The UFT Charter School

Phone: (718) 922-0438
Website: Click here
Admissions: Lottery/District 19 priority
Principal: Michelle Bodden-White/Shep Brown
Neighborhood: East New York
District: 19
Grade range: 0K thru 12

What's special:

School founded by the teachers union

The downside:

Poor academic performance

K-8 Stats


Our review

The UFT Charter School, founded by the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) in September 2005, has been plagued by high turnover of principals (called “leaders”), troubled finances, and poor academic performance, according to WNYC radio. It barely escaped being closed by the state in 2013. [Photo by WNYC’s Beth Fertig.]

The UFT Charter School was designed to show that the union is not to blame for the city schools' problems. While many proponents of charter schools have suggested that excessive union regulations prevent ordinary public schools from being successful, the UFT Charter School is out to prove that it's possible to run a good school while following the union contract.

However, the school has been beset by problems. Although the elementary school appears to be “strong,” the building serving middle and high school students—about a mile away--has had five principals in seven years, chronic shortages of textbooks and supplies and 10 cases of corporal punishment, WNYC reported, quoting a review by the State University of New York Charter Schools Institute.

SUNY decided in 2013 to renew the charter for two years only.

The school has financial troubles, partly because of high attrition; many elementary school children choose not to continue at the middle and high school, the SUNY review said.

UFT officials acknowledge the problems, but say their best students are lured away by other schools. "Right now in this building, our level 3 and 4 students are being recruited by other charter schools, out of the fourth grade," Shelia Evans-Tranumn, who oversees both campuses, told WNYC. "We don't go in and rob another school of their top learners. But many charter schools have an aggressive on-the-ground campaign to get the better students."

UFT Charter elementary school shares a building with IS 292.

Special education: The school was in violation of the federal Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, because it had a number of students who required more restrictive classroom settings than the school offered, WNYC reported, quoting a SUNY review.

Admissions: Lottery, priority to District 19 residents. (Clara Hemphill, updated with WNYC reports, August 2013)



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