View Full Version : BK-Ft Greene/Clinton Hill/Bed-Stuy/Prospect Hts Upset Over Community Roots Charter School’s Expansion

05-19-2011, 09:04 AM
From the N.Y. Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/nyregion/upset-over-community-roots-charter-schools-expansion.html) by Geoffrey Decker:

As a parent of a student who started in the inaugural first-grade class at Community Roots Charter School in Brooklyn in 2006, Chris Thompson has watched his son grow up in an elementary school that has transformed itself from an experiment in progressive education to one of District 13’s most popular destinations for young families.

When Mr. Thompson learned last year that the school planned to add middle school grades, and that his son, now a fifth grader, was guaranteed a seat in the sixth-grade class, the decision to stay on was easy.

“Why even look around?” Mr. Thompson, of Prospect Heights, said. “This is where we felt we needed to be.” As the expansion plan moved ahead early this year, he said, most fifth-grade parents “took the foot off the gas in terms of looking at other places.”

But last month, well after the deadline for families to submit lists of preferred middle schools for the fall, Community Roots announced that it had halted its expansion because there was strong opposition in the community and it would not have enough space or enough time to properly staff the school.

“People were just stunned,” Mr. Thompson said. The Education Department now will turn to secondary choices for schools submitted by the parents.

In a district that has few high-quality middle schools and a growing population of young children, the expansion plan was initially welcomed. But that changed when it became clear that it would mean taking space away from two other schools in the same building, at 51 St. Edwards Street.

In the case of Community Roots, the local fight took on a racial element, with parents and teachers from the two other schools in the building, P.S. 67 and P369K, accusing the department of unfair treatment and suggesting it was a matter of discrimination.

read more>> (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/19/nyregion/upset-over-community-roots-charter-schools-expansion.html)