Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Susan Semel

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Leadership


teacher sustainability, urban education, charter schools, NYC, New York


As a participant observer working in a charter school and researching charter schools, I critically examine a particular charter school in New York City. I begin with my educational journey and the challenge of being a participant observer. I transition to focus on a general overview of “No Excuses” charter schools in NYC, looking closely at Uncommon Charter Schools, Achievement First Charter Schools, KIPP NYC, Success Academy Charter Schools and Democracy Prep Charter Schools. Next, I share my experiences working for five years in a “No Excuses” Charter School, using a specific lens to examine what makes that school different than other schools and why it is a strong model. Finally, I propose areas of growth for this school and further research that needs to be conducted.



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