Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Wave - The Lies Eva Moskowitz Tells: More Destructive Than Global Warming

In my speech at the PEP the other night I didn't have time to make a better case against the Success Charter scam. I wanted to quote from a Ravitch post (Fact-Checking Eva’s Claims on National Television) exposing the lies. The Moskowitz machine has rolled de Blasio, with 3.5 million bucks spent on commercials, enough to buy space for Eva's so-called scholars. At least I have The Wave to try to inform the few locals who read my School Scope stuff on what Eva is all about: politics, real estate, making money - anything but education. My prediction: she will use the parents and children in the mini-school system she has built to challenge de Blasio in the 2017 election. And given the constant assault deB will face over 4 years and the increasing ineffectiveness of the UFT don't be shocked if she wins. Hey, I have an idea on how to stop her. The UFT should just endorse her.

Published in The Wave, Friday, March 21, 2014

The Truth About Eva Moskowitz Charters: More Destructive Than Global Warming
By Norm Scott

I went to a funeral out on Long Island last week and two people asked me why Mayor de Blasio is so against charters, especially Success Academy run by Eva Moskowitz who makes half a million dollars to run 22 schools. De Blasio allowed her to get almost everything she was handed by Bloomberg except for 3 spots ­– 2 high schools where to accommodate Eva there would have to be millions of dollars in renovations to keep the young children apart from the high school kids – and an expansion in a Harlem school that would toss out autistic kids. But why should we worry about autistic kids getting screwed? They won’t score as high as Eva’s so-called “scholars”?

You would have thought pro-charter Joe Lhota had won the election instead of losing by an enormous margin. How inept was de Blasio that he took such a public relations beating because he couldn’t effectively defend the autistic kids against the onslaught of TV commercials about the “poor” 194 Success “scholars” who were shoving special ed kids into the street? Chancellor Carmen Farina caved and said she would work to find the 194 Success kids seats. Eva doesn’t want seats in another building, she wants the building. This is about real estate, not education. Imagine if those millions spent on the ad blitz actually went to buying a building.

We hear the lies about all those high achieving children being tossed. Remember that 2 out of the 3 schools de Blasio denied don’t even exist yet. But they would have been part of the Moskowitz political plan to set up outposts in certain neighborhoods in large high school buildings that over the years she will take more and more space and ultimately toss out the public schools. De Blasio actually did give her all the other schools she wanted. (People at one of them, Seth Low in Bensonhurst, are outraged.) Don’t be surprised to see her run against the mayor in the next election.

Then she got away with closing all her schools and bussing all the kids, teachers and parents to Albany for a phony rally. How much outrage would there be if the Mayor closed all the schools to hold a rally to defend his decisions?

And oh those supposed high scores. Experienced teachers know this game very well. Push out the potential low scorers as early as possible and leave a big bunch back early on so they will be a year older for each testing grade.

One DOE insider reported on Success tactics as reported on the Diane Ravitch blog:

“Not only do classes contain disproportionately few students with disabilities and English language learners (ELLs), but their numbers almost invariably decrease with each passing year. The ranks of students with disabilities consistently dwindle. In the first two years of available data, there were hardly any ELLs. In 2010 Success suddenly came up with a nearly representative portion of these students, but their numbers more than halved by the next year.  83 students entered kindergarten in 2006-07, the school’s first year of operation. When that class reached 4th grade in 2010-11, it had only 53 students — a drop of 36 percent. Harlem Success also took in a 1st grade class with 73 students in 2006. When that group reached 5th grade, it too had shrunk appreciably — by 36 percent. The attrition accelerated as the classes advanced. The 2006-07 1st grade class, for example, did not shrink at all as it entered 2nd grade, but saw one sharp falloff between 2nd and 3rd and another between 4th and 5th.” If they ‘lost’ many students, these scores are tainted. Only one Success school has been around since 2007. That school started with 83 kindergarteners and 73 first graders. Those cohorts just tested in 6th and 7th grade, respectively. The school has ‘lost’ a big chunk of those original 156 kids. Of those 73 first graders in 2007, only 35 took the seventh grade test. Of the 83 kindergarteners, only 47 took the sixth grade test last spring. Overall, they have ‘lost’ 47% of the original two cohorts. If this is one of the costs of having such high test scores, I’m not sure if it is worth it. The bulk of the attrition at Harlem Success Academy 1 seems to have come in the tested grades. Success Academy’s approach of holding many students back a grade level which creates a 3rd grade bulge as those students don’t move on to 4th grade. Attrition rates approach or exceed 50% by the end of middle school.”

Follow the Evil Eva story on Norm’s blog:

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