The Gotham School report on the meeting captures little of what really went on. I left this comment:
Were we at the same meeting? I think this report doesn't represent what really went on last night. It was one of the few times where a massive opposition to the way charters are placed has occurred, akin to the Marine Park protest against the Hebrew Charter last May and the PS 15 protest in Red Hook against the PAVE expansion in Sept. But that meeting was somewhat balanced between the groups. The CEC 1 meeting was overwhelmingly opposed by an extremely large number of people, while Girls Prep had little comparative representation. (They probably don't have the same resources Eva Moskowitz has to hire buses.)
The fervor of the crowd reached epic proportions of anger and condemnation of the DEO and its policies toward shared space. There were few attacks on Girls Prep reps though they were outnumbered at least 10 to 1. Almost every public school in the area was represented, with a few principals getting up and making a statement. Many teachers and parents spoke about the DEO methods of judging whether a school has space. A method that doesn't account for the realities of how schools really function. The theme of the evening was the divisive tactics used by the DOE to pit schools against each other. But that is the mantra of the ed deformers. Throw them all into the pit and see who emerges, but all along the way make sure to tip in favor of the charters. Strong statements were made by local politicians too.
Is there any question that Girls Prep, which as was pointed out yesterday moved out of PS 15 claiming they only would go to 5th grade, but is now reversing and asking to go to 8th grade. And one day will ask for more space to go to 12th grade I would bet.
The only question is which school gets caught with the hot potato. Bet on the one that had the least presence yesterday. PS 20 and PS 184 may have won a reprieve with their massive presences yesterday.
Note: I find it interesting that there is one quote from each side with the Girls Prep founder disparaging quote equating an art room with a civil rights issue being given such prominence when there were a hundred things said by opponents of all the plans that were more relevant.
Fair and balanced?
Note: Moaning Mona Davids, self appointed head of the charter school parents, came down from her perch in the Bronx to leaver her droppings. She told me she put on makeup for me for her video appearance. She has toned down her act. Video later.
I'm adding Lisa Donlan's comments at Gotham which demonstrate that half the girls at Girl's Prep are not from district 1.
The “demand” for Girls Prep has very little to do with the D One community.
In fact of the 263 girls enrolled at GPC on the LES only 43% are from D One.
Even in their K class, the first to actually follow the law that imposes giving absolute preference to District One residents is only 53% District One. Inother words, fewer than 27 Kindergarten students from District One chose Girls prep out of an incoming class of 698 Kindergarteners in the district.
Girls Prep, then has captured less than 4% of the current district K students, which can hardly be classified as overwhelming demand, especially given the glossy post cards mailed to every student in ATS by the Charter last spring.
The two local peer horizon schools that the DoE progress report compares GPC to had equally impressive demand and “waiting lists” in the last K admissions cycle:
Earth School had 294 applications for 60 K seats. 5:1 ratio, wait list of 234 for K alone;
Children’s Workshop School saw 212 applications for 45 seats. Nearly a 5:1 ratio and wait list of 167 in K.
if If currently enrolled students in Girls Prep are made up of only 43% in-district students, who will the expansion to middle school grades benefit?
And as the D One community made clear last night- no functioning community school should have to give up needed resources to accommodate this “request ” to grow!
Plenty of schools in our district want to grow- but we do NOT rob Peter to make a bigger school for Paul!
Yeah Norm- I was at the meeting you attended last night.
It sure seems the GS bias is showing in this report.
I hope more of the 500 or more parents, teachers, administrators and community folks in attendance last night write in to say what they saw and said, to help create a fuller, more balanced picture of the event.