Thursday, March 29, 2012

Having Lunch With Spencer Robertson of Pave Charter

It isn't often I get to go to lunch with a billionaire. Or rather, the son of a billionaire. Especially the son of a billionaire (recently deceased Julian Robertson) who can say to dad, "Buy me a charter school (PAVE) that I can implant in a highly successful public school (PS 15) while I wait for you dad to get your pal Bloomberg to give me mucho millions to build my own building, even if it comes down to using public money to the tune of $75,000 a student."

Well, today was that day. I popped over to PS 15 to take Julie Cavanagh to lunch --- I want to make sure that the baby coming in 3 months is being well fed. But Julie assures me "no problem" as she's eating everything in sight -- except meat. (Boy what I would give to see her chomp into a burger.)

As I was checking in I had a few young people in front of me who were clearly not "public school." You know the type if you have a charter school in your building. The very pale type. And thin. And dressed a certain way. Clearly PAVE was recruiting new teachers  --- maybe a bit of teacher turnover going on?

Well, Julie and I headed over to the diner across the street and there was Spencer with about 8-10 "recruits" sitting at a table. Was it my eyes or did they all look alike? Do they have a cloning machine over there? Actually, they all looked like a version of Spencer  - 15 years ago. Guess what? Not one that had the same skin shade as the children that go to PAVE.

Well, Julie and I had a jolly good lunch. Spencer did not pick up our check, though the recruits probably got a free lunch. Then they were off to the tour of the wonderful things PAVE is doing with the kids. On the way Spencer pointed to a former student at PAVE, now back at PS 15 (one of many), explaining the parent did not agree with the PAVE policy of hiking test scores by holding over scads of kids so each succeeding year they take a test geared for kids a year younger.

As a matter of fact I hear that PAVE had so few kids in the 4th grade due to so many holdovers in the 3rd grade which led to some parents moving their children back into PS 15 -- they had 12 in a class NS  had to merge the classes in mid-year. I guess the sales pitch changed from low class size as they turned one of the rooms into an art room and now are trying to sell parents on PAVE on their art program.

I wonder if on the day of parent recruitment Spencer will be treating them to lunch in a restaurant. Shouldn't cost too much.

The way PAVE is going, when the millions of dollars for the new building, which as I mentioned now amounts to $75,000 per child, we may see that number rise to $100,000.

Well, gotta run. On my way into the city to meet Michael Fiorillo for Korean barbecue. (I'm locking up my cat Bernie before I leave). Maybe we'll send Spencer the check.

You think eating out twice in one day is too much? If Julie won't eat meat I'll do it --- for the baby, of course.

MONDAY- APR. 2.6:30 at NYU
See Leonie in action as she kicks Charter Center James Merriman's ass. And clips of both movies. Yummie. I may go in early to eat.

Is there an Inconvenient Truth behind Waiting for Superman?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have a skewed view of the real world... Additionally, your education obviously didn't include fact checking, as Julian Robertson is very much alive and well.