Monday, February 15, 2016

Should Eva Be Forced to Change Charter Name to "Success" in her Version of Guantanomo?

Is Success Academy really the model we want for the education of urban children of color, many living in economic disadvantage? "Got to go" lists? High suspension rates? Teachers who rip up their students' work (according to one teacher in the Times story, it happens regularly at SA)? Test score fetishism? Churning faculty, many of whom are young, white, and not adequately trained? Chanting in the classrooms and marching in the halls? Moskowitz's approach is premised on the idea that urban students of color need extraordinarily harsh discipline codes; she says so herself: - See more at:
Jersey Jazzman pretty much sums it up with his blog post:
"SUCCESS" by putting the word in quotes. The use of the very word "Success" by Eva is turning into a horrifying joke. There should be an attachment: By Any Means Necessary.
The latest "Success" School at Guantonomo

The blogosphere is alive with comment over the NY Times released video of child abuse at Eva's gulag. Ed Notes has been on the case: Video: Child Abuse on Eva's Plantation

Reporter Kate Taylor deserves credit for sticking to the Success story. I met Kate when, new to the Times ed beat, she attended a hearing for another Eva invasion in Brooklyn's District 13 in Sept. 2014. MORE had 8 people there to join community members to speak out. I remember noted charter abuser Steven Perry, looking to get a piece of the charter gravy, in the audience there to observe. But Eva only sent a few observers and no one to even try to make the case. Eva knew it was a slam dunk. I wonder if that arrogance turned on some light in Kate Taylor that has led her to where she may one day win an award for exposing the mess at "Success". Unless someone with power gets to the Times to stop Kate. (I've seen other NYT reporters who had a clue like Mike Winerip and Anna Phillips be moved out.)

I taught grades 4-6 and at times did engage in some behavior that if someone filmed would be embarrassing. But I can honestly say that it was rare behavior on my part and I did deal with older kids.

Jersey Jazzman makes a similar point:
I'm not about to say, on the basis of a one-minute video, that Dial should be fired immediately. If any teacher tells you that they've never said anything to a student that they later regretted, they're either lying, deluded, or a living saint.
I've been in touch on FB with a chunk of former students from my 1978 and 79 5th and 6th grade classes (I looped and had most of them for 2 years.) Their memories 40 years later seem pretty positive. When children are treated badly in school those memories last a long time. I can remember a few of the times where I was yelled at by a teacher even today.

But these little kids who are 5 and 6 years old? What damage! And to me it is also disturbing that so many "Success" parents want this for their kids. I have had disagreements with some of my colleagues in ICE and MORE over how to address these parents, who most make excuses for. I on the other hand have had numerous conflicts with those who are used politically to back Eva and at one point, as we began to see each other at meeting after meeting, began to have some decent dialogues going.

There are some wonderful commentaries out there on this issue. Here are a few.

The growing storm around Success Academy

Ravitch: NY Times: 8 Experts Censure Moskowitz SA Methods

Moskowitz’s Success Academy Is Being Sued Again

Jersey Jazzman

Alan Singer at Huffington Post:  Success Academy's War Against Children

Jersey Jazzman gets into the race issue that touches so many charters where young, white, mostly women, are engaging black children.
The fact that Dial is white and the student is black makes this especially troubling. I'm all for teachers being authoritative, but too many students of color are living a school experience where they are dehumanized by teachers of a different race. To be clear: I don't think this is confined just to "no excuses" charter schools; we've seen far too many examples of bad behavior against students of color in public district schools to pretend that it's only the charters that are guilty of perpetuating a hidden curriculum.
See more at:

Let's get into the white teacher/black student issue in further depth in future posts since it ties in with our call for more teachers of color to create a diverse teaching corps that is a better reflection of the student backgrounds.

Fear and Learning at Success Academy
Whatever Eva Wants, Eva Gets 

1 comment:

  1. I taught grades 4-6 and at times did engage in some behavior that if someone filmed would be embarrassing. But I can honestly say that it was rare behavior on my part and I did deal with older kids.

    8th class result 2016


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