The United Federation of Teachers has asked the State University of New York to renew the charter for grades 9 to 12 of the UFT charter school in East New York, Brooklyn. At the same time it told SUNY authorizers that grades K–8 would be closed at the end of this school year.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew said, "The UFT charter school outperformed its district in math in grades 3 and 4 and has a high level of parent satisfaction. But a student or a school is more than a test score, and SUNY's narrow focus on state tests has meant that overall our elementary and middle school results have not matched SUNY's benchmarks."
"On the other hand, the multiple measures of success for high school students have allowed our high school to demonstrate some of its progress, with more than 90 percent of students graduating within four years and more than 71 percent enrolled in further education within six months."
While the K–8 school and the high school operate under one charter, they are in different buildings and have their own staffs.
The UFT charter school opened in 2005. Its charter was renewed in 2010 for three years, and again in 2013 for two years, subject to the school's meeting benchmarks based on state reading, math and other tests.
There are approximately 670 students and a pedagogical staff of 50 for grades kindergarten through 8. The UFT will work with the Department of Education to ensure appropriate placements for all students affected.
The contractual rights of all staff members will be protected. The UFT will assist any displaced staff in finding new positions.