Explaining the Charter School Battle Lines

Friday, March 07, 2014

Since the de Blasio administration's withdrawal of permission for 3 of 49 charter schools under review to co-locate with public schools, charges of playing politics with children's educations have flown on both sides of the debate. Beth Fertig, contributing editor for education at WNYC and, and Robert Lewis, WNYC investigative reporter, talk about this battle over education and the money behind some of the protests.


Beth Fertig and Robert Lewis

Comments [69]

Eddie from NYC

Regardless of the position one may take regarding charter schools. One blaring fact remains. The majority of charters are providing a world class education for many children who could only dream of such a thing only a few years ago. Knock off the nonsense and start thinking about the kids.

Mar. 10 2014 10:56 PM
Katiae from Huntington

Why don't people like Eva Moskowitz spend their money on the NY public schools instead of Charter Schools. Could it be because public schools don't make money for them? Governor Cuomo sounds like a Republican. Not like his Dad.

Mar. 10 2014 11:48 AM
s chaz from Brooklyn

Charter schools foster union-busting,
drain taxpayer funds away from public schools,
and erode and destroy the public education system.
Once they've done that, in come the Wall-Street supporters
with for-profit schools as the only alternative,
making their profit off our kids.
Why else would Wall Street support this?
Charity? Compassion?
If you believe that I have a certain bridge to offer you.
If these one-percenters really "cared" for the students in poverty,
then they would raise the wages of their parents!
They are not investing in these kids,
tehy are investing in themselves.
And the rest of us lose.

Mar. 10 2014 07:38 AM
scott from soho

If Eva M's charter schools are producing better results than NYC public schools we should be offering additional support instead of attacking the success. Is it really that bad to have kids that can actually read when they leave high school?

Mar. 09 2014 07:15 PM
Barry from Brooklyn

It was disappointing to hear you and Beth Fertig yesterday repeatedly using the language of charter school advocates in what might have been a deeper examination of the challenges we all face in the education of our city’s children. In particular, Ms. Fertig’s embrace of the “choice/no choice” spin—and your own pressure on the first caller to see “choice” as the central issue in this debate when she offered (and you ignored) other important questions and perspectives on the topic—avoids any discussion of what public education could be, would be, and sometimes is when we focus on the right of every child to learn within a productive, nurturing environment. (Diane Ravitch recently described the selective nature of the charter movement with this analogy: “I’ve got my lifeboat. The rest of you can drown.”)

“Choice/no choice” is not the issue. Yes, everyone deserves choice; pretending that “charter schools” exclusively represent choice is faulty. Many new, small schools have opened in New York City, serving a range of students in a variety of communities while working within the New York City public school system. They are filled with committed teachers, enthusiastic students, and caring parents, all working together to make their schools thrive. (Yes, you can be a union member and be committed to children, to their parents, and to learning).

You gave short shrift to Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s stated commitment to improving public schools—not by shutting down those that don’t measure up on standardized tests or by pushing aside the students in them to make room for a well-funded charter program, but by working with parents, students, and teachers to improve existing schools.

The “generous philanthropist” lens Ms. Fertig consistently applied to questions about wealthy, well-connected, politically powerful charter supporters downplays the current corporatization of schools, the severe anti-union thrust of the charter movement, and the competitive business model (including profits, in many cases) that charter proponents espouse.

We appreciate the time spent on education stories on your show and sincerely hope you will continue to follow this critical, potentially transformational issue with more thorough analysis and broader perspective than offered on your March 7 program.

Mar. 08 2014 08:56 PM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"Olivia from New York City"

It's hilarious when the peanut gallery picks out those who should give up half their salary in the name of (the poster's) social justice.

Hey, why not give up half of yours?
Caren Farina makes $412,000 now as Chancellor ... why not half of hers?
Brian Lehrer makes $200,000 ... why not half of his?

Hey, I'm as outraged and as noble as you are .... so I get to pick.
Lebron James makes a godzillion dollars a year ... why isn't all of it given back to the "community" except for, oh, let's say, $100,000? He's cool with that, right?
Social justice, indeed.

