Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Howard Schwach on Negative Impact of Moskowitz Charter on Rockaway Schools

To make room at MS 53, the city’s DOE is moving its district 27 Alternate Learning Center [ALC] to the Beach Channel Educational Campus... [a program] for really troubled kids who can’t be maintained in traditional schools and who have been serially suspended for things such as assaulting other students and staff, assaulting safety officers, bringing a weapon to school and selling drugs in the school building. And, they will be all ours by the beginning of the next school year in September.... Howard Schwach
Eva invades and they pull the most troubled kids from the building and dump them in a vast building like Beach Channel HS which already has 5 or 6 schools. My former editor at The Wave, retired NYC teacher Howie Schwach, now has a web-based Rockaway news service, As always he's on the case.
Arverne by the Sea, a middle income area of homes that has stabilized the center of Rockaway is Eva's target, not the nearby projects. Eva must already have a massive got to go list for any of those kids that slip into the lottery.

Moskowitz charter coming to Rockaway, forcing problematic students to Beach Channel and revealing lie to ABTS parents

Moskowitz sad
Success Charter School, headed by CEO Eva Moskowitz, left, will soon be coming to MS  53 in Far Rockaway, forcing a program called “Alternate Learning Centers” to move from that school to Beach Channel Educational Campus. ALC is a program for disruptive students who have been suspended for a year and up because of Level 3 and Level 4 violations of the DOE’s discipline code.
MS 53
The local ALC has been running at MS 53 in Far Rockaway, a school aptly sited right behind the 101 Precinct house.
By Howard Schwach
Commentary from

Rockaway has been dumped on one more time and this time it especially impacts those Arverne by the Sea homeowners who were promised a charter elementary school and parents and students at the Beach Channel Educational Campus, as well as the rest of those who live in Rockaway.

Follow the bouncing ball.
Eva Moskowitz, the CEO of the Success Charter School network and earns more than $300,000 a year for running two dozen schools wants to come to a school in Rockaway.
After first stating that charter schools would no longer be granted co-location in crowded public school buildings, he relented and now regularly gives public school space to charters, allowing them to avoid paying rent in a private building.
The fact that Moskowitz, who was once the chair of the City Council’s Education Committee and is therefore well connected, wants to come to Rockaway should come as a surprise to homeowners who live in the 2,200-unit Arverne by the Sea. They were told last year by Gerri Romski, the CEO of the development that, despite the fact they had long been promised a K-8 school, they were going to get a middle school charter sponsored by the Rev. Les Mullings, whose assistant principal is City Councilman Donovan Richard’s wife.
When challenged, Romski said very clearly that they had to accept the middle school because nobody wanted to open a charter school in Rockaway. Then, comes Moskowitz with a K-1 school in Far Rockaway that will, if it follows the pattern of the other schools in the network, expand each year by one grade.

