Friday, January 27, 2012

Community Outrage: What is Eva Moskowitz's husband Eric Grannis up to in Brooklyn?

Starting a chain of faux-gressive charters to complement Eva's rigid Success Academies. ---Wlmsbg activist
There is so much going on around the Eva Moskowitz Success Charter invasion of Williamsburg (and Cobble Hill) that I could do 5 blogs a day. Last night around 40 people came out in the rain to PS 84 where CEC 14 sponsored a screening of our film. I have to write a number of posts on the situation in Williamsburg/Greenpoint where I spend my entire almost 40 year career (see below this post for some links of previous posts).

What is going on here is that Eva is getting an elementary school (PEP votes March 1) into MS 50 which is 2 blocks away from PS 84 while hubbie Eric aims a new charter chain at that school (where I spent the last part of my career), even degrading it to his toney target audience.
Eric Grannis advertising for people to work for free till the summer, when applications approved:
All this plays out through the SUNY authorizing agent where Pedro Noguera (see no evil eva) chairs the committee and will turn deaf and dumb when Eric comes before him. (I have lots more to blog about the meeting he chaired this past Weds.)

This info below was compiled by an amazing parent activist defending public education who I just met last Sunday at one of our screenings.
Grannis' umbrella group, the Tapestry Project, employs one person: Etoy Ridgnal, of Stand for Children union busting AstroTurf fame.  And with Etoy's help, Grannis is already brokering his first deal to charter-ize north Brooklyn.  His Letter of Intent to open two schools in Williamsburg via the aggressively expanding wannabe chain Citizens of the World was filed with SUNY January 19.  The first CWCS was founded a year ago in Los Angeles, by former Teach for America Los Angeles board chairman Mark Gordon, who quickly opened two more in LA.   The two Williamsburg schools will be the first in New York, and plans include scaling up to almost 1,000 students in co-located public schools. CWSC board minutes include plans for partnership with a national chain, but which one is not clear yet.

How is Grannis pitching these "alternative" schools in Williamsburg? --only to the affluent, with a very deceptive soft-sell.  Since last March, he has been holding "information sessions" exclusively at Williamsburg's expensive new condo developments, such as the Edge, and Schaefer Landing.  He advertised the "info sessions" on a local parents' listserv, where he was quickly outed as not-a-local-parent.  His response to this outing was a defense of his "altruistic" motives, that some fell for:

"I'm not a local parent (although Williamsburg is such a wonderful neighborhood that I confess it is tempting!). I have to admit therefore that I'm interested in helping improve education in an area I which I don't live. Just as someone might volunteer in a hospital or volunteer in a school that is not in their neighborhood, I'm helping out in a neighborhood that isn't mine (or at least I'm trying to). I think that it's possible to have some insight in to the needs of neighborhood one doesn't live in because all kids need to learn to read, write etc…. I don't think that what would be a great school on, say, the Upper West Side or in Park Slope is entirely different than what would make a great school in Williamsburg.
Questions are raised and he responds>>>>>>>>
But this really isn't about me. My goal, as stated in my email, is to bring people together to collaborate on creating charter schools if they want to. I want those charter schools to be designed by Williamsburg residents in collaboration with educators. I don't intend to sit on the boards of these schools, I don't intend to be employed by these schools etc…. I intend to help to help parents.I don't doubt that there are good schools, good principals, and good teachers in Williamsburg and I'm happy to hear that you are happy with yours. If everyone is as satisfied as you are and doesn't want to start charter schools, then I'll pack up my bags. From speaking with parents, however, there do seem to be some parents who are not satisfied with their options and want other ones. For those parents, I am making my time and the time of others available for whatever assistance I can provide."

...and in case local parents with newly school-age children--who might have been happy with their local PS--are looking for information,  Grannis has "helpfully" provided his site  Schoolfisher, where he falsely gives the popular and well-rated PS 84 an "F" rating [PS 84 has a B rating].  (One attendee of an "info session" relayed that  Grannis tries to scare the affluent newcomers to the neighborhood he is pitching to: the public schools are all failing and charters are their only hope.) Rather than openly advertising meetings to the whole neighborhood, Grannis's strategy is to prey on and misinform a tiny minority of affluent newcomers to get a foothold. After all, he only needs to dupe 160 parents of kindergarteners to launch his invasion, and he hardly wants to alert the much larger opposition about his plans...
Here is my last post related to this issue:
SUNY/Noguera Cave to Eva: Overturn Reco of Subcom...

The future of MS50, PS84...

Good article on school choice:

And here is the GEM video of the Jan. 17 hearing at MS 50.


