Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Exposing Segregation Tactics of Eric Grannis and Citizens of the World Charter Schools

Our schools are 8% white, but theirs will be 55% white.
Williamsburg and Greenpoint say NO to segregated schools
• Beware: “Citizens of the World Charter Schools” has already been associated with a number of financial scandals and ethical improprieties.
Grannis and wife

• "Citizens of the World Charter Schools" are financially unstable. Expansion of their schools is necessary for them to stay in business. Our children should not be prey to this Ponzi scheme.
Everyone come to the Thursday, April 19th hearing @IS 71 215 Heyward Street, Brooklyn NY 11206 from 6pm to 8pm to fight the Citizens of the World Charter Chain. They are planning on opening TWO schools in District 14 - one on the north side and one on the SOUTH side! we need your support.
Some people view this Grannis move as an attempt to start being perceived as the one really wearing the pants in the family. Don't believe it.

I have so much information to post on the expansion of the Moskowitz/Grannis machine with the open intention of draining as many white kids as they can out of the public schools in Williamsburg/Greenpoint. This is a direct attack on schools like PS 110, PS 31, PS 34, PS 84, PS 132 and PS 17, MS 50 and the to be closed MS 126, all schools in the main gentrifying areas. Even the national chess champs (IS 318 Wins High School Chess Championship)  [today's wonderful front page article in the Times] are threatened by this diversion.

Just think about this. You actually have some integrated and diversified schools and the husband and wife vulture capitalist Grannis/Moskowitz team aim to disrupt that.

The positive thing about every outrage perpetrated by the ed deformers is that the opposition is growing and hopefully this will create a crescendo to abolish mayoral control. The weakest link in all this is the UFT -- which was so reinforced at the amazing ed eval forum we held yesterday (video coming). Really, if you are a teacher and not involved in this, Why We Need a New Caucus in the UFT- SOTU Meets Apr. 21, you are being led to slaughter.

I can't make the meeting to oppose the charter on April 19 but we did arrange to tape it. (Don't forget the closing schools rally at Tweed is earlier at 4PM which I will make.)

Here are some items for your attention. I have a great 22 page pdf that I have to figure out how to put up but if you want a copy email

Come to the Community Education Council for District 14 Hearing on “Citizens of the World Charter Schools”

• “Citizens of the World Charter Schools” is a Los Angeles charter school chain with two proposals to open schools in our area, one on the south side of Williamsburg and one in Greenpoint, in the fall of 2013. These schools are brought to us by Eric Grannis, husband of Eva Moskowitz, who already has forced three of her Success Academy Charter Schools on our district.

• The official proposal for these schools is riddled with false information and manipulated data in a mercenary attempt to discredit our local public schools and manufacture a desire for these schools.

• Their proposed schools offer nothing new or different. They are poor copies of our neighborhood schools, (PS84, PS132, PS110, PS31, PS34 and the new PS414), and will not have the experienced teachers and principals or the commitment to our community that we enjoy in our neighborhood schools.

• “Citizens of the World Charter Schools” wants to pull white middle class children out of our public schools. They manipulated our demographic data by disregarding the Hassidic population and child- less hipsters when they discussed the discrepancy between our district population as 55% white and our district schools as 8% white. They want schools that will mirror our district demographic. Our schools are 8% white, but theirs will be 55% white.

• If these redundant and wasteful school are approved, they will siphon precious funds from our existing schools, and worse – they will seek to co-locate in PS110 in Greenpoint and either PS84 or PS414 in Williamsburg, dramatically segregating those buildings and creating class-warfare. Our neighborhood schools will lose vital art rooms, science rooms, computer rooms, music rooms, and rooms used for special education.

• Beware: “Citizens of the World Charter Schools” has already been associated with a number of financial scandals and ethical improprieties.

• "Citizens of the World Charter Schools" are financially unstable. Expansion of their schools is necessary for them to stay in business. Our children should not be prey to this Ponzi scheme.

    Thursday, April 19, 2012 from 6pm to 8pm    
     215 Heyward Street, Brooklyn NY 11206

Stop the Grannis/Moskowitz charter invasion of District 14

 Thursday, April 19, 2012   (Business: 6:00 pm - 7:00pm / Calendar: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm)
 I.S 71
215 Heyward Street,   Brooklyn NY 11206

by Kate Yourke, parent activist, Williamsburg/Greenpoint

Citizens of the World is a charter school in Los Angeles, CA which hopes to expand to become a national chain of publicly funded, privately run charter schools.

