Thursday, February 27, 2014

Moskowitz, NY Post, Charter - er Chalkbeat Try to Reverse Mayoral Election

Can children be kicked out of schools that don't yet exist and have no student bodies yet? DOE reverses 9 out of 45 co-loco decisions. Too precious few for my taste. A
"For the 35 proposals that will be implemented, we will host a meeting for each school community" ... Carmen Farina
For what reason? I doubt anyone would have guessed that 35 out of 45 of these hastily pushed through co-locations would be enacted. .... a parent who was not very happy with the announcement.
Can someone remind me -- and maybe Mayor de Blasio -- who won the mayoralty by an overwhelming margin running on a campaign to curb the charter lobby monster, especially the runaway train that is Eva Moskowitz? And how about Public Advocate Tish James who has been vocal in opposing charters (with many PEP speeches)? She beat back challenges by people with backing of the charter lobby.

Before proceding, let's remind everyone that Bloomberg tried to pull a fast one by holding 2 co-location PEP meetings in October, months before they had every been held before, to present de Blasio with  a fair accompli, with Eva the focus of his largesse. Not all the co-locos were charters.

There were many cries of outrage from the public, the politicians and the students, teachers and parents of the invaded schools. For the charter lobby to cry foul now that a precious too few of these decisions have been reversed is beyond outrage.

The hope was that most of these decisions pushed through by the dying death star at Tweed would be reversed and not we see that is not so.

Well at the Eva train took some kind of a hit and watch the press, especially the NY Post and Charter - er ChalkBeat beat this story to death without every mentioning the de Blasio and James mandate. The slugs at the NY Post are reporting that Moskowitz will sue de Blasio.  Farina noted:
we considered construction. We looked closely at proposals that would depend on significant capital work to create space for the co-location, or those that required substantial dislocation to the existing schools within a building... on high school campuses, if we have several schools together, we can encourage them to share resources such as AP classes or a library. We approached these proposals with the belief that high school campuses should serve high school students.....Farina in statement released today.
YES. This is a direct hit at Eva who doesn't take over a school with a light footprint. She requires enormous capital expenditures on the part of the DOE to keep her happy. Every high school she invaded cost lots of money to renovate for her. She already has beach heads in Brandeis, Graphics and Washington Irving and was given Bergtraum in Manhattan so she could have a gentrified geographic base in every corner of the borough. So this may be good news. We'll see.

When parents sued over the handing over of public school space to charters in the past they were turned back. Let's see which side the courts are on. If they allow Moskowitz to get away with this once again expect an even stronger turn against charters in the city. One interesting angle is where the other charters stand. Many of them I bet are cheering de Blasio on this one if he leaves them alone. And maybe his goal is to separate Eva from the others.
With Round 2 of middle and high school admissions approaching, rescinding many or all of these proposals would mean that students would be limited in their second round options. Conversely, moving forward with all of the proposals could have yielded co-locations that may not be best for some school communities....Carmen Farina 
This is disingenuous. They knew in October and they knew they were winning the election. Thus 3 months have gone by and they could have made some of these decisions a month ago. So to claim that they must go through due to Round 2 is a waffle.

Our side will not be happy with what looks like waffling by the de Blasio admin. I was expecting no more than 9 co-locos to go through. But there are some nuggets here. 

Carmen Farina sent this out without the specifics.
Dear Colleagues,
I want to share some news with you. As many of you know, we have been carefully reviewing the 49 proposals that were approved by the Panel for Educational Policy towards the end of last year. This was a process we took very seriously. We diligently reviewed every public comment submitted, analyzed each proposal, and considered upcoming enrollment deadlines for families.
These decisions were not easy, but they were made carefully. We identified several core values that comprised the lens through which we evaluated the proposals. First, on high school campuses, if we have several schools together, we can encourage them to share resources such as AP classes or a library. We approached these proposals with the belief that high school campuses should serve high school students. Second, we want to ensure that all new schools have the resources they need to provide the services students deserve. Very small schools under 250 students may sometimes have difficulty providing the range of support needed to effectively serve students. Third, we considered construction. We looked closely at proposals that would depend on significant capital work to create space for the co-location, or those that required substantial dislocation to the existing schools within a building. Last, we considered District 75 capacity - we will not reduce seats for these students.
Of the 49 proposals from last fall, we have made decisions on 45 of them, all of which are for 2014 implementation. Through this lens, of the 45 that we have decided on, we are withdrawing 9 proposals and revising one. There were four proposals approved for 2015, and we are deferring decisions on these because the needs of the communities between now and the 2015 school-year may change. We want to listen to community concerns as 2015 draws closer.
 
