Following Jim is information posted by a group of active parents opposing Moskowitz in Williamsburg/Greenpoint from WAGPOPS.
I think you are quite correct that the merger issues raised at the SUNY Trustees meeting was the real "beast in the jungle" (Moskowitz No Longer Even Pretends it's About Children).
Along those lines, I have put together an op-ed addressing that issue.
-- Jim Devor
While the attempt by Success Academy to increase its per capita management fees by fifty percent was (for the time being) foiled, Eva Moskowitz was typically ungracious in crediting the UFT for her (temporary?) setback. In reality, her "reversal of fortune" was clearly attributable to the blistering Daily News article by Juan Gonzalez entitled, "Public Kept in Dark about Sweet Deals for Success Charter Network Schools":
new-york/public-dark-sweet- deals-success-charter-network- schools-article-1.1066368>.
Meanwhile, barely noticed by all (except for Lindsay Christ of NY1) was the approval by the SUNY Trustees, at the April 24th meeting, of the merger of five Harlem Success Academies. Yet, when understood in its larger context, that decision was just the tip of a titanic iceberg. Likewise, an even more disturbing aspect of the session was the strident advocacy by the Charter School Institute ("CSI") of "replication" wherein "successful" Charter School operators will be allowed to create new schools with minimal administrative oversight over the application process.=====================
But these are only components of a Master Plan. The real horror is the overall policy laid out in the CSI memorandum, dated March 12, 2012, entitled "Merger and Consolidation of Existing Charter Schools" which can be found at:
org/documents/ MergerBriefingDocs-Binder.pdf> .
As that document makes clear "replication" is NOT merely about the "cloning" of particular Charter Schools. Rather, CSI (and hence, SUNY) intends to facilitate, for example, the creation of "feeder school" networks which will deliberately exclude children not "lucky" or "smart enough" to have been enrolled in one of the select Charter Schools at age five. Moreover, those networks will not only be allowed - but actually encouraged - to create specialized programs/schools geared to segregating "problem" groups like ELLs, boys and most obviously, Special Ed children.
Meanwhile, extraordinarily complex structures will be created so that different Charter operators, for instance, can consolidate their "scholars" into off location high schools simultaneously operated by differently owned and distinct entities. As a consequence, when fully operational, no one will then be able to figure out what "Education Corporation" is responsible for which classes.
All the while, each entity will be held "accountable" for itself and itself only. This, of course, is a guarantee of a series of clusterf*&ks of gargantuan proportions.
If you think I'm making this up, take a look at the first two items on the April 17th CSI memorandum outlining its approval of the consolidation of two sets of charter secondary school programs into separate High Schools located in Community School Districts different from those housing their feeder schools:
org/documents/ ReportonProposedActionsByInsti tute.pdf>
If anyone can figure out what this means - especially in terms of the "accountability" of the respective high schools - I suggest you share with us whatever it is you have been smoking.
What this all boils down to is the creation of entire privatized school districts within public school districts. It is this plan of "educational governance parasites" that is publicly endorsed by John White for New Orleans (and throughout Louisiana) and will soon be coming to a city a mere ninety miles from our shores (to wit, Philadelphia).
I have seen the future. It is a system free of pesky "politics". In a nutshell, it is for those who think Mayoral Control is too democratic. Oh what a Brave New World!
Jim Devor; President, CEC-15 Follow me on Twitter @JimDevor firstname.lastname@example.org
High Stakes Testing - Students are taking more tests than ever, with tests that last well over a week for grades 3-8 and more tests promised each year. The “high stakes” of these tests have pro- foundly altered the relationship between children and their teachers, and rewarded the narrowing of curriculum to “teach to the test.” The push for these tests is coming from policy makers, not educators, including Pearson, the for profit company with a $32 million dollar contract (for NY State alone) to administer tests, plus additional profits from packaged curriculums and textbooks. Pearson is being investigated for their illegal lobbying arm. Whenever you hear about “accountability” and “core standards,” these are code words for more and more profitable tests. NYC DOE is now talking about “account- ability” and “core standards” for PreK.
Charter Schools are privately managed public schools. Any promise a charter school makes in their proposal is meaningless as there is no public oversight for five years until their charters are renewed. NYC has an abominable rate of closing under- performing charter schools (national average: 15%, NYC average: 4%). Charter schools repeatedly promise to enroll English Language Learners and children with special needs, but in our district, we have charters with 0% English Language Learners and not a single charter school having more than 10%. Our neighborhood public schools have as many as 28% English Language Learners. Charter schools do not enroll the same population as our public schools.
New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) Established in 2000 and available only to privately managed charter schools and not public schools, NMTCs guarantee an investor an average 5% annual return on a loan for 7 years that is above whatever interest rate the charter school pays. If the rate on the loan is only 3-4%, the investor is getting 8-9% annually on a very low risk loan (funded by your tax dollars) when comparable loans out in the market are paying about 2%. The investors in charter schools may have faith in their financial invest- ment, but they don’t put their children in these schools.
Teach for America is an organization that provides 5 weeks training for college graduates to enter the teaching force. In spite of ALL evidence pointing to experienced teachers (teachers with five and more years of classroom experience) providing the most opportunities for learning in the classroom, the NYC DOE is looking for a cheaper and non-unionized teaching force to replace seasoned teachers. More than 50% of Teach for America graduates leave after two years and more than 80% leave after three years.
Come to the next WAGPOPS! meeting
Saturday, May 12 at 3pm
Ascension Hall (Church of the Ascension) 122 Java Street
between Manhattan Ave and Franklin St
www.facebook.com/WilliamsburgGreenpointParents email@example.com (646) 543-4492