Wednesday, November 22, 2017

De Basio Caves in Blackmail Scheme: Eva/Success Steals More Space from Crowded Public Schools as Class Size Soars

Bulletin: Eva Moskowitz to be next chancellor, replacing Farina.

Just joking -- why would Eva take such a big pay cut? But she might as well be chancellor since she can dictate whatever terms she wants. And with her aim of 100 schools she will be in basic control of the public school system.

If you think Janus is the biggest threat to the UFT you are wrong. It is the expansion of Eva's union busting growing charter movement. I would bet that Eva and crew will one day establish their own company union as a way to control their growing teacher corps. You know the drill -- once they get their foot in the door of a building the ultimate aim is to do what they can to undermine the coloco public school and gain control of the entire building.

Politico reports (see below) that Eva and cohort threats to run an ad campaign against de Blasio over denial of space in public schools in District 21 - one of the whiter districts in Brooklyn - led to his caving in at the speed of light. Leonie highlights the overcrowding in Dist. 21 (Bensonhurst area and south Brooklyn).
D21 schools average 99% utilization; with 22 schools at 100% or more, 2 of them middle schools.

From Arthur:
I'm sitting in my packed-to-the-gills high school right now, with 4700 students attending school in a building designed for about half that. We have rooms that are converted closets, rooms in which there are portable AC units that are so loud you can barely teach when they're on. A whole lot of teachers turn them off rather than utilize them. Meanwhile, Eva Moskowitz, funded by hedge fund zillionaires running an expensive ad campaign for her, is crying that the city is discriminating against her students.  
------ Arthur Goldstein at NYC Educator
Maybe Arthur can threaten to run a major media campaign accusing de Blasio of not providing enough space in his school. How about the sounds of silence from our UFT/Unity leadership?

I hope you read Arthur's piece the other day - The Audacity of Eva
where he pointed to the vast overcrowding leading to higher class sizes at his school. Arthur follows up on the class size issue with his UFT Ex Bd report: Nov. 20th Executive Board Takeaway--Happy Talk from Unity and Recycled Class Size Issues

Yes happy talk from Unity Caucus which has not been concerned about class size for, oh, 50 years. By the way -- if you check any literature coming out of the so-called opposition in the UFT you won't find class size mentioned on any list of priorities either. [One of the reasons we formed ICE Caucus in 2004 was over the lack of attention to class size by the then opposition.]

Leonie Haimson reports on the class size matters and nyc public school parents blog:

Nov 21:NYC Class sizes increase again this year; Parents, advocates and attorneys urge NYSED Commissioner rule on complaint and make DOE take action now

Leonie also provides commentary on Eva's theft of more space:
Politico (more below) says that DOE has agreed to provide space in D21 and D22 school buildings for two new Success middle schools as well as more middle school seats in district schools as yet unspecified.  Which particular buildings aren’t yet reported either.  This is the result of the Mayor giving into the threat of a 7-figure ad campaign paid for by Eva’s hedge fund backers.

City officials noted the de Blasio administration has identified 5,000 seats for Success Academy students over the last four years. The network will gain an additional 1,000 seats through the space deals brokered Monday.

D21 schools average 99% utilization; with 22 schools at 100% or more, 2 of them middle schools.  Only 37% of seats needed to alleviate overcrowding and accommodate enrollment growth, according to DOE, are currently funded in the capital plan.  See data here: District 21 

Meanwhile, the DOE capacity formula assumes class sizes of 28 in grades 4-8, rather than the 23 in the C4E plan.

D22 schools are at 108% on average  with only 35% of needed seats funded in capital plan – and with NO seats as of last year sited or in scope or design.  26 of their schools are at 100% or more; one a MS at 122%.  See District 22 data. 
If only the more than 500,000 NYC public school students in overcrowded school buildings had hedge funders to pay for a seven figure ad campaign.
Thanks Leonie

SCOOP: CITY FINDS SPACE FOR SUCCESS CHARTERS, AVOIDING SHOWDOWN  POLITICO's Eliza Shapiro: Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration has found public school space for several growing Success Academy charter schools, Department of Education officials told POLITICO on Monday. The space arrangements allow the city to avoid another potentially bruising battle over school space with New York's largest and most politically influential network, run by one of de Blasio's most reliable foes, Eva Moskowitz. The city has identified buildings that will allow two Success schools, Bergen Beach [D22] and Bensonhurst [D21], to grow into middle school grades.
Moskowitz warned that over 700 of her students would be forced to seek other schools if the DOE didn't find suitable space by the end of the year. The DOE has also identified options for other new and growing Success schools. The network has over 15,000 students in 46 schools across four boroughs. City officials noted the de Blasio administration has identified 5,000 seats for Success Academy students over the last four years. The network will gain an additional 1,000 seats through the space deals brokered Monday.
Moskowitz and the lobbying group that supports Success, Families for Excellent Schools, have launched the latest in a series of hashtag-ready campaigns in recent weeks to pressure the city on space. The so-called #SpaceToLearn campaign has included press conferences, media calls — the latest of which was scheduled for Monday afternoon and canceled — and a New York Daily News trial balloon in which Success officials indicated they would move ahead with a six-figure ad buy to pressure the mayor. Spokespeople for Success did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
The deal allows the city to avoid another major dust-up with Success after a similar fight in 2014.
But this year's fight lacked the political urgency of the 2014 battle, which became a referendum on not only de Blasio's stance on education reform but his political instincts during the first months of his administration. That's partially because city officials have said for months that the DOE was planning on identifying space for the growing network, a sharp contrast to 2014, when it was initially unclear whether the city planned to simply shutter several Success schools. Read more here.

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