Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Memo on Eva Moskowitz's March and the #TaleofTwoSchoolSystems

  • Harlem Success 1, Eva’s oldest school, suspended 22% of its pupils at least once during the 2010-11 school year, while the average for regular elementary district schools was 3%.
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I'm pumping these out as fast as they come in over this morning's charter lobby outrage against ALL parents, students and staff who were led in a forced march over the Brooklyn Bridge while public schools were on lock down so they couldn't join the counter marches and rallies to demonstrate there is severe opposition to the charter lobby.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 8th, 2013
Media Contacts:Julian Vinocur. 203.313.2479. julianvinocur@gmail.com
Dan Morris. 917.952.8920. dlmcommunications@gmail.com
Stuart Marques. 917.273.6194. stuart.marques@gmail.com

A Memo on Eva Moskowitz's March and the #TaleofTwoSchoolSystems

To: Interested Parties
Re: Eva Moskowitz’s March for Separate and Unequal Education
Eva’s Stunt Would be a Fireable Offense for Anyone Else
Today’s march is a political maneuver by Success Charter Schools CEO Eva Moskowitz to perpetuate a dark tale of two school systems in which charter schools thrive and traditional public schools struggle to survive.
Her chosen candidate for mayor, Joe Lhota, has pledged to double the number of charter schools in the city. Moskowitz and Lhota are marching together in favor of separate and unequal education, while Bill de Blasio has said he would charge charter schools rent and support a moratorium on co-locations and closings to make the system fairer and more equitable.
Make no mistake: closing schools for half the day, as Moskowitz has done today, to “facilitate” the participation of parents, students, and staff in a political march would be a fireable offense for most public school principals.
But Moskowitz is not viewed by City Hall as an ordinary figure, so she’ll get away what would be a career-damaging stunt for anyone else. She’s been given special treatment by Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Education, and she fears the favoritism and perks will end under de Blasio.
NYGPS and Bill de Blasio: Ending the Tale of Two School Systems
New Yorkers for Great Public Schools (NYGPS) is a coalition of thousands of parents, students, educators, and community organizations. We have called for a moratorium on divisive school closings and co-locations that have pit parent against parent, student against student and school against school.  A majority of City Council members and several mayoral candidates—including Bill de Blasio—have embraced our view.
We are committed to ending the tale of two school systems and giving all public schools a fair and equal chance to succeed. We are focused on strengthening all public schools and ensuring that charter schools don't receive special treatment or get away with neglecting the needs of the city's most vulnerable students. 
Charters must be held to the same standards as traditional public schools. Our next mayor should require charter schools to report on finances, instruction, school policy and operations to increase their transparency and accountability within the overall school system. Well-off charter schools should pay fees for their use of traditional public school facilities in a way that is fair and equitable.
Top 5 Reasons Why Eva’s #TaleofTwoSchoolSystems Must End:
1)   Charter Schools Serve Fewer than 5% of the City’s 1.1 Million Students
  • Charter schools enroll fewer than 5% of New York City's 1.1 million students and data shows high rates of attrition at some Success Academy schools for ELL students and students with disabilities.  Only 6% of students enrolled in charters are ELLs, compared with 14% citywide, and only 9% of charter students have IEPs compared to about 15% citywide. 
  • To continue to give charter schools special treatment would be to neglect the needs of 95% of the city’s 1.1 million students. It’s unfair and unacceptable.
2)   Charter Schools Often Receive More Funding Than Traditional Public Schools
3)     Eva Has Received Special Treatment from Bloomberg’s DOE
  • The relationship between Eva Moskowitz and the Dept. of Education has been extremely cozy with a level of access to resources and special favors unknown to most other administrators. The disturbing exchanges, made public by FOIL’ed email exchanges, show Eva’s special treatment. She told former Chancellor Joel Klein, "help on space much appreciated," referring to her divisive co-locations, and confided to him, “we will have market share and will have fundamentally changed the rules of the game."
  • Eva’s co-located charter schools create separate and unequal health standards in public school buildings, as many Success charter schools were bumped to the top of the line in the removal of toxic PCB’s while public school students were left exposed to hazardous chemicals. Many of the toxic treatment for her charter schools occurred without informing the Dept. of Education.
4)     Eva’s Multi-Dollar Network Refuses to Pay Rent for Public Space
  • Eva makes two times the salary as Chancellor Walcott and still refuses to pay rent in co-located schools. Most recent tax filings for Success Network show Eva earns at least $475,000, which is two times the salary of Chancellor Walcott.
  • While she refuses to pay rent for normal services and space costs, it was reported in 2012 her network received $28 million from foundations and corporations over the last 6 years, with a combined $23.5 million surplus, and two outside political consulting groups on the payroll.
5)   Eva Uses Zero Tolerance Discipline to Push Out High-Needs Students
  • Eva’s schools are notorious for excluding high needs students. The charter school tapes,” unveiled by Daily News reporter Juan Gonzalez, highlight over a dozen cases where the charter school network has used “zero tolerance” discipline policiesto suspend, push out, or demote high needs students who might lower scores on state exams.
  • Harlem Success 1, Eva’s oldest school, suspended 22% of its pupils at least once during the 2010-11 school year, while the average for regular elementary district schools was 3%.
  • Further, as reported by New York Magazine, her approach is militaristicNew students are initiated at “kindergarten boot camp,” where they get drilled for two weeks on how to behave in the “zero noise” corridors (straight lines, mouths shut, arms at one’s sides) and the art of active listening (legs crossed, hands folded, eyes tracking the speaker).
Please visit www.nygps.org, for more information

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