Jenny can be a nervous sort, dependent on Eva's approval that when things go wrong you get the impression it ain't pretty. I have heard stories about Jenny using hysterics to try to turn away negative stories about Eva and Success, knowing she will get blamed. So it will be interesting to watch how Jenny in charge operates -- but we know she is really not in charge.
I first met Jenny Sedlis at the end of the 2009 school year at a rally GEM supported outside PS 123 in Harlem, another Eva take-over target. She claimed she was an ed notes reader --- monitoring even the blogs for negative Eva stuff, of which Ed Notes is proud to have lead the way. Over the years we have had some nice chats at Gotham Schools parties and at confrontations with the Success machine. I think she really believes that ed deform crap. I know people who despise her for her shilliness but as you know I am not a hater and when we see each other we sometimes hug ---- (she is better than Joel Klein to hug). The thinking must be that using charm might moderate some hostility. It doesn't work but I always love to joust with the Success Stepford crew, though I find some of the parents interesting to talk to.
At one hearing in district 14 the vehemence against Success was so intense as she spoke she looked rocked. (I have some good tape of that -- I almost felt sorry for her.) She started sending surrogates to do her dirty work.
Hey, I have an idea: Jenny Sedlis for next chancellor.
Here is the WSJ article:
StudentsFirstNY, a pro-charter school organization that launched with a bang a year ago and then stalled, has signaled it is ready to jump back into New York City politics, hiring the top lieutenant of a polarizing charter chain.Jenny Sedlis, who helped former City Council Member Eva Moskowitz build Success Academy Charter Schools, will start in September as the new executive director, the group plans to announce Friday. Officials said this would show they weren't going to sit out the mayor's race."This is a launching of a pretty important new beginning, especially with the mayor's race in full swing," said Ms. Moskowitz, a StudentsFirstNY board member.The group had said it could raise about $10 million and would put its stamp on the mayoral contest, but it has yet to take action. Ms. Sedlis said it is still unclear whether the group will make an endorsement in the mayoral primary or the general election, though she said there would be roughly the same amount of money on the table.Until now, the 30-year-old Ms. Sedlis has been Ms. Moskowitz's right-hand woman, running ground battles for the Success Academy chain, which consistently posts high test scores but draws a backlash when it opens a new school. "I'm pretty battle-tested," Ms. Sedlis said. "I'm not going to shy away from a fight that's going to take place."StudentsFirstNY turned heads a year ago when it launched as the New York partner of the national advocacy group founded by former Washington, D.C., schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, a pioneer in the movement known as education reform.At the helm was Micah Lasher, a former lobbyist for Mayor Michael Bloomberg who promised to put pressure on elected officials and provide an alternative source of cash and support for politicians afraid of breaking with the United Federation of Teachers. Another board member is former city schools chancellor Joel Klein, who now works for News Corp., which owns The Wall Street Journal.In the fall, StudentsFirstNY made enacting tougher teacher evaluations its top priority, running advertisements urging the city and the teachers union to negotiate a resolution. It hosted parent meetings explaining the importance of new evaluations and ran social-media campaigns to draw attention to the issue. And in January, it released a report about the proliferation of poorly rated teachers in the city's lowest-income schools.Pro-union groups fought back, recruiting elected officials to pledge to reject money from the organization. Many said they wouldn't take money—regardless of whether it was offered to begin with. For instance, mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, the city's public advocate, has said he wouldn't take money from the group. (StudentsFirstNY has said it wouldn't offer him any.)UFT President Michael Mulgrew said StudentsFirstNY's was already having an effect on the mayoral race: Candidates think "what they need to do is stay away from them."Mr. Lasher left in March to work for Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, leaving the group leaderless just when the mayoral race started to pick up steam. Mr. Lasher declined to comment."It was disappointing, just because the thing was getting under way, but such is life," Ms. Moskowitz said.In Ms. Sedlis, the group has someone who comes alive when talking about the specifics of education policies, and someone who isn't just a fighter, but also one who has spent years building schools and walking in and out of classrooms.Though she said the organization's priorities weren't set, she personally is in favor of changing teacher certification to make sure educators are better prepared to step foot in the classroom, and she supports something known as "parent trigger," a concept that allows parents to take over a public school. Perhaps most importantly, she said she cared about a new teachers contract, which the next mayor will negotiate."There are so many provisions of the contract people don't talk about," she said. "So much of why [Success Academy] is successful is because we have the flexibility to orient the school around the needs of children."