Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Public Schools in District 14 under assault


Yesterday my daughter received a letter and an application soliciting her to apply to Williamsburg Charter HS. She is a sophomore at another high school. I have no idea how they got her address! She never applied there as a freshman. Then today letters were sent home to parents about the D14 CEC meeting. A charter school person is the slated guest. A new charter school is going into PS 297. These charters are desperate to recruit. There are small charter schools all over the district.

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Michael Fiorillo said...

This and similar stories seem to be popping up all over. My question is, are we anywhere near approaching the cap on charter schools in the city, and is anyone in authority (like the SED/SUNY Regents) paying attention?

Bloomberg and Klein and using the climate of crisis to accelerate their plans to destabilize and fragment the public system, while using public funds to capitalize private charter schools.

Ednotes has publicized efforts to track school closings; it would be instructive to create a list and map of charter school openings, to see if
Tweed and City Hall intend to follow the law, and to look for patterns in the siting of these school (as in, are charter schools disproportionally being opened in gentrifying neighborhoods?).

Anonymous said...

The charters have the opportunity through the Office of Charter Schools to send out direct mailers, addresses/names parsed from ATS by DoE to target potential students enrolled in public schools.

The OCS justifies this use of our children's information by:

1. claiming that since the mailing lists (enrolled students' names/addresses) never goes to the charter but is handled by a DoE vendor (Vanguard Direct) there is no invasion of privacy

2. claiming they must undertake this outreach in order to reach a full range of students, including the underserved (students with IEP's and English Language Learners).
How the charters will serve these students if they are able to recruit them away from our community schools is a worthwhile question to pursue.

I know that the charter schools in my district do not provide CTT or self-contained classes but only push in/pull out SETTS. Meanwhile the Portfolio team at Tweed and the Office of Enrollment staff in the borough centers (ISC's) are merrily cramming CTT and self-contained classes into district schools throughout my community with no thought or planning as to space constraints, continuity of services and programming for students, fit with the school philosophy or needs of the specific or larger community.
Principals spend their time fending off these "register projection" power moves with appeals and political strategies, justifying their configurations and service offerings, trying to find space for the extra classes and necessary support teams.
The details and stories I have heard from school communities on this topic would curl your hair.

One more area where "mayoral control" has created a vacuum ending in more harm than good.

Lisa Donlan CEC One