Friday, July 1, 2011

Comment on my video statement on Success blood-sucking cancer charter network

Bravo Norm!

My school is co-located with an HSA in Harlem. Every single one of our classrooms, related service and administrative offices have been moved every single year that we have been co-located with Harlem Success Academy.

This is disruptive, disrespectful and has had a destabilizing effect on our school community. Our students, parents and educators are being treated like refugees in our own school building, all in order to privilege the millionaire and hedge fund backed charter school HSA. Parents, students and teachers must re-acclimate themselves to an entirely new and different school layout every year.

These moves take place in our public school, while Harlem Success renovates the classrooms that our students have been forced to vacate. Last year HSA projected 125 kindergartners for the 2010-2011 school year, but only enrolled about 80 something.

This inaccuracy, or lie if you'd prefer, provided HSA with extra space while 4 of the related services in our public school (we serve a high needs population of self contained and English language learner populations) were forced to squeeze into a 2/3 size classroom that provided no privacy. Co-locations do not work and the privileging of charters is at the expense of our most vulnerable students, families and the public education system!

The idea that charters provide choice is an absolute joke! Our parents did not choose to have their children taught in unsafe basement classrooms (our public school students were forced into classrooms that were created in our building's basement next to a boiler room for the past two years, while HSA took all of the newest classrooms in the building) or to have their children moved around their school building like refugees. They did not choose to be second-class citizens in their own school building.

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