  1. Pedro the poseur. What a joke. He can write all the books he wants and talk all he wants. Watch what he does.

  2. It's truly astounding: the lies, the scheming, the conflict of interests, the greed, and the exploitation of children. Is there any way to reach these potential young parents, to let them know they're being sold a bill of goods? Mr. Grannis is "helping" the neighborhood for altruistic reasons? Like volunteering in a hospital? Noblesse oblige? I suspect not. Will these potential charters be a paid or unpaid hobby for Mr. Grannis? An Eva and Eric ed emire? EEEK! Somethings are very rotten in NYC and NYS education land, and it stinks to high heaven.

  3. Fascinating stuff, Norm. It appears that Eva and her husband, with the open participation and consent of the DOE, aim to carve up Williamsburg and much of Brooklyn between the two of them:

    Eva with her ever-expanding empire of strict, military-style Success Academy charters w/ uniforms, lots of homework even before Kindergarten, and children taught to walk up and down the hall in complete silence.

    And then her husband, Eric Grannis, now trying to institute his own chain of pseudo-progressive charter schools designed to appeal to parents who want a more child-centered, relaxed environment. You couldn’t write a Hollywood script with a better pitch.

    Both appear to be conceived to facilitate the further gentrification of the borough.

    One wonders if Eric (who has his school Fisher website that tracks real estate) or his partners & potential board members have their own real estate investments in the area. See article about his website here:

    Most New York City parents would say that one criterion reigns supreme in their home searches: school district. But brokers aren’t allowed to specifically steer families to neighborhoods with good schools, at the risk of violating the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits descriptive language like “bachelor pad” or “great for families” in advertising materials. Some parents say that requirement leaves them in the dark about which school districts to aim for.

    That’s where the new website comes in….

  4. There is a way to reach the parents. The Unity led UFT must commit itself to developing a vision/platform for K-12 education. They must then go out and educate their members and parents and children in every community. Enough is enough. Forget the politicians. Forget the courts. Get out there and lead. What a sad sack of suckers we have running our union. Right now they are actually fighting for an evaluation system that is constructed in a fascist and illogical manner. Are they not embarrassed? Coming soon...a serious critique of Danielson from an anonymous educator.

    1. You are so right that the leadership of the UFT is not leading in the right direction. Attend the State of the union Conference on Feb 4 to discuss and plan with other unionists, parents community members who believe another type of union is possible.
      Join teachers, parents, students and concerned community members in a conversation about how the UFT can FIGHT for smaller class sizes, an end to school closings, less standardized testing, an end to mayoral control and more! State of the Union will take place on February 4th, 2012, at the Graduate Center for Workers Education, 25 Broadway, Manhattan, 7th Floor. Find more info on Facebook: State of the Union
      Workshops include:
      - What is Social Justice Unionism?
      - Organizing 101: parents and teachers working together. A vision for a community oriented teacher union.
      - What happened to Brown vs. Board of Education: Resegregation of our schools.
      - The disappearing Black and Latino Teacher and the deprofessionalization of Teaching.
      - What's the 1% want with our schools? (Privitization 101)
      - Mayoral Control vs. A People's Board of Education
      - Know your rights: Civil disobedience and student organizing.
      - Strategy & Tactics: After OWS, what's next for our movement?

  5. I took a look at the school map on there are so many good schools missing from the map, including some that ought to be included even if using his absurd "grading system." Insideschools is a much more informative site.

  6. Sounds dumb, sleazy and without any vision.

  7. As I've been saying for a while, in NYC charter schools go hand in hand with gentrification and social dislocation. Among all the other things they represent - union busting, social engineering, expropriation of public facilities - they are also a real estate play.

  8. Please call me with info on this re: Eric Grannis who I know about...
    Best, Neal 212-222-9112

  9. FOLKS, all things considered, and putting some of the above-mentioned remarks aside, could it be possible, just saying, that Eva and Eric KNOW that a strong education is possible, if a youngster, right from the get-go, digs in, takes it seriously, and applies himself/herself? Listen, I have been an educator for over 40 years, in the public school system, and you must believe me, I feel safer in and on any of the dangerous, public subways, then I do in the hallways, stairways of any public school, ANYWHERE, not just NY''s!!! I had to report a few "rapes" in my time, I KNOW what nonsense goes on in the public school system. If Eva want to crack down on some of this nonsense, and get the point across to a youngster that they are only young once, and an education is THE MOST valuable thing they will ever have in this lifetime, and make that young person GET SERIOUS, well, my hats off to her, and to her husband, Eric, and anyone else who endeavors to make this possible, any way they can see fit to do so. Stop blubbering about the non-essentials, and start getting involved with how to help children MAKE IT in this (pardon me) God-forsaken world! P.S. It's quite possible I have had some of you commentators in my classes ... listen up ... fly right ... and pay attention!

  10. Um, pls explain why having choice is bad.

    1. There are 1800 public schools in NYC. That's plenty of choice.


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