Equality Charter School

CHARTER SCHOOL, STRUGGLING, HIRED LEADERS' KIN; Friday, Oct 15, 2010; City Limits (New York City, NY) 
…In [Equality Charter School’s] charter application to the city and the state, the school's co-founders Myers (who serves as principal), Margaret Hoey and Caitlin Franco cited long expertise as educators, data-managers and disciplinarians in institutions, schools and other settings that serve troubled youth.

Equality Charter's first year was marked by near-constant change in staffing patterns and enrollment: Co-founder Hoey left midyear to spearhead efforts to establish yet another New York City charter school, the Swedish-styled Kunskapsskolan school, which aims to open in 2011. Board members and two board chairmen were replaced, numerous teachers were fired and replaced or invited not to return, and nearly two dozen students left the school, many well before the end of the school year, according to Myers.

The year was also marked, parents and students say, by student rough-housing that often got out of control. On the Department of Education Learning Environment Survey conducted during the school's first year, parents, teachers and nearly all of the school's students identified safety as a real concern. Half of the teachers and a third of parents expressed fears about bullying, safety and school discipline. Bullying and threats were an issue for 84 percent of students, who also reported that teachers yell at students (81 percent) and that student get into physical fights (93 percent)…

Some parents of students with special needs say the school did not deliver mandated services to their children. (DOE statistics show that charters citywide generally enroll fewer special-education students than traditional public schools, a gap the state's new charter law aims to address.)

One parent, Lori Gill, enrolled her two sons at Equality Charter school in August 2009, after the lottery was drawn and the school’s wait list was created; the boys got priority because one son had special needs.

But both boys moved to a traditional public school this year, Gill says, largely because her son Darren received many fewer services than the school first promised and that he was legally mandated to receive…

One dean, Devon Myers, is married to the principal. The other, Mark Hines, is engaged to Assistant Principal Franco; his daughter was, briefly, a student at Equity Charter School, until she enrolled at Truman High School this September…
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Additional information is at Equality Charter School: A Failing, Corrupt, Mismanaged Charter School @ http://www.equalitycharterschool.com/

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