Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Video: Parent/Community Voices Oppose Success as SUNY Approves Eva Moskowitz Charter Scam

Part 2 - Leonie Haimson, Noah Gotbaum and more --

More videos:
For teacher voices see:
MOREistas in the House, UFT Not @ Success Academy ...
and teachers and community/parents at the Sept. 22 hearing in Brooklyn: MORE Takes a Stand Against Eva Moskowitz at Hearin...

Part 1 for community/parent voices

Also see: The Demographic Shift of Eva Moskowitz - The Grim ...(and Almost All White) Faces of Success Academy Parents...


Wed. 10/8 9:30am Board of Trustees Charter Schools Committee Mtg - SUNY Global Center Boardroom - 116 East 55th Street -Approval of New Success Charter School for District 3 on the Agenda


Board of Trustees
Charter Schools Committee
Committee Members
Joseph Belluck, Chair
Angelo Fatta
John Murad, Jr.          
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
SUNY Global Center 
116 East 55th Street
New York, New York    
Room Location:  Boardroom
Time:  09:30 a.m.

09:30 – 09:35 a.m.
 Call to Order – Joseph W. Belluck, Chair
09:35 – 09:40 a.m.
 Approval of Minutes  
 § 1.  June 4, 2014 meeting minutes
09:40 – 10:40 a.m.
 Applications for New Charter Schools
 § 2.  Public List of Applications Status
 § 3.  Achievement First Charter School 10
 § 4.  Achievement First Charter School 11
 § 5.  Achievement First Charter School 12
 § 6.  Success Academy Charter School – NYC 1
 § 7.  Success Academy Charter School – NYC 2 (Proposed for District 3)
§ 8.  Success Academy Charter School – NYC 3
 § 9.  Success Academy Charter School – NYC 4
 § 10 Success Academy Charter School – NYC 5
 § 11 Success Academy Charter School – NYC 6
 § 12 Success Academy Charter School – NYC 7
 § 13 Success Academy Charter School – NYC 8
 § 14 Success Academy Charter School – NYC 9
 § 15 Success Academy Charter School – NYC 10
 § 16 Success Academy Charter School – NYC 11
 § 17 Success Academy Charter School – NYC 12
 § 18 Success Academy Charter School – NYC 13
 § 19 Success Academy Charter School – NYC 14
10:40 – 10:50 a.m.
 General Update                         Susan Miller Barker
 § 20 SUNY Charter Schools Institute Update          Memorandum
 . Renewal List and Policy Materials                                                
 . SSF Grant Summary and Video                                             
 § 21 Facility Hearing Summaries for the following schools:
 . Achievement First Linden Charter School                                             
 . Success Academy Charter School – Bensonhurst                                           
 . Success Academy Charter School – Bergen Beach                                             
 . Success Academy Charter School – Bronx 4
 . Success Academy Charter School – Springfield Garden
 10:50 – 10:55 a.m.
 Executive Session                               Ralph Rossi

10:55 – 11:00 a.m.
Parents Rip Success Academy for Not Sharing Locations of Proposed Charters

By Emily Frost on September 30, 2014 1:16pm 

 The charter network is proposing to add new charter schools in Districts 2 and 3.  Success Academy Charter Schools in Districts 2 and 3
CHELSEA — Dozens of parents spoke out Monday night about proposals for new Success Academycharter schools in Manhattan — with opponents of the schools criticizing Success Academy officials for not revealing their planned locations for the charters.
The hearing, held by the Department of Education, was a chance for the public to weigh in on Success Academy's two applications currently before the SUNY's Charter Schools Institute, the state body that authorizes charters. 
One new Success Academy charter school is proposed for District 3, which includes the Upper West Side, Morningside Heights and part of Harlem, and another for District 2, which spans from the tip of Manhattan to West 59th Street on the West Side, and up to East 96th Street on the East Side. 
To the dismay of detractors, Success Academy did not offer a public presentation on its plans at the hearing, and has not shared the specific locations it has in mind for the new elementary schools. 
Elected officials and others opposed to Success Academy's expansion in these districts decried the fact that the charter network did not need to disclose where it will locate the new school during the public comment period, making it hard for parents to give feedback.
"They don’t even give you a location, they just say somewhere in District 3," complained Upper West Side mom Beth Servetar.  
Parents supporting the charter network, mainly those with students at the Upper West Success Academy, as well as local parents opposed to the charter schools, urged all those present to remember to be respectful, since there are shared goals among parents on both sides of the issue. 
Nevertheless, speakers' comments got heated throughout the hearing. 
"We all want the best for our children, but really [co-location] is undermining the education of the kids who are already in the schools you are taking," Servetar said of the siting process, in which charters are situated within an existing public school.
Parents of students from the UWS Success Academy pleaded the case for choice, especially when their children didn't get into top District 3 choices like P.S. 87 and P.S. 199.
"As a parent, would you send your child to a school with a grade of a 'B' or 'C' or 'D'? Can you truthfully say the system wasn’t broken before the charters arrived?" said charter school dad Peter Brooks. 
Others blamed the act of putting charter schools inside public school buildings — also known as co-location — for provoking fighting among parents.
"The system has pit public school parents against charter school parents. I don’t fault any charter school parents for voraciously protecting the interests of their child," said traditional public school parent David Rosenberg.
But, he warned that he would not back down in the fight against co-locations.
"When a charter school economically threatens my child or my child’s potential for resources or classroom... [p]lease excuse me if going forward this gets ugly," he said.
Critics of Success Academy at the hearing also accused the charter network of rejecting English Language Learners and students with special needs in order to boost its test scores. 
Courtney Harry, the president of Success Academy Upper West's parents council, defended the school and said there are plenty of students with special needs at the school led by compassionate teachers. 
She touted the school's achievements in math and said she was surrounded by parents passionate about the academics at the school. 
"This is not a forum where we usually are present and it’s important for us to be here," she said. 
Both Community Education Council 3 and Community Education Council 2have called for a moratorium on new charter schools in their districts until statistics regarding how they operate, including who they accept, are publicly released. 
The city's Department of Education recently approved co-locations for two Success Academy charters, in the South Bronx and Bedford-Stuyvesant, after new state rules were unveiled saying the city must find rooms for charters in public buildings or be forced to pay their rent.
In a statement, Success Academy Senior Managing Director of Public Affairs Ann Powell, emphasized that the charters are in high demand and the applications are a result of listening to parents.
"Families across New York City are demanding more high-quality public schools in their neighborhoods. They shouldn't have to wait," she said. 
The SUNY Board of Trustees’ Charter Schools Committee will vote on the proposal on Oct. 8. 

