On this year’s state exams, Classical Charter Schools once again outscored both the city and state averages by a wide margin, with 81% of children passing the ELA test, and 78% passing math.
These scores put the Classical Charter Schools network in competition with the highest performing school districts in the state, including Chappaqua, Edgemont, and Scarsdale. This achievement is all the more remarkable, given that the Classical Charter School network is exclusively located in the poorest congressional district in the country, and has outperformed the state’s richest public school districts.
Contrary to popular belief, charter schools receive less public funding per child than their district school counterparts, with charter schools students funded at about $14,500 per student and city district schools at about $17,000 per student. With a student population comprised almost 100% of students of color, and an average household income of less than $40,000, Classical Charter Schools shows that the achievement gap can be closed with the right educational opportunities, rigorous curriculum, and teacher and staff accountability – even with less fiscal resources from the public.
As Executive Director and founder Lester Long states, “Our goal is to give every child in the South Bronx the opportunity to walk to a public school that sustainably (financially, culturally, environmentally) delivers ‘no gap’ academic results.” Classical plans to extend its reach in the neighborhood by opening a fifth school in 2019, and has long-term goals to open 2-3 more schools in the South Bronx by year 2023. Currently, the total student population of the network is close to 1,300 children; by 2027 the projection is that the network will serve 3,000 children.
Student demand for seats in the network is overwhelming. In 2016-17 the network received 6,000 applications across districts, with spaces available for only 300. Classical offers services to all children, including English Language Learners and children with special education needs, who make up approximately 15% of students; 58% passed the ELA state exam, and 53% passed the Math state exam, compared to 11% of NYC SPED students and 12% of NYC SPED students. The network actively works to recruit students in both ELL populations and SPED populations so that it can accurately represent the neighborhood population.
About Classical Charter Schools
Classical Charter Schools prepares K-8th grade scholars in the South Bronx to excel in college preparatory high schools. A network of four K-8 elementary schools located exclusively in the South Bronx neighborhood, the network began in 2006, with its co-located, flagship location at 977 Fox Street. Classical Charter School II opened in 2013, Classical Charter School III in 2015, and Classical Charter School IV in 2017. The curriculum is highly structured and offers such subjects as debate, Latin, and Character Education. Full information can be found at our website here.