When making these decisions, we considered families. We have many deadlines coming up – in sum, these 2014 proposals have an impact on up to roughly 4,500 students going through upcoming enrollment processes. With Round 2 of middle and high school admissions approaching, rescinding many or all of these proposals would mean that students would be limited in their second round options. Conversely, moving forward with all of the proposals could have yielded co-locations that may not be best for some school communities. I am confident in our decisions. We approached this thoughtfully and thoroughly, and through a clear, sensible lens.
Going forward, we will approach these issues differently. Earlier this week we announced new engagement practices – a new Blue Book Working Group to evaluate school utilization, a required walk-through from DOE senior leadership of each building proposed for significant changes in school utilization, and increased outreach to parents, CECs, SLTs, and other groups. We will meaningfully engage with the school communities we serve in a way that has never been done before. And we will make sure to listen. 
As always, thank you for all of your hard work in serving our schools and our City.
Warmly,
Carmen
Do I really believe they will engage the community and actually listen? Or will they just be more successful at stroking people? I have to see where community input actually has an impact.

The national alliance for charter schools (they insert the words Public to create the phony impression but I won't dignify that falsehool) was screaming bloody murder in more deception with this false headline: National Charter Schools Group Outraged over Mayor de Blasio’s Decision to Kick Children Out of their School

Out of what school since most of these schools have not opened and don't officially have any students?  Their joke of a statement is below.

Knowing this was coming, Moskowitz already had this in the works to go crying to Gov Cuomo and whoever else will listen in Albany as she closes down her personal little school system for a day.

Ravitch reports:
Albany, Néw York, will be the scene of two competing rallies on Tuesday.
Eva Moskowitz is closing her charter schools on NYC and will bus thousands of children and parents to lobby for her charter chain.
On the same day, allies of Mayor de Blasio will assemble to urge the legislature to permit NYC to tax the richest--those who earn more than $500,000 annually--to pay for universal pre-K.
Place your bets, folks. Will it come down to a contest between which groups made the biggest campaign contributions? Or will the greater public good prevail?
Support for de Blasio:

Zakiyah Ansari Reacts to Announcement on Co-Location Reversals

NY, NY— Following Dept. of Education's announcement on how they will proceed with the handling of contentious school co-locations approved under the last administration, Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director for the Alliance for Quality Education,released the following statement:

“Thank you Mayor de Blasio for sticking to your word. This is good education policy and an uplifting start to bring fairness and equity to our schools. Although there are arguments to be made for having reversed many more inherited co-locations on the table, it is clear that the administration used fair and objective criteria to make this decision.

“It is an historic step for the Mayor to propose reversing co-locations and he has focused in on some of the most damaging ones. For those that are not reversed, we expect the Dept. of Education to follow through on their commitment to take a new approach of responsiveness, collaboration and a genuine understanding of how students are affected.

“Families all across the city are ready to move past the ‘old system’ of divisiveness and inequity. Now, we must re-focus on how we're going to improve opportunities and provide the best possible education for all children,” said Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director for the Alliance for Quality Education.
And here is the charter bullshit. Someone give Katherine a call and let her know that there was actually an election in NYC.

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT
February 27, 2014 Katherine Bathgate
(202) 521-2827
Katherine@publiccharters.org

National Charter Schools Group Outraged over
Mayor de Blasio’s Decision to Kick Children
Out of their School

Four charter schools kicked out of school buildings,
hundreds of children affected
WASHINGTON, D.C. —  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has told four charter schools they would lose their school buildings, leaving at least 700 children without a school this coming school year. One of the schools is already open and serving children, three were scheduled to open this fall. Among these schools is one of the top performing schools in the city, and more notably, the state. National Alliance for Public Charter Schools President and CEO Nina Rees issued the following statement in response:  
“Kicking one of the state’s top-performing schools out of its building and leaving three other schools without a building is nothing short of outrageous. At the school already serving children, Success Academy’s Harlem 4, 83 percent of the students passed the state math exam last year, putting it in the top one percent of all schools in the state. Why would anyone want to stop that kind of student achievement? 
“This is an unjustified attack on the city’s most vulnerable youth—93 percent of students in charter schools in NYC are minorities and 73 percent are low-income. Among the country's 10 largest cities, all other mayors (8 of whom are Democrats) have embraced charter schools as a solution to urban education challenges. It is incomprehensible that Mayor de Blasio would intentionally force hundreds of children out of their schools. He is threatening to take away the most valuable thing we can give to our kids – a quality education. 
“These children and parents don’t deserve to have the rug pulled out from under their feet. De Blasio should immediately reconsider this decision and put the interests of the city’s children first.”
A recent report by the Center for Research on Educational Outcomes at Stanford University showed that students who attend charter schools in New York City are doing better in school than their peers who attend traditional district schools. There are 70,000 students enrolled in charter schools in New York, and 50,000 more students on charter school waiting lists.
About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the public charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector. For more information, please visit our website at www.publiccharters.org.
  

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