Reject KIPP's Middle School Proposal in District 3

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Sharmilee Ramudit
Sharmilee Ramudit signed this petition

The Community Education Council for District 3 Opposes KIPP Beyond Charter School’s Application to Establish a 5th to 8th Grade Charter Middle School in District 3.

District 3 parents, educators, and community stakeholders worked tirelessly and collaboratively over the last three years to improve educational quality and access for all children in our elementary and middle schools, resulting in the implementation of the District 3 Middle School Diversity Plan.

District 3’s Middle School Diversity Plan was developed and deliberated through a transparent process, and included analysis of:

  • UNDER-ENROLLMENT - District 3’s current middle school landscape of 17 public schools and 5 charter schools that enroll children in middle school grades cannot sustain the addition of a 23rd middle school without negatively impacting schools that are already competing for a limited pool of students.
  • STABILITY OF ENROLLMENT – The population of children across grades in elementary and middle school has remained virtually unchanged over the last five years. CEC 3’s decision to implement an ambitious plan in these circumstances was contingent on a commitment to insulate District 3 families and their students from any other policy changes, including the closing, truncation, or opening of new schools.
  • EQUITABLE APPLICATION PROCESS – The majority of middle schools in District 3 begin enrollment in the 6th grade.  KIPP’s proposal includes enrollment of 95 students starting in the 5th grade, circumventing the application process, denying families the opportunity to fully evaluate their options, and further exacerbating the existing inequity in the district.
  • CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION - For many elementary schools, the withdrawal of 95 students would have a significant impact on their curriculum, instruction, and resource allocation.  This is equal to 2x or even 3x their 5th grade class size.  The long-term consequences would need a deeper assessment to fully comprehend the effects, and would include an exacerbation of the existing inequity in the district.
  • COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT - District 3's Middle School Diversity Plan was implemented in the current cycle for admissions in 2019. Through a community engagement process that lasted more than three years, protocols were put in place to offer a quarter of all seats to students with academic and socio-economic need. In comparison, KIPP’s community engagement and outreach was limited in scope and perfunctory.
  • DEMOGRAPHIC PROJECTIONS – One of the goals of the District 3’s Middle School Diversity Plan includes addressing the lack of diversity across the district. KIPP’s proposal includes a description of an intentionally integrated, high-achieving student population.  They will accomplish this because their model allows them to select students a year ahead of the majority of schools in the district, and they will achieve diversity at the expense of every other student, family, and school in the district.
  • RESOLVING DISPARITIES IN ACHIEVEMENT – District 3’s Middle School Diversity Plan results will not even be available for the first year of this effort until the next school year. Every single school in the district, as part of our global effort for integration, has created an Equity Team that is committed to addressing and improving on disparities in achievement.  Significant time, resources, and dedication went into preparing for 2019-2020’s first Middle School Diversity Class; again, opening a middle school would undermine the plan before it even had its first year of results

The Community Education Council for District 3 values transparency, accountability, and collaboration.  Our Middle School Diversity Plan was created with these core principles in mind. Help us send the message that these are the standards that should be adhered to moving forward FOR OUR DISTRICT, AS WELL AS ALL OTHER DISTRICTS.

We urge you to sign this petition requesting that SUNY Charter Committee Members, the authorizer for KIPP Beyond Charter School’s Application to Establish a 5th to 8th Grade Charter Middle School in District 3, REJECT THIS APPLICATION.  If you would like additional details, a letter was sent to the Chairman of the SUNY Charter School Committee.

~ Community Education Council for District 3 ~