Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Charter Scams Will One Day Make Extinct Community Control Scandals Look Clean

Susan Otterman's NY Times story is a good follow-up to Rachel Monahan's piece on the 3 charter school scam in the Daily News yesterday. Meanwhile the Post worries about a few rubber room people whose total salaries come to a flea speck compared to these scams.

Wait till the money flows through Arne's scam artists. There will be no crook that won't open a charter - the John Gotti Charter School of Fashion? The Rudy Blogo School of Hair Design?

Remember the days when people in some districts made headlines by taking home dilapidated pianos and how the crooked districts was a major justification for mayoral control? Read the tea leaves as these scandals grow and grow and we see the day when the same arguments will be used to dismantle mayoral control.

Even my wife, who is generally sick of 40 years of ed talk was outraged at today's NY Times story.

Susan Ohanian in her daily email says:

When the mayor is in charge of the schools then pseudo-teachers tell students to
write an essay about carpentry instead of handing them a hammer. See

At Bronx Vocational School, Concern Over Plan for Charter

Ohanian Comment:
This is a page 19 story. One can wonder why it isn't headlined on page 1. It is so quintessentially ripe with the elements of Mayor Bloomberg's control of the schools. For some reason, there's no place for reader comment at tne New York Times site.

At the soon-to-be-closed Alfred E. Smith Career and Technical Education High School, students learn trades--like heating and ventilation, plumbing, electrical installation, carpentry and architectural engineering. At the A.E.C.I. charter, teachers say they use the building trades as an academic theme, discussing architecture in global history class and asking students to write essays about opportunities in construction.

A total of 22 technical shops at Alfred E. Smith are scheduled to close. Let them write essays about opportunities in construction!

And look at the qualifications of the mayor's man who is the city's technical education chief:

Gregg B. Betheil: Prior to joining the New York City Department of Education, Mr. Betheil was senior vice president of the National Academy Foundation. Take a look at who's on the board there. Betheil has served as assistant principal of Martin Luther King, Jr. High School in New York City, where he also taught American history and finance. Mr. Betheil is a former member of the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education in New Jersey. A public high school graduate, he holds a BA in government, law and history from Lafayette College, an MA in social studies education and a MEd in educational administration from Columbia University.

And take a look at the connections here:

Richard Izquierdo Arroyo: The nephew of City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo resigned as head of a Bronx charter school she helped fund -- a day after he was charged with embezzlement.

Richard Izquierdo Arroyo -- who's also Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo's grandson and chief of staff -- notified the city he was resigning as chairman of the board of the South Bronx Charter School for International Culture and the Arts.

His city councilwoman aunt sponsored $1.5 million in taxpayer funds this fiscal year to help build a permanent facility for the school, which is temporarily housed in a public school.

$1.5 million so students can write essays about opportunities in construction.

One can wonder what Richard Izquierdo Arroyo's qualifications were to head a high school--qualifications other than blood, that is.

In Charter Scam in New York City Exposed, Larry Miller notes:

Smith accepts all students who apply. AECI only takes students by lottery.

At Smith, 21% of the students are in a special education program; at AECI, only 9% are.

At Smith, 71% of the students come from such low-income families that they qualify for the federal free lunch program; at AECI, only 47% do.

What happens to the poorest kids, to that huge special education population, to those who need the most help?

Miller also notes that AECI doesn't seem to be able to keep a teaching staff, and he concludes that new City controller John Liu needs to ask tough questions fast. And he needs to follow the money going to charters, because Klein's people are not.


  1. I know Izquierdo well. He is all about himself. He is useless to the world of education other than what is in it for him.

  2. I worked in District 7 as a staff developer when Richard was the head of the community school board. Everyone knew Richard, his grandmother and his aunt were crooks. This was the year 2001. What took the world so long to realize what everyone in the South Bronx knew. Prison is too good for people who stole from their own.

  3. I read about the Richard But don't Know so much about Him.


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