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Fri Sep 5, 2014, 10:37 AM

The Battle for New York Schools: Eva Moskowitz vs. Mayor Bill de Blasio

One afternoon this summer, Eva Moskowitz, who runs Success Academy Charter Schools, showed me her senior yearbook. “I was the editor,” she said. We sat in a half-furnished office at the construction site of her charter network’s first high school. A buzz saw shrieked in the background. She graduated in 1982 from Stuyvesant, the most selective of New York City’s public high schools. “I got completely engaged in how to take this sentimental book and make it a much bigger project.” She fought to publish photographs capturing the political protests of that time — against nuclear weapons, against American aid to the government in El Salvador. To go with the pictures, she wrote a manifesto, concluding: “We do not live in a vacuum.”

“It took will,” she said about her yearbook triumph, in a tone that was only somewhat self-mocking.


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Reply The Battle for New York Schools: Eva Moskowitz vs. Mayor Bill de Blasio (Original post)
elleng Sep 2014 OP
NYC_SKP Sep 2014 #1
elleng Sep 2014 #2
madfloridian Sep 2014 #3

Response to elleng (Original post)

Fri Sep 5, 2014, 10:41 AM

1. I think I like her....


By 1997 she was teaching at Prep for Prep, a program in New York City for gifted minority students. She assigned her 11th graders to document the disparities between the city’s cleaning of parks on the wealthy Upper East Side and its non-upkeep of a park in the Harlem neighborhood where some of them lived. She told the students to take photos and complain to the sanitation and parks departments. “We created a little bit of a ruckus,” she said. “I think Prep for Prep was nervous about it. I was asked why I couldn’t just do simulations.” The park, she continued, got a cleaning.

Now to finish the article.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 5, 2014, 11:30 AM

2. but

'Like Peiser and other charter leaders, David Levin, the chief executive of KIPP, has been visiting Moskowitz’s schools to understand the instruction. “I’m blown away by the quality of the teaching and learning,” he says. “What is inspiring is the intentionality of what the teacher is doing. And even more impressive is the intentionality of the kids during discussion about books or during problem-solving in math.”'

is that even a word, 'intentionality'???

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Fri Sep 5, 2014, 07:26 PM

3. Eva will win. Money and power, and very friendly press.

NY teacher blogger calls out NBC4 News for charter school propaganda.

Those who rely on your newscast for information are most certainly not getting the full story.

I teach ESL students. My school takes just about every ESL student that walks through our doors, regardless of level. And if they know very little, they end up in my beginning class. How many beginning level ESL students do you suppose attend the Success Academies? Has it even occurred to you to ask? We also take kids with all sorts of special needs, including alternate assessment kids who we do not expect to graduate with Regents diplomas. How many of those kids attend the charters you filmed with such reverence?

When Eva Moskowitz accepts the same kids we do, when they stay for their entire scholastic careers, when she opens her books to the same audits we're subject to, then we'll have something to discuss.

Harlem charter school spent $1.3 million to advertise itself to the community.

The image of hundreds of black and Latino parents packed in an auditorium desperately hoping their child would "win" the lottery and get into a local charter school has assumed mythic status in media reports on education reform.

Two new two documentaries, "The Lottery" and "Waiting for Superman," made such events the emotional climax of their narratives. The former centered on Harlem Success, the charter network Schools Chancellor Joel Klein hails when he points to the demand for more charter schools.

But a Daily News review of Harlem Success financial reports suggests the network's huge backlog of applicants is the result of a carefully crafted Madison Ave.-style promotional campaign. In the two-year period between July 2007 and June 2009, Harlem Success spent $1.3 million to market itself to the Harlem community, the group's most recent financial filings show.

Taking over public school space without having to pay a penny.

Moskowitz moving her charter into yet another public school. Causing tensions in NYC

The "Eva" Empire has expanded to the Bronx, bringing a Harlem turf war for school space into the borough. Eva Moskowitz, the City Council member-turned-charter school CEO, has opened two new academies from her charter school franchise, Success Charter Network, inside Public School 30 in Mott Haven, and PS 146 in Morrisania. And Bronx Success Academies 1 and 2 are already ruffling feathers with district school staffers.

..."Staffers at the district schools say their new neighbors have booted them from classrooms and stairwells, while sharing the libraries, cafeterias and playgrounds.

...."Staffers at PS 30 say Bronx Success 1 sealed off the third floor to its staff and students - even taking over a stairwell - so Success students don't mingle with their district school neighbors.

"We are not allowed there," said one PS 30 teacher, noting the classrooms taken over by Success were formerly used for tutoring children with special needs. Now we have to do therapy sessions in the hallway."

Secret deals.

Sweet deals for Eva Moskowitz and her Success Charter schools, public kept in the dark.

Under the plan, the Success Charter Network, run by former City Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz, will see its management fee jump from $1,350 to $2,000 for each pupil enrolled at its five schools in the Harlem area.

..."The increase for the Success Network is being carried out in a stealth manner, as is an accompanying proposal to reorganize its five Harlem schools — Harlem Success Academy 1 to 5 — under a single nonprofit corporation, even though they are located in three separate community school districts.

.."Opponents claim the Success Network creams the best performing students from the public schools and foments neighborhood conflicts by always insisting on more space in public school buildings where its programs are located.

Test taking machines.

Charter school director: When "test day came, they were like little test-taking machines.”

The day before the scheduled math test, the city got socked with eight inches of snow. Of 1,499 schools in the city, 1,498 were closed. But at Harlem Success Academy 1, 50-odd third-graders trudged through 35-mile-per-hour gusts for a four-hour session over Subway sandwiches. As Moskowitz told the Times, “I was ready to come in this morning and crank the heating boilers myself if I had to.”

“We have a gap to close, so I want the kids on edge, constantly,” Fucaloro adds. “By the time test day came, they were like little test-taking machines.”

...They actually have a so-called Kindergarten boot camp.

New students are initiated at “kindergarten boot camp,” where they get drilled for two weeks on how to behave in the “zero noise” corridors (straight lines, mouths shut, arms at one’s sides) and the art of active listening (legs crossed, hands folded, eyes tracking the speaker). Life at Harlem Success, the teacher says, is “very, very structured,” even the twenty-minute recess. Lunches are rushed and hushed, leaving little downtime to build social skills. Many children appear fried by two o’clock, particularly in weeks with heavy testing. “We test constantly, all grades,” the teacher says. During the TerraNova, a mini-SAT bubble test over four consecutive mornings, three students threw up. “I just don’t feel that kids have a chance to be kids,” she laments.

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