The mayor vs. the charters

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s denial of school space to three Success Academy charters is “part of the national “pushback” movement against school reform,” write Andrew Rotherham and Richard Whitmire on Slate. So far, it’s not going well. “By going after the charters, he is attacking one of the most promising urban school reform strategies available to Democratic mayors across the country these days, and he’s doing it without offering a clear alternative.”

De Blasio misread his mandate, writes Conor Williams on The Daily Beast.  

. . . at one of the schools he’s evicting, Success Academy Harlem 4, 83 percent of students scored proficient or better on the state’s math assessment in 2013. Nearly 80 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and the school is getting great results.

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten tweeted a video purporting to tell “the real story” of school co-locations. It features parents touting the virtues of the non-charter schools that were sharing a building with Success Academy Harlem 4. “They have plenty of activities, they have a very good after-school program,” says one.

At P.S. 149 — the district run school in the building —5 percent of students scored proficient on the math test; 11 percent were proficient in English.

Democracy Now hosts a debate on “privatized education”  with former public school teacher Brian Jones and Steve Barr, founder of Green Dot Public Schools, a charter network.

Sam Chaltain thinks this “isn’t really about co-locations, or charter schools, or the right of a parent to choose: it’s about the ongoing tension between our country’s delicate, dual allegiance to the core values of capitalism (consumption & competition) and the core values of democracy (conscience & consensus).”

Does democracy demand that Harlem parents send their children to P.S. 149?

“I voted for DeBlasio,” says Shamona Kirkland. “But I didn’t vote for you to take my child’s future.”

About Joanne


  1. Jerry Doctor says:

    I wonder if Shamona has figured out yet that “I’ll take care of your every need” means “I’ll run every aspect of your life?”

    • SC Math Teacher says:

      Perhaps she is a low information voter. Perhaps she reflexively votes Democrat. Perhaps she learned a hard lesson. (I doubt that, though.)

  2. PhillipMarlowe says:

    Will charters have to abide by the same rules and regulations as public schools if they are guaranteed co-locations in public school buildings?

    Right now Moskowitz says the state has no right to audit her finances because she is not a public school.

    Her teachers are not evaluated using APPR.

    She does not replace students who drop out of her schools.

    Charter teachers get to grade their own Regents.

    No one is happier about her policy change than the parents and staff at the Mickey Mantle school, a program for autistic and emotionally disturbed children that was slated to lose space and seats to the proposed expansion of Success Academy.

    “Our school already lost a music, a theater arts and an art room the past few years,” said Barry Daub, principal at Mickey Mantle. Those losses happened to make room for Harlem Success 1, launched in the same building in 2006.

    Mickey Mantle would have lost enrollment and even more space if Fariña had approved the Success Academy expansion.

    “We would be doing physical and occupational therapy in the halls,” Daub said.

    Yvette Santana, whose grandson Aaron Cruz is a fourth-grader at Mickey Mantle, is furious at the way parents and children are being pitted against each other.

    “We don’t want to throw anybody out, but it’s not right to take away the programs our children have,” Santana said.

    • Roger Sweeny says:

      The whole idea of charters is that they are not bound by the same rules and regulations as regular schools, else why have charters in the first place?

      On the other hand, the whole idea of statewide tests is that the local teachers don’t get to grade their own students; there’s a tremendous conflict of interest when one person both teaches and grades the test that provides information on how well she taught. Neither regular school teachers nor charter school teachers should be able to grade their school’s Regents exams.

    • Mike in Texas says:

      They won’t, in fact Moskowitz just got a judge to rule they couldn’t be audited.

      The “outrage” is over the fact she didn’t get ALL of her charters approved. Also, she’s pissed that she can’t take over local schools’ assets anymore through “col-location”

    • I don’t know whether you’re not competent to copy-paste a URL or you don’t want anyone to know you’re cribbing off an editorial but here’s a link that works –

      I’m not going to fisk that drecky editorial since pointing out what’s not there is more fun.

      First, one of the primary excuses for the failure of district schools is missing and that’s that black kids are too stupid to learn.

      I know, I know. You’ve got your carefully tarted up excuses but one of them, stripped of the necessary foliage, is that black kids are stupid.

      Of course that excuse has to ignore all the schools, some of them even district schools, in which kids indistinguishable in any way from those attending more representative district schools are doing quite well. But when you’re indulging your conceits what’s a few million children?

      Another excuse for the current system is just as egregious and just as, necessarily, carefully obscured and that’s that black parents are stupid. Or lazy. Or uncaring. Or some combination.

      Well, OK, other then the parents who apply to all those charters in the desperate hope that their child won’t be failed by a system that failed them. But let’s not talk about them. Interferes with the narrative.

      Then there’s the fact that charters can be closed by parents.

      A lousy district school can go on being lousy into the indeterminate future since the quality of the education it purveys is largely irrelevant to anyone but parents. A lousy charter however, provided there’s a better alternative, is merely counting down the time till the headsman’s ax falls.

      • Florida resident says:

        Dear Allen:
        As sad I am about your statements, I agree with them.
        See also “Bad students, not bad schools” book,
        Your F.r.

      • PhillipMarlowe says:

        “I don’t know whether you’re not competent to copy-paste a URL or you don’t want anyone to know you’re cribbing off an editorial”

        Cranky allen.
        Still upset Joanne deleted your post referencing your fav starlet?

