I'm looking forward to reactions to today's Jennifer Medina's piece in the NY Times on charters sharing space with public schools as she has been working on this story for quite a while and was having problems getting teachers to talk because of the assumption the NY Times would not do a fair and balanced piece and also because of fear of retaliation from the DOE.
My immediate reaction is that this should be a series with this piece an intro. It could even be a book.
Some first impressions:
Medina touched on all the hot spots: Dist. 1, Red Hook, Harlem, the MS 126 library story. I bet if we delve into PS 16K (I spent my first 3 years as a teacher there) as being so cooperative between charter and an elem school - they made no fuss when the charter expanded to 9th grade and took 4 more rooms - could use some elaboration. Of course the charter will have to go to 12 grade - 4 rooms more a year plus admin space. My guess is PS 16 is doomed as a public school. There is a lot of history of contentious shared space there. The story decades ago about the attempt of Dist 14 to build a wall to separate the Hassidic kids from the public school kids and the community protests is legendary.
The heads of 2 charters are quoted but the Principal of PS 20 James Lee who made an excellent presentation at the meeting as to how his school is affected is not. Other principals spoke too about the impact of Girls Prep on their schools. Some talked about the bait and switch Girls Prep has been pulling. Medina was present for the entire CEC1 meeting a few weeks ago.
I posted an excellent video of a PS 15 teacher in Red Hook who presented the case for her school. It is worth checking out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlJNjRMFLls. If you haven't seen it take a look. The Jan. 26 PEP will address the PS 15/PAVE issue.
The stuff about Spencer Robertson's building falling through is priceless. When he announced at the CEC15 meeting that he had space and refused to divulge any info the PS 15 crowd hooted that this was just a lie and a smokescreen. And so it was.
Yes charter schools do lie.
Check ICE/GEM Lisa North in the pic on front page of Times - she is on the lower right hand corner.
I'll get back with more reactions later.
The article is also posted at the GEM blog.