meet the unique needs of our children. At Haven Academy, where we’re serving students in transitional housing, foster care, and more, we’re doing just that. We’re able to tailor our programming for the kids we serve – and we can do it because we have high levels of school choice in The Bronx,” said Jessica Nauiokas, Head of Schools and Co-Founder of Mott Haven Academy.

State test results released last the fall showed that Bronx students attending Bronx public charter schools are outperforming students statewide while ending achievement gaps.

  • In grades 3-8, charter schools in the Bronx outperform the rest of New York State by 12 and nearly 15 percentage points in ELA and Math respectively.
  • Achievement gaps have closed, with both Black and Latino charter students in the Bronx continuing to outperform White students statewide.

With more school options than ever before, and with student achievement hitting new highs, parent demand continues to soar. In the 2019-20 school year alone, Bronx public charter schools received over 25,000 applications for just 9,500 seats available.

The Bronx’s 83 public schools offer unique school models, from immersion programs for students on the autism spectrum, to serving children experiencing trauma, to offering arts-focused curricula. By tapping into new ways of educating students, these charters succeed in reaching children who are, in many cases, academically at risk and underserved by one-size-fits-all models.

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