Monday, February 13, 2012

Williamsburg/Greenpoint Parents Join Southside to Proetest Eva Moskowitz Success Invasion of MS 50 -- Thursday, 4PM

Dear PS84, PS110, PS147, PS157, PS196, IS 71, Lyons Community School, Green School, Brooklyn Prep, Williamsburg High School or Architecture & Design, and Williamsburg Prep,

Over the past few months, some of you may have heard the news in District 14 about the closing of PS19 and Success Academy Charter School's impending co-location in MS50 in our district.   In our efforts to stop Success Academy Williamsburg's co-location we have found that:

Your school has been identified as MOST URGENTLY AT RISK for co-location with a charter.
The very people Eva was aiming for have been leading the charge out of North Williamsburg and Greenpoint, joining with the Latino Southside. I reported on the Southside Town Hall last Tuesday with some videos. See their web site:

Links to videos I shot that night: here, here, here.

With each passing day, communities are fighting back against school closures and charter co-locations. Sure the PEP will vote against these communities but with each battle lost something is won. People who were never active before are helping create a movement.

This comes from a group of activated parents based around PS 84 (where I spent the last few years of my career) who see a public school they support threatened by both Eva and hubby Eric Grannis who is starting his own charter chain. They are joining an already active Southside (mostly Latino/a) in this battle, uniting elements of the community that Eva thought she could split.

The Moskowitz machine counts on protests going away once the PEP votes in her favor (in this case March 1). I don't think she will find it that easy this time. Imagine if there are protests from the first day kids arrive at the school and continue. Will parents want their children to go through a gauntlet? Naturally Eva and crew will cry about how children are being used as pawns and the press will join her. But in this war that she started she is the one using children to build her political machine.

All these groups will be shock troops in the battle to kill mayoral control.
See the website:

Not only does Success Academy Williamsburg plan to open with 95 children in Kindergarten and 95 children in 1st grade, we have discovered that two additional charter schools are planned for 2013 opening with an additional 120-160 kids in Kindergarden and 120-160 children in 1st grade.  These are students that will be pulled from our local schools, jeopardizing our public schools' budgets, and these charter schools WILL BE PLACED in our existing DoE schools.  Maybe your school.

We are working with the Southside Community Schools Coalition and the Community Education Council for District 14 to educate our families and community stakeholders about the consequences of the increased presence of charter schools in our district.  We want to save our local schools.
We are asking for your help and we want to help you.
Please warn your parent community about the risk to your school and ask for their help to save our schools.

Help us send the message to the DoE - NO! to Success Academy Williamsburg!  Let your school's voice be heard!!

The public comment period (written or oral) for the March 1st meeting is open until 6pm on Weds. Feb. 29th. EVERYONE should email and tell them "WE DO NOT SUPPORT the colocation of Brooklyn Success Academy Charter School 4 (84KTBD) with Existing School J.H.S. 050 John D. Wells (14K050) in Building K050"

You can also call Toby Shepherd of the DOE: (212) 374-0208 and tell him the same thing.

Here is another letter sent to parents:
February 12, 2012
Dear Williamsburg and Greenpoint Community,
Over the past few months, you have likely heard the news about the closing of PS19 and Success Academy Charter School's impending co-location in MS50 in our district. 

Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott are running roughshod over entire communities in the name of "school reform" and "better schools." Despite vast community opposition, the DoE has placed Success Academy Charter Schools in the Upper West Side, Cobble Hill and now they're gunning for Williamsburg. Williamsburg and Greenpoint are fed up. 

Williamsburg and Greenpoint doesn't want Success Academy Williamsburg or the effects of Success Academy on our community. We believe in fixing schools, not closing schools. Our families want local schools, not corporate schools. 

In our efforts to stop Success Academy Williamsburg's co-location, we have discovered that the Tapestry Project ( is bringing in two more charter schools for the fall of 2013, opening with an additional 160 Kindergarten spots and 160 1st grade spots. The Tapestry Project is an organization started by Eric Grannis (Eva Moscowitz of Success Academy's husband) and Gideon Stein, a real estate developer on the board of Success Academy. Tapestry's sole aim is to bring more charter schools to North Brooklyn and has been targeting families in the middle class areas of our community by sowing fears that our schools are not good enough for their children. 

Eric Grannis created a website: using manipulative and sometimes absolute misinformation about our community schools. Schoolfisher only lists information about the economic and racial demographics and the amount of unused space in each school. The only data included are ELA/Math %, a link to the school report card, and a grade that Schoolfisher itself designates for each school. There is no information about PS31's student run bookstore, or PS84 and PS110's dual language programs or PS84's new ASD Nest program. There is no information about PS17's gorgeous library or PS132's commitment to service learning or PS250's commitment to the arts. The personality of each of our schools has been whittled down to data skewed in favor of creating charter schools.
The number of the children that will be pulled out of our local schools will be 255 kids in K and 255 in 1st grade - all of them from the Northside and Greenpoint. That's larger than any school we have in our area, and these charter schools WILL BE PLACED in our existing schools, very likely PS110 or PS84. 

This is a very big deal and will negatively effect the budgets and diversity of every single school in Williamsburg and Greenpoint - even the schools that seem safe like PS132, PS31, and PS34. 

All the while, the arguments to open these schools appear innocent, "All we want are better schools." "What's the harm in school choice?" "Just let these schools open, if no one wants to go to them then they'll close." "This isn't about pro or anti anything this is about choice," "The competition will improve all of our schools," 

This is an issue with sides. We believe that our community should have a say in our public schools. We urge people to take the side of democracy and help us stop Success Academy WIlliamsburg! 

- Come to the MARCH gathering on Thurs., Feb. 16th at 4pm at El Puente, on S. 4th & Roebling.
- PROTEST with your community at the JHS Hearing (5:30 at JHS 50 - 183 S. 3rd St Driggs/Roebling)
- call 311 to register a complaint. Let the city know: "I don't want Success Academy Charter School in my district!" - sign the petition: williamsburg 

For more information:
visit the visit email call (646) 543-4492 

Together we can save our local schools!
Williamsburg and Greenpoint Parents for Our Public Schools

1 comment:

  1. Dear Neighbor:
    A new wine/beer bar wants to open on Noble Street.
    The Noble Beast (646.894.5683)
    Wine bar (possibly with sidewalk seating)
    Location: 837 Manhattan Avenue/ 162-164 Noble Street
    This establishment is seeking a license to serve beer and wine.
    Please attend the public hearing on Tuesday April 3, 2012 at 6:30
    Location: Community Board #1 SLA Review Committee Meeting
    Community Board #1 District Office
    435 Graham Avenue
    Brooklyn, NY 11211 (corner of Frost Street)
    We believe there are already too many bars in the neighborhood. During the past 10 years the construction of new buildings with the influx of new residents, bars and restaurants openings have drastically changed our neighborhood that was once a peaceful corner of Brooklyn. Opening another bar will attract more noise, litter and smells. A bar will be open until 4 AM, there will be loud talking and more garbage on the sidewalk, people will urinate on the street after closure, and noisy bikers will be attracted by an outdoor seating establishment. It is already bad enough walking on Noble Street toward Manhattan Ave. for the stores’ garbage and the smell of human urine that some days is intolerable. It is reaching the point of health hazard especially for the children walking to school every day to go to PS 31 (75 Meserole Avenue/ Lorimer Street).
    Written comments can also be sent to:
    Community Board #1
    435 Graham Avenue
    Brooklyn, NY 11211


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