NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A New York City Council committee held a hearing looking into some controversial practices by charter schools.

As WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported, education committee chairman Danny Dromm wore a bright orange t-shirt similar to the ones used to isolate students being disciplined at Coney Island Prep charter school.

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At that school, a child being disciplined “is required to wear an orange shirt all the length of his punishment so that other children in the school and in the class know that they are not allowed to talk to him,” he said.

He said if he had done that in his public school teaching days, he would have been led out of the school in handcuffs.

Dromm called the charters separate and unequal – a “sort of educational apartheid.”

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“Across the country, millionaires and billionaires who know absolutely nothing about public education are trying to reshape our education system not based on educating the whole individual, but ultimately enriching themselves and their cronies,” he said.

Dromm questioned whether the city’s Department of Education is holding charters accountable.

Dromm said the mission of public education is at stake.

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