BROOKLYN - More than 12 small schools and one charter school are opening across the borough, giving parents more education options.

One of the facilities is the Kings Collegiate Charter School at 1084 Lenox Rd. Classes are already in session for fifth-graders. Kings Collegiate is a public school with 81 students, who were chosen through a lottery.

Some city leaders hail the schools as a proven method for helping low performers excel.

"Our academic expectations are higher than those of many public schools," said Kings Collegiate Co-director Lauren Harris.Kings Collegiate plans to add a new grade each year, eventually offering fifth through 12th grades.

While the school's administrators can exercise more control over their curriculums, they also face higher scrutiny. Charter schools are evaluated every five years.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein have said small and charter schools are critical to the city's overall plan for education.

Albany recently revised regulations, now giving the city funding to open 50 additional schools.