More Great Seats 4 Kids Newsletter: SUNY Charter Schools Continue to Close Equity Gaps

Now, data, data, and more data, has been the theme these past few weeks, and that trend continues today as we look at a story of upmost importance: how SUNY schools are addressing historic educational inequities. Of course, at this point, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to say, we’re doing quite well.

Take a look at this chart exploring how well SUNY schools are closing learning gaps compared to district schools. Each dot quantifies the performance gap between two groups of students – so the closer to zero (or negative!), the better. Each region of the chart shows how those gaps compare between SUNY charters and schools throughout the rest of the state. In each area, including among Black and Hispanic students, the performance gaps at SUNY charter schools are smaller than the rest of the state.

Do you see that? Pretty impressive right?  In the most recently available statewide exam data the gap between ELL performance and the general population is smaller among SUNY schools than the state in both ELA and math. The same holds true for students with disabilities. SUNY schools have also made significant progress to close the White-Black achievement gap, especially in Math, where the gap between white students and black students is just 8% for SUNY schools (compared to 24% for the state). Hispanic students at SUNY schools have also shown considerable progress with a gap of just 11% in ELA and 6% in Math.

So, the question is, how has this been achieved? What are SUNY schools, such as Capital Prep Bronx Charter School, which serves 240 students in grades 6-8, doing so well to close the various achievement gaps?

  1. Implementing close clinical coaching for teachers with an emphasis observation, modeling, and performance feedback.
  2. Deploying strategies to properly diagnose learning disabilities and provide differentiated small group instruction.
  3. Using data for formative checks for classroom learning that allows instructors to identify gaps, formulate lessons to address those gaps.

From our view, all of the above are best practices, and  every SUNY charter deploys these practices to some degree, but those schools that really excel at gap closing have found that special sauce. Last year, with these strategies in place, Cap Prep Bronx posted exceptionally high growth scores on nationally normed assessments. What’s working at your school? Email us at [email protected] and let us know what advice you have for your fellow school leaders. We’ll share your thoughts in an upcoming newsletter.

Susie Miller Carello