Sports Illustrated – The Power of Charter Schools

Carlos Bermudez, 15, started the first day back at school in Brooklyn after Hurricane Sandy the same way he starts every school day, working with his team and his coach. The coach asked Carlos to give his “high point” and “low point” from the storm-induced week off from class. Carlos’s high was that he had arrived at school early that morning. His low was that his diabetic godmother—his legal guardian—was still in the hospital after having a second leg amputated below the knee. Like so many of his classmates at the two-month-old Urban Dove Team Charter School, the lows for Carlos have been lower than any teenager should know.

Also like every other student at UD Team, as the school is known, Carlos arrived “overage and under credited.” (Read: desperately behind graduation pace.) He was approved for a safety transfer from Manhattan’s Murry Bergtraum High last year, after gang members threatened him and he stopped showing up at school. So Carlos’s “high” of coming in early, commonplace on the face of it, is something of a minor miracle. But then, his day doesn’t start as it would in a normal school.