Wow! Editorial Writer at New York Daily News Moves Her Child from a Charter School to a NYC Public School: Guess Why?

Alyssa Katz, an editorial writer for the New York Daily News, is switching her child from a charter school to a New York City public school. The teacher turnover at the charter school was constant and disruptive for her daughter, she writes. But that’s not all.

She does not name the school, but it is likely a well-regarded school that she and her husband chose with care.

She writes:

Some extracurricular forces eased the choice. My husband, who’s logged hundreds of miles driving to and fro, will hand our girl off to a convenient bus. She in turn will be thrilled to shed a loathed uniform. Me, I look forward to an end to lunch box prep, thanks to an improved cafeteria menu.

But the bottom line is that her elementary-school years were marked with a whirlwind of teachers that, if she and her classmates were lucky, would last the year and then move on.

The ritual became as certain as winter succeeded fall: Some parent would post on the school Facebook group that their child’s teacher was leaving mid-year. Moans and commiseration ensued.

Our child avoided that fate until last fall, when, two weeks in, her promising teacher — a veteran at three years served — suddenly vanished, and a substitute arrived much sooner than any explanation. Her class refound its footing, eventually, with a new teacher — but never quite recovered from those lost weeks.

With so many teachers coming and going, the school as a whole felt perpetually improvisational. I’ll always remember it as a flurry of photocopied handouts….

Last year, 47% of her school’s teaching staff turned over. And during her six years, the school had three principals….

I’m not naming the school because it would be unfair to single it out — it turns out such astonishingly high rates of teacher turnover year by year are par for the course among charter schools.

Among New York charter school teachers, 41% changed jobs last year — compared to just 18% of district school teachers. The retention gap between district and charter schools is not new, but it has been widening over time.

The big reason for charters’ turnover plague is plain as day: District school teachers are universally represented by teachers unions, and enjoy contracts whose ample benefits include generous pension plans, non-negotiable business hours and tenure.

At Success Academy, with its sky-high test scores, teacher turnover annually is close to 60%.

I wish that every politician in New York, especially in the Legislature, would read Katz’s commentary.

Surely the rest of the editorial board at the New York Daily News will read the article and possibly learn from it. The NYDN has been aggressively pro-charter and pro-Eva.

from sarah


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