Friday, March 2, 2012

Parent Activists Lisa Donlan and Khem Irby

The game is rigged to replace viable community schools with corporate style privately managed charter schools that do not serve our highest needs students and then claim above average success. The charters push into our school buildings, taking space from the schools that do not screen or push out students, taking services, enrichment, supports that allow those schools to encourage, support and educate our students with special needs, the new comers, the students in difficult family and economic situations. The DoE is aiding and abetting and even engineering this take over, in the name of accountability, and data driven decision making. ---- Lisa Donlan, CEC 1

Commentary on two somewhat different but related topics (from the NYC Ed News Listserve) expose levels of undermining the public school system.

Lisa Donlan, CEC 1

I am not clear about the process by which these new schools are developed and cited. Does anyone know how these schools get created/selected/sited?

I don't suppose the CCHS or any other elected body,  or any parents or community members in any shape or from have an input or window into this process.

There used to be an Office of New schools, run by Garth Harries Assistant Superintendent, Portfolio and Performance Management New Haven Public Schools) that had this charge.

At one point there was a simulacrum of parent involvement- once a proposal was put forward by some group- perhaps a charter school CMO, an EMO, a CBO, or even the odd school leader or community group, who had jumped through some DoE hoops, that proposal was theoretically presented to a parents, for input.

I know that we on CEC 1 lobbied  hard to make the new school process one that included parents and community and this is what the DoE came up with in response.

Our CEC would get the odd invite now and then to hear a presentation at Tweed on the various new school proposals, none of which had any locations or any other type of connection to our community.

We did support a successful, diverse, non screened district middle school that had sought to create a related HS to provide a good alternative for its average students, in keeping with its own adolescent-centered, collaborative practices.

The school found that high performing students had generally good options for HS, and that many high needs students also had good options, but that low to mid performing average students had very limited options and that those options were becoming harder and harder to get into, and were becoming more and more screened and skewed to high performance.

So they went through the entire proposal process with their concept- which DoE loved and encouraged- until it was time for the physical school siting.

Even though every element of the proposal, from the name to the scaffolding off of the existing MS staff and curriculum, presupposed proximity to the MS, and thus a local siting, DoE offered them space in Brooklyn.

The new school leader declined, despite the year of work she had invested for free, and got an AP job in an existing HS instead. The project was DOA.

Incidentally a charter school founded by the SUNY CSI big wig Susan Barker Miller and some Edison and CEI-PEA edu-profiteer types has decided, in a vacuum, to replicate in our district.

SUNY CSI approved the proposal last June, even though the school now serves NO- ZERO- NADA ELL students, despite the clear legal mandates to meet our district proportions of 14%.

The charter also claims to serve 14% students with IEPs but offer no CTT or Self Contained classes which schools in our district serve at an average of 19%, in addition to the SETTS only IEPs that the 14% at the charter represent.

Despite this clear violation of the law, the fact that no one in the district is asking for another elementary school, another charter school or another Manhattan Charter School (except 5 of their current parents who clearly will not attend the new school!) you can be sure they will be given the space they want.

The game is rigged to replace viable community schools with corporate style privately managed charter schools that do not serve our highest needs students and then claim above average success. The charters push into our school buildings, taking space from the schools that do not screen or push out students, taking services, enrichment, supports that allow those schools to encourage, support and educate our students with special needs, the new comers, the students in difficult family and economic situations.

The DoE is aiding and abetting and even engineering this take over, in the name of accountability, and data driven decision making.

Yet none of the data supports this fad, and there is no accountability in failing schools and turning them over to private management.

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Khem Irby, CEC 13:

Urban Assembly is the DOE version of Success Academy.

This school is replacing the phasing out SAT III in District.  This school is phasing out because of DOE's incompetent Principal which was disclosed in the public hearing.  Kathleen Grimm refused to recommend that the school should not be closed.  The newly hired principal has already turned the school in the right direction.  This is a legacy school in District 13 and is being closed in haste.  Urban Assembly does not want to be in certain areas of Brooklyn.  They don't want to go beyond Clinton Hill as the available space is Bed-Stuy.

Why should the phasing out school be reminded every day that they are a failure according to the DOE.

We should no longer allow this psychological torture happen to our children, teachers and staff.

There will be three schools next year in the bldg at K56 in Clinton Hill.  There will be impact to the elementary school and SAT III.  District 13 can easily open this MS in other known spaces.  The DOE refused to work with District 13 and rejected sound advise.

Urban Assembly is the DOE version of Success Academy.

Please share on your list serves.  A petition will be forth coming.

Khem Irby

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March 10 - STATE OF THE UNION PART 2: TIME TO FIGHT BACK ---- See Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/. And make sure to check out the side panel on the right for important bits.

1 comment:

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