Where will her charter school, which has not yet been approved by the city, but most likely will be before the end of this school year, will be sited at what is now Middle School 53, at 1045 Nameoke Street in Far Rockaway, the school directly behind the 101 Precinct.
To make room at MS 53, the city’s DOE is moving its district 27 Alternate Learning Center to the Beach Channel Educational Campus, on Beach 100 and Beach Channel Drive.
What is an ALC?
You don’t want to know, because it will not be good either for the surrounding community or for those who ride public transportation during the time students are going to or from school.
According to the DOE’s own website, “ALCs provide an educational setting for students who are serving a Superintendent’s Suspension up to one year.  Each borough has a principal that oversees 5-9 sites. Each site has a site supervisor, four core content area teachers, one special education teacher, one counselor, one paraprofessional, and one school aide.  Our goal is to provide a continuity of education for ALC students. “ALCs cultivate pro-social beliefs, attitudes and behaviors in students, and provide a variety of positive behavioral programs such as Positive Behavior Support Systems (PBIS), Restorative Approaches, and Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI).  ALCs offer the same Core Curriculum materials schools have for consistency, and provide intervention measures that build students’ capacity to return to school better able to be productive and engaged members of their school communities.”
That’s all edu-speak for really troubled kids who can’t be maintained in traditional schools and who have been serially suspended for things such as assaulting other students and staff, assaulting safety officers, bringing a weapon to school and selling drugs in the school building. And, they will be all ours by the beginning of the next school year in September.
When I was teaching at then Intermediate School 53 in the 80’s and 90’s, the city had 600 schools, so named because they had designations such as PS 605 and Junior High School 630. Those schools were heavily monitored and school aides were off-duty or retired cops. The ALC program is the new iteration of that program.
People are already lining up to stop the ALC from coming to Rockaway Park, led by local politicians and civic leaders.
The questions do not stop there.
Why is Moskowitz getting an elementary school charter in the east end of Rockaway when homeowners at ABTS were told by Gerri Romski that he had personally contacted every charter group in the city and that none of them wanted to come to Rockaway?
He should be asked that question by the homeowners.
Ed Williams is the head of the Harbor Point II Homeowners Association, one of those who was promised an elementary school.
“We were lied to, and I feel betrayed,” he told “Now that [Moskowitz] is here, you have to wonder whether this whole thing was a fair process. We were told that no charters wanted to come to Rockaway and now it turns out that one of the largest did want to come here all along.”
Then there is a growing question about Moskowitz’s charter network.
There have been allegations in the New York Times and other daily papers that her Success Charters are not all they are cut out to be.
Recently, there was proof that at least one of her schools had a list of students who were not performing up to standards or who were disruptive. The list was called “The Got To Go” list internally and parents of those children were reportedly harassed by the schools and then told to take their child back to the local public school.
Published reports said that such lists were widespread in the Success network.
In another case, a video of an interaction between a Success teacher and one of her students has gone viral as a lesson in how not to treat children.
In the video, a first-grade class sits cross-legged in a circle on a brightly colored rug. One of the girls has been asked to explain to the class how she solved a math problem, but she has gotten confused
She begins to count: “One… two…” Then she pauses and looks at the teacher.
The teacher takes the girl’s paper and rips it in half. “Go to the calm-down chair and sit,” she orders the girl, her voice rising sharply.
“There’s nothing that infuriates me more than when you don’t do what’s on your paper,” she says, as the girl retreats.
The teacher in the video, Charlotte Dial, works at a Success Academy in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. She has been considered so effective that the network promoted her last year to being a model teacher, who helps train her colleagues.
After sending the girl out of the circle and having another child demonstrate how to solve the problem, Ms. Dial again chastises her, saying, “You’re confusing everybody.” She then
The video was recorded surreptitiously in the fall of 2014 by an assistant teacher who was concerned by what she described as Ms. Dial’s daily harsh treatment of the children. The assistant teacher, who insisted on anonymity because she feared endangering future job prospects, shared the video with The New York Times after she left Success in November.
After being shown the video last month, Ann Powell, a Success spokeswoman, described its contents as shocking and said Ms. Dial had been suspended pending an investigation. But a week and a half later, Ms. Dial returned to her classroom and her role as an exemplar within the network.
Moskowitz dismissed the video as an anomaly. Interviews by the New York Times with 20 current and former Success teachers suggest that while Ms. Dial’s behavior might be extreme, much of it is not uncommon within the network.
She did not address the other incidents detailed in the New York Times article, including threats to call 911 and repeated meetings designed to wear parents down until they withdrew their students.
According to the Times, Success is known for its students’ high standardized test scores, and it emphasizes getting — and keeping — scores up. Jessica Reid Sliwerski, 34, worked at Success Academy Harlem 1 and Success Academy Harlem 2 from 2008 to 2011, first as a teacher and then as an assistant principal. She said that, starting in third grade, when children begin taking the state exams, embarrassing or belittling children for work seen as slipshod was a regular occurrence, and in some cases encouraged by network leaders.
Following a report detailing Success Academy schools trying to remove unruly students, school founder Eva Moskowitz denied any systematic effort to push students out of her schools, took responsibility for the oversight of her school leaders, and elicited a tearful apology from the principal who created the list.
Success Academy is the largest charter-school network in New York City, serving 11,000 students, and its schools post impressive test results in traditionally hard to serve communities. Critics have long accused the network of posting high test scores by pressuring undisciplined students to leave.
Moskowitz and other Success Academy leaders have frequently compared the schools in their network to district schools, making the case that Success provides superior educational opportunities. At several press conferences and this year, Moskowitz has called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to treat charter schools as equals and provide them with better space and funding.
Yet on Friday, Moskowitz said that “a very small percentage of kids,” particularly those with special needs, might not find the right support at Success and should instead consider a district school.
“Success may not be the absolute best setting for every child,” she said.
The third question, of course, is why put a school full of problematic students in the midst of other schools that have a good reputation in the community, including the highly-rated Channel View School for Research, with which it will share the building, its cafeteria and gymnasium.
The answer: Because they can and because they have to find room for an elementary charter at MS 53.


  1. Norm, great posting but more bad news coming. Read today's Newsday editorial page it states that Randi Weingarten is saying nice things about John King in his first weeks as Education Commissioner. The BS never stops with this deform happy self serving witch. Perhaps it may add a few votes to the cause if members know of this Quizling's comments.

    1. Did you expect anything different from Randi? Fact is most members even if told don't give a crap. They are not even conscious of who John King is. Randi and Mulgrew want a brain dead union and do what they can to make that happen.


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