        As for “and that’s that black parents are stupid. Or lazy. Or uncaring. Or some combination.”
        Not too surprising from you.
        Fits in with finding intelligent comments from a man who calls President Obama a racist hate monger.

        • So, no reply.

          I’m getting used to that sort of thing from you since your posts are themselves empty of content.

          To recap, a malformed link to an editorial signifying nothing so much as impotence in the face of collapsing public support.

          • PhillipMarlowe says:

            “So, no reply.”
            Meaning, I, allen, can only come up with insults, name calling, and denigration of others. Bite that!

            OK, allen, we get it.
            Public schools suck (on what, you never specify).
            Anyone who sends their kids there is a fool , an idiot, as is anyone who points out facts that don’t “show” how they suck.

            yeah, allen, you were “cured alright.”

          • Mike in Texas says:

            From Allen, who is allergic to facts:

            I know, I know. You’ve got your carefully tarted up excuses but one of them, stripped of the necessary foliage, is that black kids are stupid.

            I have never said any such thing. As always with your lies I challenge you to prove it.

  3. Roger Sweeny says:

    Hey, guys, don’t be h8ers. Just accept the fact that allen is always right and a morally better person than anyone who disagrees with him. You’re headed for the dustbin of history.

  4. As always, Roger’s crystalline perspicacity pierces all misunderstanding to reveal the inner truth.

    Yes, I am always right and I am morally superior to those who disagree with me. Was there ever any doubt? Not in my mind.

    An aside to Mike; when you quote the above paragraph do have a link handy because I’ll deny ever having written it and your only recourse will be to provide the link which, in the words of a gentleman who’s shuffled off this mortal coil, will tell the rest of the story.

    The post that leads this thread refers to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s attempts to please his teacher’s union constituency by doing what the unions have so far been unable to do – put an end to charter schools.

    de Blasio hasn’t managed to shut down the charter school movement but he is trying to hold back the tide. It’s an apt metaphor because charters represent a change in how Americans view government and by extension, ourselves and that represents a shift of a very basic nature. Sadly, Bill de Blasio’s no King Canute and is happy to bow to political necessity.

    But that tidal change, like the physical phenomenon, is a force of nature and there’s really no appealing to its sense of decency or fair play or whether it’s a disaster or a boon. Ready or not, it’s on its way so if it isn’t bringing you what you want you’d better not be there when it arrives.

    Part of what’s driving that tidal change are parents who’ve suffered the worst of what the public education system has to offer – poor, black, urban parents. Now that they have kids, having been failed by the public education system, they’re required to deliver their children into the hands of the same public education system.

    Those parents are uninterested in PhillipMarlowe’s editorial writer’s views because they’ve got views of their own informed by bitter experience. And, they’ve got their own child to worry about a problem with which the editorial writer, PhillipMarlowe, Mike in Texas and Roger Sweeney are unburdened. Now a few of those poor parents – too few – have something their parents didn’t have and that’s choice in how their children are educated. I doubt they’ll give that choice up without a fight of epic proportions.

    • Mike in Texas says:

      You’re delusional, Allen. The quote above is your exact words, from the comments on this post.

      But here’s the link. Now you can work out your excuses claiming you didn’t say what you said.

    • PhillipMarlowe says:

      to allen, this parent he and I quoted, doesn’t exist:

      Yvette Santana, whose grandson Aaron Cruz is a fourth-grader at Mickey Mantle, is furious at the way parents and children are being pitted against each other. “We don’t want to throw anybody out, but it’s not right to take away the programs our children have,” Santana said.

      Go back to yr girl.

  5. Phillipmarlowe says:

    A pro-charter school group has spent $3.6 million over the past three weeks on TV ads attacking Mayor de Blasio, an insider revealed Wednesday.

    Families for Excellent Schools — founded by a deep-pocketed group of financiers — has run a series of ads, including a spot blaming de Blasio for taking away the “hopes and dreams” of 194 students by blocking Success Academy Harlem Central.
    De Blasio stopped three Success schools from co-locating in public school buildings while allowing five others to go ahead. His allies call the ad campaign hypocritical.

    So, whenever one hear Eva or her charter chums claim poverty, envision Joel Grey and Lisa Minelli sing “Money” ( Makes The World Go Round.)

    • Hey Mike, you can squirm but you can’t escape.

      In your efforts to defend the indefensible, the district-based public education system, you’ve become a racist.

      In The World According to Mike black parents are inherently irresponsible and black kids ineducable because if it were any other way the institution that’s supposed to be educating their kids might bear some hint of responsibility for failing them. Can’t have that so you blame the victims.

      Phillip, take up the existence or lack thereof of this parent with the editorial writer whose article you incompetently tried to link. I didn’t quote the duffus.

      And since you’re offering more links, done correctly this time – you’re welcome – I’ll offer one of my own –

      That notorious right wing hack Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, appears to be of the opinion that Mayor de Blasio’s jerking of the rug out from under the poor, black kids of New York to please the city’s powerful teacher’s unions just isn’t quite the proper thing for a mayor to be doing. So Governor Cuomo’s pledged state money to cover the rent for the charters that the teacher’s unions would like to bury.