Monday, December 7, 2015

Eva is trying to build a little empire in this corner of District 14 - There are two other Success Academy schools within a three block radius of each other

No way can this school be claiming 1400 applications... Pat Dobosz

We know how Success and other charter inflate demand while seats at their schools remain empty. Call for the 1400 names to be made public - a good project for an ed reporter - foil them - and break the phony charter demand bubble. This area of south Williamsburg/North Bed-Stuy was always a rough area of District 14. In my final year I was sent to the IS 33 building to pick up a computer and we heard gunshots outside. This was around noon. Since then there gentrification bubble has moved in - Eva picks her spots.

Here is more from Pat:
Bust Success Charter Phony Demand Bubble
PS 297 is located in D14. There are two other SA schools, one at the old IS 33 building and one in PS 59 all within a three block radius of each other. No way can this school be claiming 1400 applications. The other schools from what I see in the morning are not having their doors broken down. Their numbers do not look excessively high as the children enter the buildings. Often parents apply unwittingly to SA as they do to other area schools out of the Pre-K or K programs, but have no intentions of attending
or are steered away by teachers, friends and family. Myself and a colleague have discouraged many parents from going to SA.

Eva is trying to build a little empire in this corner of D14. She is trying to slide into this school quietly and without fanfare, thinking this is a neighborhood that is asleep. She also has a SA at the other end of the district in MS 50 and her husband has Citizens of the World in the middle of the district. All in prime real estate. It's not about the children. It's about Eva
expanding her empire. please drop a note to:

Success Academy Would Limit Special Needs at Bed-Stuy School, Critics Say

By Camille Bautista | December 4, 2015 4:31pm | Updated on December 7, 2015 8:56am

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Plans to move a Success Academy charter school into Bed-Stuy would rob an existing elementary school of space used by special needs students, opponents said.

Parents and educators at P.S. 297 met to discuss the proposal Thursday, with many vowing to fight it.
Dozens of students, parents and teachers attended, with many holding handmade posters that read “Save Our School.”

Dozens of students, parents and teachers attended, with many holding handmade posters that read “Save Our School.”
Success Academy, founded by former City Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz, is looking to open a new location that would be shared with P.S. 297’s Park Avenue building at the start of the 2016 school year.
But some educators fear the proposed co-location would take over much needed space that the elementary school currently uses for its special needs students. And they said another Success Academy would not benefit the community.
The charter school already operates two sites within a three-block radius of P.S. 297.
“As CEC members, we question the aggressive expansion of Success Academy,” said Mirian Lopez, vice president of the Community Education Council for District 14.
“As a member of the school community, we ask, why does Success Academy need any more schools?”  
Success Academy has more than 30 locations throughout the city, with plans for more over the next few years, according to reports.
Those opposed to the proposal say their main concern is the possible loss of a second-floor wing dedicated to services like occupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy.  
“The students with special needs would be the ones who lose the most,” said CEC 14 member Roberto Portillo, adding that it would be “irreparable to the community.”
P.S. 297 serves kids in pre-k through fifth grade. In the 2014-2015 school year, 26 percent of students were listed as special needs.
If approved, Success Academy Bed-Stuy 3 would have up to 160 students in kindergarten and first grade starting in 2016, and add one grade level each year, according to the city’sDepartment of Education.
As the proposal is still up for vote and concrete plans are not set for the layout of the co-location, Success Academy could not provide comment on the specifics for which spaces would be utilized, according to a Success Academy spokesman.
There is demand in the area, according to the charter school network. Success Academy received about 850 applications from parents who live in School District 14 and roughly 550 applications from parents who live in nearby District 16, the spokesman added.
While some detractors pushed back against a co-location, others outright protested another Success Academy in the neighborhood. Anonline petition was launched in Novemberobjecting the proposal.
Parents criticized Success Academy’s methods Thursday, recalling their children's past experiences at the schools and saying the network does not adequately provide for special needs students.
Robert Gilliam, whose 10-year-old son attended Success Academy Bed-Stuy 1 a block away on Tompkins Avenue, said his son was “broken” and “devastated” by his time at the charter school.
His son, Jordan, was in need of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and did not receive the services he needed at Success, Gilliam said.
“For about six months, everything was fine. Once his reading comprehension went down and he had to get an IEP, everything changed,” Gilliam said. “He got disregarded like a piece of rag.”
The staff at P.S. 297 helped Jordan in his transition, he added, and the proposed new charter school would take what little space the elementary school has.
“Success is nothing but a money game. It’s nothing but about the numbers,” Gilliam said.
A Success Academy spokesman cited a survey administered by the DOE last year, in which 98 percent of Success Academy parents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall education their kids were receiving.
In addition, 15 percent of Success Academy students last year were listed as children with disabilities, he said. 
The charter school chain has recently faced criticism for singling out poor-performing or difficult students. Supporters have praised the network for students' high performance.
Another parent, Shanna Charles, said her experience at Success Academy Bed-Stuy 2 was “horrible,” with her son being suspended twice a month and the staff trying to “push him out.”
“Success Academy does not need to be inside P.S. 297,” Charles said. “This community has suffered enough.
“The only thing we should try to do in this community is try to build it up — and Success Academy is not a part of that.”
Teachers and students echoed similar sentiments, with many arguing that the proposed space for the charter school could be used for P.S. 297’s expansion.
“Why shouldn’t we be afforded the opportunity to grow our students beyond the fifth grade?” asked guidance counselor Jessica Cashman.
“Why do we have to let them go when we have the space to possibly make ourselves bigger and better than we already are?”
In addition to P.S. 297, the building currently provides space for community organization Good Shepherd and previously housed The Ethical Community Charter School, whichshuttered at the end of June.
Now, the building serves approximately 256 students from the elementary school, making it “under-utilized” since it has the capacity for 659 students, according to the DOE.
Parents, teachers and community members can weigh in on the proposal by sending comments to or by calling 212-374-0208.  
The Panel for Educational Policy is scheduled to vote on the plan at 6 p.m. on Dec. 16 at the High School of Fashion Industries at 225 W. 24th St.


  1. After years of expanding support for children with Special Needs, we have embarked on a period of retrenchment. It is similar to removing the life jackets from drowning swimmers.

    Abigail Shure

  2. SA is a godsend for many. SA should be given the green light to open many more schools.


Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating).