Stephen Reader covers politics for It's a Free Country, WNYC's interactive politics site. He joined the station in 2010 and has also worked for Studio 360, WNYC's Peabody Award-winning show about art, culture, and creativity.
Charter schools are on the rise throughout the country, serving more and more students each year, predominately in urban areas like New York City. Where have they taken root and where are the new ones opening? SchoolBook offers an interactive map that shows where charter schools are concentrated in the five boroughs.
Zoom into your neighborhood, see where charters are commonplace and where they are rare. Get more data about individual schools you see on the map, on the site's individual school pages. Share your comments about how charters have spread in the city.
As the largest school district in the nation, New York City boasts a system of over 1,700 public schools, about 10 percent of which are charters. But in some school districts the percentage is much higher. In five of the 32 school districts, charters account for at least 20 percent of all the public schools. Those districts are in Harlem, the Bronx, and northern Brooklyn in the Williamsburg, Bed-Stuy, and Bushwick neighborhoods.
District 7 in the Bronx has 13 charter schools, the most of any district in the city. District 5 in Harlem has the second-most charter schools, but the highest concentration: 12 out of 45, or 27 percent of all public schools in the district.
Taken together, those five districts are home to a third of all charters in the city.
Three school districts don’t have any charters at all: District 20 in the southwest corner of Brooklyn, including the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights; and Districts 25 and 26 in northeast Queens.
Earlier this week, a WNYC analysis of data from U.S. Department of Education found that 2 percent of students in New York State attended charter schools in 2010-11. It appears almost all of those students are in New York City.
Out of the 184 charter schools operating in the state for the 2011-12 school year, 136 were located in New York City. Thirty-one more were set to begin operating in New York City for the 2012-13 school year; only three were scheduled to open throughout the rest of the state.