As Wait, What have readers learned over the last two years, Achievement First, Inc. the Charter School management company that runs more than two dozen schools in New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island is notorious for “out-migrating” or “dumping” any students that don’t fit their “exacting” standards.
While Achievement First likes to brag that their students do better on standardized tests than students in their neighboring district schools, they fail to reveal that the get those results by refusing to provide educational services to broad social-demographic groups within the community. In virtually every situation, Achievement First educates students that are less poor and they fail to take on their fair share of students who face English language barriers or need special education services.
The harsh discipline program, which they start at the kindergarten level, is just one example of how Achievement First forces students out of their “public” charter schools.
Although they claim to be “public” educational institutions, and are in fact funded with taxpayer dollars, no genuine public school would ever try or get away with the dubious education policies and practices that Achievement First engages in.
In the latest news story about the massive number of suspensions of children aged six and under, the Hartford Courant looked at the data that was released last week by Connecticut’s Child Advocate.
While suspensions were shockingly high in some urban areas, the magnitude of suspensions was the most extreme at the charter schools run by Achievement First, the charter school management company that was co-founded by Stefan Pryor, Governor Malloy’s Commissioner of Education.
As the Hartford Courant reported over the weekend;
“The incidence of suspension of kindergartners and first graders at Achievement First Hartford Academy last year was an estimated nine times the rate in Hartford public schools.
Put another way, an estimated 11.7 percent of kindergartners and first-graders at Achievement First Hartford Academy were suspended last year an average of 5.4 times each. In the Hartford public school system, 3.3 percent of kindergartners and first-graders were suspended an average of 2.1 times.”
The most telling remark came from Marc Michaelson, who works as the regional superintendent for Achievement First, Inc. He told the Courant that Achievement First, has “a very high bar for the conduct of our students and that’s because we’ve made a promise to our scholars and our families that we are going to prepare them for college.”
The “prepare them for college” statement seems more than a bit gratuitous considering the statistics he is trying to rationalize relates exclusively to children aged 6 and under.
You can read the Hartford Courant story here: http://www.courant.com/news/education/hc-kindergarten-suspensions-20130525,0,6059434.story