Friday, February 28, 2014

Charter Wars: Community Charters Trash Eva Rally, Support Mayor Alt Rally for Pre-K

A political play by anti-Eva charter faction? PLEASE MR. De B, CAN I HAVE SOME MORE RENT-FREE SPACE?
I have mixed feelings about posting this charter propaganda piece, but I'll bite. They have termed themselves "community-based" charters. Someone else would have to check them out to see if they really are community-based. To me a community based charter would be formed by parents, teachers and local community forces and serve the kids of the local school district, not by outside carpet baggers. New Visions? Give me a break.

But maybe de Blasio has accomplished something I wondered about a few says ago: Splitting the charter movement into pro and anti-Eva forces. Actually, Eva's rabid self-serving rapacious slimy disgusting actions has done more than deB's tepid removal of only 3 of her applications. I would have slammed every one of her charters as they should have been. See my earlier post: Outrage Grows Over Eva Schools Allowed to Co-Locate

Given the reality of charters it may be time for some of us to take a closer look at alliances with the mom and pop variety vs the big money-gobbling chains like Success and KIPP and the scuzzy smaller charters of the Deborah Kenny variety with massive salaries and many teacher and student push-outs.

There are 183 charters in the city. Let's see how many sign on to this where they call for support for the de Blasio Pre-k rally in Albany over Eva's bogus astro-turf driven one.

This PR release engages in the usual charter blather propaganda bullshit but I'm including it all because ed notes readers know it's crap. How about this?
We play a vibrant role in many communities, particularly those that are underserved, where over 70,000 families and students have chosen the charter option.   Another 50,000 want the educational opportunities that we offer. 
Sure-- show me those 50,000 peoples' names. And how many of the charter school kids actually come from the local communities? But whatever. For this round they are taking the correct position, self-serving as it is. PLEASE MR. DEB, CAN I HAVE SOME MORE RENT-FREE SPACE?

Or this?
many public charter schools stand ready and eager to partner with the city to provide high-quality pre-kindergarten programs; to tackle the challenges facing middle and high schools; to build 21st century facilities; to serve our most vulnerable students; and to add new and high-quality enrichment [$$$$$$$$] opportunities.
There is no such thing as a public charter school. You are privately managed schools feeding on our public money. I get the "enrichment opportunities" -- for you pockets.


A close look at some of these 17 signees show some charters in trouble. Beginning With Children was slated to be closed by its Board, with a bogus claim its teacher union contract was the reason. Dream has just run into problems with the DOE. Renaissance just list its founders and leaders. Let's watch this one. I'm always interested to see where my old sparring partner Steve Evangelista (alias Kitchen Sink) and his Harlem Link stand on the Eva wars as I believe he has some distaste for her tactics -- and wouldn't she gobble up these small charters by stealing their kids?
Dear community-based charter school leaders:

 
Please find below and attached a statement prepared by members of our steering committee regarding next week's rally in Albany.  We arrived at this statement after careful consideration of many factors and issues and after consultation with rally organizers.  You are among over 40 public charter school leaders receiving this message. 
 
We encourage you to share this message among your colleagues and reach out to members of the steering committee (cc'd here) to add your school's name to this statement of our aims, principles, and values. 
 
Thank you.
 
Jonathan Gyurko
Co-Founder, University Prep Charter High School
 
February 27, 2014
Statement from community-based public charter schools:
"Public charter schools are making a difference in the lives of thousands of New York City children who need and deserve a high-quality public education.  Our schools are working every day to fulfill the purpose of the charter law. We are improving student learning and achievement.  We are increasing opportunities for students at-risk of academic failure.  We are creating new professional opportunities for educators.  We are expanding choices for parents and holding ourselves accountable for results.  Many charter educators collaborate with their district colleagues, modeling for our students the respect and cooperation that will serve them well in life. 
"The city's 183 public charter schools are part of the fabric of our city.  We play a vibrant role in many communities, particularly those that are underserved, where over 70,000 families and students have chosen the charter option.   Another 50,000 want the educational opportunities that we offer.  Moving forward, there is a responsible and responsive approach that grows the sector to meet student needs, honors parent choice, and that shares innovative and effective practices among charter and district schools to promote system-wide success.
"For these and many other reasons, the future of the charter sector is intertwined with our city's larger system of public education.  No one person or organization can, alone, realize the change our children need.  And many public charter schools stand ready and eager to partner with the city to provide high-quality pre-kindergarten programs; to tackle the challenges facing middle and high schools; to build 21st century facilities; to serve our most vulnerable students; and to add new and high-quality enrichment opportunities.
"Doing so requires that we all work together as good neighbors with other public schools and carefully listen to and partner with the communities we serve.  That we carry our fair share of responsibilities and have a fair share of resources to meet our obligations.  It also requires that charters maintain key autonomies that allow for innovation to develop strategies that serve all children, particularly those who are underserved.  Striking this balance isn't always easy, but it's essential. 
"This coming Tuesday, the mayor and a broad coalition of educators, community-based organizations, civic leaders, and faith-based communities will take their message to Albany to strengthen support for the administration's highest priorities.  As members of the broader New York City education community, we believe that nothing should divide or detract from this message. 
"A competing rally, being organized by some charter leaders and just for charter schools, is not the right approach at this time.   While we respect these charter leaders' right to raise issues integral to the sector-including fair and permanent facilities funding for all public charter schools state-wide-we have voiced these concerns in the past and will have future opportunities to do so.
"Tuesday is not a day to be divided.  Those rallying in Albany next week should stand together with the city and advocate-side by side-for our children, particularly the most underserved, and all of whom are public school students." 
Signed by members of the community-based charter school steering committee:
Academy of the City Charter School Amber Charter School
Beginning with Children & Community Partnership Charter School
Brooklyn Charter School
Broome Street Academy Charter School
Central Queens Academy Charter School
Children's Aid College Prep Charter School
Community Roots Charter School
DREAM Charter School
Family Life Academy Charter School
Manhattan Charter School
MESA Charter High School
New Visions Charter High School
New York Center for Autism Charter School
Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation
Renaissance Charter School
Teaching Firms of Am. Prof Preparatory Charter School
University Prep Charter High School
 
(Additional signatories forthcoming)

2 comments:

  1. Charter schools are neither public schools nor community schools, as they are privately managed and rarely serve the same populations as the communities in which they are located.

    Mom and pop charters, while not as pernicious as the chains, unwittingly serve an insidious purpose by masking the broader overall agenda of charter schools: the destabilization, fragmentation and ultimate privatization of the public education.

    That may not be the conscious intention of their staffs, but that is where their center of gravity is located, and why they receive the private funding they do.

    If these folks want to unionize their schools, pay union scale and provide union benefits, then maybe we can talk; until then, it's fine if they want to distance themselves from Moskowitz, but they are no friends of teachers, public education or the communities in which they are sited. To see them as such is a big mistake.

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  2. Correct, Michael. The reasoning you state here is precisely why deBlasio should have negated all the charters that were voted on during the Fall PEP meetings. He ran on saying he would charge charters rent and then pulled back to "some" charters. I hope the lawsuit that Tish James was part of starts up agian or public school advocates will have to let our new city leaders know they are defaulting on their promises and on OUR NYC children.

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