Citizens of the World recognized an opportunity to move into our School District to capitalize on NYC’s policy of offering charter schools free rent in our public school buildings.

This free rent has created a business model attractive enough for Citizens of the World to begin its national expansion here in NYC, coming all the way across the country to exploit District 14’s under enrolled public schools, hoping to capture the potential of wealthier, white families moving into our gentrifying District.

Founding Board Chair of Citizens of the World is Kristean Dragon, who is also Executive Director of The Wonder of Reading. Citizens of the World’s newly formed “national network” shares its address with Wonder of Reading.

On Jun 20, 2011, NBC4 Extra ran an investigative piece on scandals surrounding the Wonder of Reading program, called Book Wars: Episode Two. It describes a situation where inadequate oversight allowed public bond money to be used for improperly awarded contracts to companies requiring kickbacks- and for cost overruns to double and triple the expense of rebuilding 177 school libraries in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

From the report:

“Accountant Chris Hamilton draws an even more sober conclusion about the problems detected in the Wonder of Reading program.

"I call it the perfect storm," he says, "because you have someone who admits they've paid a kickback. You have cowed and intimidated vendors. You have no oversight. You rarely see that all in one case…"

Along with shared leadership and a shared address, Citizens of the World has a $5.2 million contract with Wonder of Reading extending into the 2014-2015 school year.

Citizens of the World recognizes similar lucrative subcontracting opportunities here in NYC, starting in our School District, where they also intend to capitalize on the fears of newer white families preparing for their children’s entry into school. Citizens of the World’s District 14 outreach efforts began with Eric Grannis (husband to Success Academy’s Eva Moskowitz) subversively infiltrating a yahoo group for local parents in the guise of a local dad. Inviting parents on this mainly white, middle-class yahoo group to a discussion of their ideal school (a discussion held in an pricey baby boutique,) a few parents were cultivated to strategically promote the school in exclusive meetings in luxury waterfront hi-rises. Parents with no experience in the public school system were told that all our neighborhood schools were failing, and that the low-income families of color would never accept them in their public school communities. The repercussions of Eric Grannis and Citizens of the World’s smarmy entrance into our neighborhood are still being felt in broken friendships, betrayed trust, and heated arguments in local play spaces. I cannot fathom the negative impact of their type of divisive, racist manipulation if Eric Grannis and Citizens of the World were to be successful in co-locating 2 large charter elementary schools in our District.

Charter Schools were developed so that educators and community leaders could respond to specific community needs.

However, the structure of charter law in combination with the system of Mayoral Control in NYC has instead allowed schools from outside a community to be imposed on that community despite universal opposition.

This Thursday’s CEC meeting will be entered into the CWCS application to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of charter law, which requires the applicant “rigorously demonstrate” public outreach “in conformity with a thorough and meaningful public review process.” In reality, Eric Grannis and Citizens of the World intentionally hid this proposal from the larger community, making only private invitations, never announcing their intention to bring this school to our District, much less holding any public meeting, discussion, or forum on their intentions.

Mayoral Control could force our community to make space in our public school buildings for these 2 charter schools which have targeted our vulnerable District from 3,000 miles away – charter schools whose leadership is implicated in vast corruption and profiteering from public money- charter schools suggesting they educate according to the premise of Citizenship, while they operate in a manipulative, secretive, and racist manner as they segregate and divide our community in the pursuit of our public school system budget.

Mayoral Control offers our community no opportunity to impact the approval and siting of charter schools, although we will suffer their impact. The stakes are enormous and the impact would be profound. We must make sure our voices are heard, involve our neighbors and stand up against this destructive intrusion, stand up for our truly public schools. I ask the Community Board to pass a resolution opposing the Citizens of the World Charter School, and I ask everyone in this room to spread the word, attend Thursday’s CEC meeting, write letters to Carl McCall, SUNY Board of Trustees, and push back against this effort to privatize our public education system.

1 comment:

in a quandary said...

I was disgusted with the "perspective" of the SchoolBook article on this same subject. Your articles about this are much better. I would have made an angry comment on SchoolBook, but I hate the fact it's via facebook. New York Times really disappointed me when they started this SchoolBook nonsense.