Cash (But No Report Card) For 36 Charters

So CPS is awarding $75,000 to each of 36 charters --  10 UNOs, 3 ASPIRA schools, 5 Perspectives schools, 4 CICS schools, 3 Prologue schools, 3 Shabazz schools, Providence Englewood elementary school, ACE high school, Legacy elementary school, EPIC, ChiTech Academy high school, Youth Connection Charter Schools, and Erie elementary school (is that 36?) -- for extending their day starting January.  But there's no report card information on Chicago's charter schools in the new data rolled out with great fanfare last week (or so I'm told). So I'm not sure how I feel about that. It's not the biggest deal in the world, and I don't really want to rekindle the whole debate (and don't really mind charters the way some of you do), but it just sort of looks bad.
36 Charter Schools Apply for CPS Program Supporting 

Implementation of a Longer School Day in January 2012

Charter schools to provide students with up to 90 minutes more instruction daily

 CHICAGO—Chicago Public Schools officials today announced that 36 charter schools serving 17,000 students citywide have applied for the Longer School Day Grant and will transition to a longer day in January. CPS plans to implement a 90 minute longer day district-wide in Fall 2012 in order to boost student achievement and ensure students graduate college and career ready.

Charters will use the time to increase instruction in core areas like math, reading and social studies as well as enrichment activities ranging from art and music to PE. Although some charter schools have used their autonomy to provide longer days, without additional funding from CPS, many have not been able to offer a full 90 minutes more instruction every day.

Charter schools that currently do not offer a longer day are eligible for $75,000 in funding to help them implement a day with 390 minutes of instruction, providing students with the instructional time needed for them to be on par with their peers in other major school districts nationwide. The grant funding matches district funding of traditional CPS schools that have chosen to lengthen their school day ahead of schedule.

These charter schools will have the same flexibility to use the funds to purchase technology, develop intervention programs, or add additional staffing positions for enrichment programs. In addition, they will be eligible to receive a per teacher stipend of $800. At this time, the grant program is scheduled to last throughout the school year and end on June 30th just like longer school day funding for traditional CPS schools.

“We’re interested in expanding educational opportunities to all of our students citywide and see a strong commitment among charter schools to put the education of their students first. None of our students, whether in traditional CPS school or in charter schools, can afford to wait any longer for a quality education, and that is why we are offering charter schools the same opportunity to extend the school day as we have offered our traditional schools,” CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said.

Among the applicants are some of the city’s largest charter providers including UNO Charter Schools which has submitted applications for ten of its charter schools. Applicants also include: 3 ASPIRA schools, 5 Perspectives schools, 4 CICS schools, 3 Prologue schools, 3 Shabazz schools, Providence Englewood elementary school, ACE high school, Legacy elementary school, EPIC, ChiTech Academy high school, Youth Connection Charter Schools, and Erie elementary school.

The longer school day is aimed at boosting student achievement throughout the district at both traditional CPS schools and charter schools. A recent report from the National Center on Time & Learning found that schools offering a longer day consistently demonstrated at least 5 percentage points higher proficiency rates on state standardized tests in Math or English Language Arts compared to schools within their districts that did not offer a longer day.

When launching the longer school day, CPS outlined several priority areas for the additional 90 minutes of instruction to ensure that core academic and enrichment instruction is provided. Charter schools receiving grant funding will follow the same guidelines:

  • Spend more time on core academic subjects including math, science and social studies.
  • Provide opportunities for students to work on literacy skills in all subject areas.
  • Broaden enrichment opportunities including physical education, art, music, and library time.
  • Give students an adequate mid-day lunch and recess period so that they can recharge.
  • Provide students with interventions and supports to help improve skills in math, science and core subjects.

To date, 13 CPS schools have opted to participate in the Longer School Day Pioneer Program to lengthen their school day this school year. The pioneer schools will help to inform the district-wide model for a longer school day that will be implemented in all CPS schools during the 2012/2013 school year.

For more information visit the CPS Longer School Day page at The Chicago Public Schools serves approximately 405,000 students in more than 675 schools. It is the nation’s third-largest school system.



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  • Wow! Publishing biased, awful report cards for traditional schools - hiding the report cards for the charters, and just as parents had a few days to ruminate over the 'terrible' traditional school that their child attends, awarding 36 charters for extending their day.
    How could teachers of the traditional schools not realize that these negative campaigns are strategically planned? When are they finally going to take a stand?

  • This is a little confusing. They break down some schools by campus and not others. Youth Connection Charter Schools have over 20 schools, but are only listed once, while UNO has each campus that is receiving funds listed. Does this mean that YCCS is only getting funding for one campus (which one) or do all 20+ of their schools have to split the 75K and teacher stipend?

  • I don't think that they will - they believe that if they just keep showing up to work, the public will see how hard working and dedicated that they are! After all, they didn't even complain about losing their cost-of-living raise! It's almost hilarious! And now the charters are getting their money!

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    The charters are not getting the teachers' money, the charters are getting YOUR money. As a taxpayer, I would expect you to be outraged that charters receive tax money, but they are unacountable when it comes to reporting how the schools have spent your money.

  • the sun times notes that just six of the 42 charters not providing extra time failed to apply for the extra cash --

    i wonder who they are and why they bucked the trend

  • cpsobsessed takes joravsky on for being nearly as misleading as kirk in his charter story

    " When I pull a list by ACT scores, I have to admit, the charters don’t make a bad showing...To ME it looks like the charters occupy a prime spot above the neighborhood schools – on par with a few Magnet high schools."

  • Now we know that at least $50,000.00 of the $75,000 granted to Aspira Charter is to pay for the "board retreat" at a luxury resort in Lake Geneva that Aspira's board went on over the summer. A letter went out to Aspira's funders expressing outrage at the misappropriation of public dollars used so the board can take a well-deserved vacation. You know how hard board membership can be.

  • I have to say that I am confused by Alexander's statement: "But there's no report card information on Chicago's charter schools in the new data rolled out with great fanfare last week (or so I'm told). So I'm not sure how I feel about that." I am guessing Alexander is discussing the CPS issued new school progress reports. The reason charters are not included in reporting publicly NWEA/Scantron scores are totally unclear. The state charter school law requires that ISAT and PSAE be administered and reported by all charter schools in Illinois. The law does not require that each campus of each authorized charter school report their data separately.

    However, 105 ILCS 5/Art. 27A-6 (b) does state in relation to CPS controlled charter schools only that it "shall require the charter school to administer any other nationally recognized standardized tests to its students that the chartering entity administers to other students, and the results on such tests shall be included in the chartering entity's assessment reports." Based on this provision of the Charter School Act, it would appear that CPS could be violating the Act by not requiring NWEA/Scantron scores to be administered and publicly reported. I would assume that any parent of a child attending one of these charter schools might have the right to file an administrative complaint to ISBE on this issue.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    So Rod, do I have this right? Charters don't have to break out their data by "campus" because they are treated as a single school entity, but when it comes to funding/resources, such as the longer school day grants, the different campuses are allowed to be treated as autonomous entities?

  • In reply to Anonymous:

    That is a fair assessment of the situation.

    Rod Estvan

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