Petition Closed
Petitioning Chanellor Merryl H.Tisch and 26 others

Put Children First Before Politics - Renew Opportunity Charter School

Opportunity Charter School (OCS) is unique among New York City charter schools because it actively recruits, serves and retains students with special needs. The majority of students at OCS are special education students with Individualized Education Plans. Whereas, most charter schools counsel out and push out special education students in NYC, OCS welcomes them all.

Fact:  OCS scored a "B" on its overall NYC Department of Education progress report.

Fact:  OCS scored a "B" on student progress in the progress report.

Fact:  OCS' overall percentile rank jumped from 16th percentile citywide to 47th.

Fact:  Over 50% of OCS students have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Fact:  OCS was serving a large majority of special education students before the Charter Schools Act of 2010, requiring charter schools to recruit, serve and retain special education students.  OCS never creamed or pushed out any low performing students or students with an IEP.  OCS did not have to be forced by state law to serve all students unlike most NYC charter schools.

The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) charter and district school method of evaluating the performance of charter schools, based solely on the school's ability to recruit high performing students, must change. It punishes schools such as OCS and district schools who serve large special needs populations by closing those schools because their students do not score proficient, level 3 and level 4 on the New York State Standardized Tests. When OCS and other district schools serving high needs, special education populations are closed by the NYC Department of Education, the students end up being warehoused at schools which will be slated for closure themselves a year later. These students are setup for failure because they are not high performing, level 3 and level 4. They are given no opportunity to succeed.

OCS must be congratulated for serving all students, not closed.  The OCS charter must be renewed and our high needs, special education students must be given an opportunity to succeed.

Letter to
Chanellor Merryl H.Tisch
Commissioner John King
Regent Robert Bennett
and 24 others
Regent Geraldine Chapey
Regent Anthony Bottar
Regent James Dawson
Regent Kathleen Cashin
Regent Harry Phillips
Regent Christine Cea
Dennis M. Walcott
Marc Sternberg
Cliff Chuang
Mayor Mike Bloomberg
Regent James Jackson
Regent Roger Tilles
Regent Betty Rosa
Regent Lester Young
Regent Charles Bendit
Shael Suransky
Regent Milton Cofield
Recy Dunn
Senator Bill Perkins
Regent James Cottrell
Regent James Tallon
Assemblyman Keith Wright
Regent Wade Norwood
Sally Bachofer
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch, New York State Board of Regents, and NYC Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott

----------------
Put Children First Before Politics - Renew Opportunity Charter School

Opportunity Charter School (OCS) is unique among New York City charter schools because it actively recruits, serves and retains students with special needs. The majority of students at OCS are special education students with Individualized Education Plans. Whereas, most charter schools counsel out and push out special education students in NYC, OCS welcomes them all.

Fact: OCS scored a "B" on its overall NYC Department of Education progress report.

Fact: OCS scored a "B" on student progress in the progress report.

Fact: OCS' overall percentile rank jumped from 16th percentile citywide to 47th.

Fact: Over 50% of OCS students have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Fact: OCS was serving a large majority of special education students before the Charter Schools Act of 2010, requiring charter schools to recruit, serve and retain special education students. OCS never creamed or pushed out any low performing students or students with an IEP. OCS did not have to be forced by state law to serve all students unlike most NYC charter schools.

The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) charter and district school method of evaluating the performance of charter schools, based solely on the school's ability to recruit high performing students, must change. It punishes schools such as OCS and district schools who serve large special needs populations by closing those schools because their students do not score proficient, level 3 and level 4 on the New York State Standardized Tests. When OCS and other district schools serving high needs, special education populations are closed by the NYC Department of Education, the students end up being warehoused at schools which will be slated for closure themselves a year later. These students are setup for failure because they are not high performing, level 3 and level 4. They are given no opportunity to succeed.

OCS must be congratulated for serving all students, not closed. The OCS charter must be renewed and our high needs, special education students must be given an opportunity to succeed.

Please put our children first before politics and antiquated punitive metrics. Please renew the charter for Opportunity Charter School for the full five years.

----------------

Sincerely,