After I posted about the NYC DOE decision to place a new charter school into space that Central Park East wanted for expansion, many comments were received. Some accused the school of being exclusive or selective or no different from a charter. This parent at the school responded in hopes of clarifying what the school is and does.

There is an alarming amount of misinformation in the posts above.

There is no admissions test at CPE, and the school’s population is heterogeneous in every respect; the admissions process is designed to create a balance of students, not to select the most “gifted.” The most important criterion for admission is that the parents desire a progressive education for their children.

The curriculum that my son is experiencing at CPE is radically different from the traditional model that his brother got at a regular public school (also in East Harlem). There is more play, art, music, and movement incorporated into the school day, and my third-grader has yet to bring home a practice test for homework (his brother at this point in his 3rd grade year at his traditional school was doing nothing but filling in bubbles).

Not all parents would choose this non-traditional approach, but those who do feel passionately that it is right for their child and their own educational values. No one at CPE feels that there is an either/or between the progressive middle school that we have been applying to start for five years and the East Harlem Scholars’ Academy, which is desired by other parents.

THERE IS ROOM FOR BOTH, and BOTH are desired by parents in the community. Isn’t this what the much touted “school choice” is all about? But the DOE is acting with gross favoritism when it allows a brand new charter school to expand while the CPE’s application is rejected for lack of space.