Parents, administrators weigh in on potential Manhattan charter openings
Deborah Secular for Spectator
SCHOOL OUT Noah Gotbaum, vice president of Community Education Council District 3, said at the meeting that there is little demand for additional Success Academy charter schools in District 3.

Spectator Senior Staff Writer
September 30, 2014, 2:06am
Updated Sept. 30, 10:49 p.m.
Pro-charter school parents clashed with public school administrators’ demands for clearer data at a public hearing Monday night regarding the possibility of two new Success Academy schools in school districts 2 and 3.
While many parents welcomed the potential new schools, other speakers said that Success Academy—the largest charter network in the city—has not been transparent about its policies on admissions and retaining low-performing students.
“We’d like to see data,” New York State Assembly member Deborah Glick, who is also chair of the assembly’s higher education committee, said. “There’s all sorts of wonderful stories, but I want to know whether the 25 first-graders who started are the same 25 fifth-graders who graduate,” she said.
Noah Gotbaum, vice president of Community Education Council District 3 and a staunch opponent of charter schools, said in an interview before the hearing that there is little demand for additional Success Academy charter schools in District 3.  
“She had five charters in District 3 already, and the majority of the students in those charters come from outside of District 3,” he said, referring to Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools.
Gotbaum said that Success Academy is courting new space in District 3 not because there is demand, but because that students there already have high test scores, which could bolster the charter network’s reputation.
School District 3 covers the Upper West Side, while District 2 includes the Upper East Side, Midtown, and parts of Lower Manhattan.
Success Academy declined to offer a presentation at the meeting, although representatives at the meeting said they would prepare a response based on the testimony offered on Monday.
Still, some parents at the meeting said they were excited that their children could attend charter schools if more were allowed to open across the city.
Parent Helen Wolnik said at the meeting that her son was completely transformed after transferring from P.S. 9 to a Success Academy school.
At the public school, “he got in trouble for acting out in class in relation to math,” she said. “As a parent, that’s heartbreaking.”
Since switching, she said, “The transformation has been magnificent—he was at the top of his class by the end of last year.”
West Harlem parent Tracey Keij-Denton said that sending her son to Success Academy Upper West allowed her to avoid going further downtown for school—a trend she said she noticed among new residents in the neighborhood.
“A lot of white people in Harlem are sending their kids south of 96th Street, and we weren’t very comfortable with that,” she said, adding that she had only settled on Success Academy Upper West after her son was waitlisted at high-performing area public schools due to high demand.
But Gotbaum worried that the addition of another Success Academy charter would only further squeeze those public schools that already have more applicants than seats. He expressed concern that the decision on whether to allow Success Academy’s expansion will come before the Department of Education finds space for it.
In recent history, many charter schools have been co-located in buildings with public schools. Since last spring, the DOE is legally mandated to either find space for newly approved charters in its existing facilities or pay their rent in private space.
Some speakers highlighted the disconnect between the State University of New York Trustees, which approves new charters, and the city’s Department of Education, which is tasked with finding space for the new schools.
“We don’t have any oversight,” Glick said, adding that the New York State Education Department “should be the only way” charters are approved.
According to Gotbaum, the calculations that the DOE uses to determine how much space each school in a co-location needs are flawed. And, while these calculations are currently under review, Gotbaum said District 3 has little space for new schools, regardless.
“Even under the old guidelines, which overestimate the capacity and underestimate the space schools actually need to operate, there’s still no space in District 3,” he said.
Meanwhile, Shino Tanikawa, president of Community Education Council District 2, emphasized the need for quality education for all students. She addressed her comments directly to Moskowitz, who was not present at the meeting.
“Your schools do not seem to be enrolling the equal number of students with disabilities. Your schools are not enrolling the equal number of English-language learners,” she said. “In the end, we are here to provide a high-quality education to all of our children—not just yours, not just mine.”

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