Mar. 08 2014 05:24 AM
DTorres from Manhattan

NYCHA is being handed over the Banks and the Schools are being handed
over the Hedge Funds.

Chunk by chunk private corporations are taking over what use to be
run by NYC.

Mar. 07 2014 09:32 PM
Olivia from New York City

I was really irked by the reported comment by Eva Moskowitz replying to a question about her $400,000 salary. Yes, she is paid by her board, but she could ask for half that to be put in a scholarship fund for students studying education at CUNY. We know from recent studies of boards at Wall St. firms, et al, that they are often just rubber stamps for CEOs. How many on her board have experience or training in education? Hedge funds don't invest unless there's money to be made - stay tuned. Public education is the foundation of democracy - and it can be great. Let's put our energy and dollars there. We all deserve it.

Mar. 07 2014 08:26 PM
Michael from Brooklyn

One more point here. Money takes care of money and cares nothing about people and their puny problems. Investment Bankers, Hedge Fund Managers, and VC's get in when there is potential for a return. Once they hit their marks,they take their fees, then dump the junk on the taxpayer. A well chronicled technique by none other than Mitt Romney himself. They empty the pensions, pay themselves for management and then disappear into the the next new territory, stripping the companies, or in this case the schools of their money, their staffs and their ability to function. Bankruptcy is all that remains.

Mar. 07 2014 06:49 PM
Michael Elliot from Brooklyn

I think some listeners have a very limited awareness of the immense sums of money behind the Charter Movement. Union busting is a huge business, with tremendous financial potential for this new crop of education opportunists. The public till is a virtual money gun to those with the power to tap into it. Privatizing education is the means, vast earnings the goal and kids, parents, families and teachers are simply obstacles in the path of profits. This is Shock Doctrine in action. Not some grand conspiracy. Just a fabricated crisis (our failing schools) connected to a fabulous opportunity to make money. Brian gave a pass today, to the the money. Why? I have no idea.

Mar. 07 2014 06:37 PM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Donald J. Sepanek from Bayonne, NJ said-
“Is Beth Fertig really trying to convince us that Success Academy has more political clout than the teachers' unions?”

LOL ... yes ... 154,000 active and retired UFT members are apparently so threatened and paranoid over this woman that they had Brian and Beth do their Saul Alinsky-style “demonize Eva” show. It was puzzling and pathetic.

Did you hear Brian's gleeful hyperbole early in the show when he melodramatically claimed that “deBlasio crushed Moskowitz” in a campaign speech”? LOL, is the sleepy amiable ambler in Gracie Mansion capable “crushing” anything beyond (maybe) a paper cup?

Brian “The Water Boy” Lehrer, you hoisted the bucket very well today, Laddie.

Mar. 07 2014 05:09 PM
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY

Just because Moskowitz had more supporters at the rally, doesn't mean that her needs outweigh those of anyone else. There is a good chance that she probably paid a bunch of people to come up to Albany with her. BTW, I could never understand why she brought so many students especially those of color. My guess was so that she won't just be playing the innocent to be with them, but also to probably play the race card as well. Nobody is against the location of charter schools, just that they should pay for the space themselves. Moskowitz is a hedge fund manager and she can easily afford a lot of what she needs on her own income especially when she can probably live in a condo at a prestigious Manhattan address. I would always think how much are some paid by her to come up and rush to her defense. If you support her needs, then come up with the funding rather than squeeze the taxpayers for it. More importantly, enough with the claim that charter schools are inclusive when most have to get in via a lottery. There is no lottery for getting into a public school, the student with their family just needs to live within the district to be qualified. Let's not forget that charter school teachers come and go a lot while public school teachers are around almost for life, which shows who really cares about teaching. Before anyone brings up Waiting for Superman, I suggest seeing the documentary made in response and telling the real story from the teachers including Randi Weingarten herself known as An Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman.

Mar. 07 2014 04:52 PM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"A state law to have charters make public their finances so that taxpayers can see how tax dollars are being spent by the charters." Grrrrrr!!

How about a state law requiring that the teachers unions reveal yearly in all major publications their TOTAL millions in buying de Blasio and their other puppets ... PAC's, direct, indirect, paid days off from union jobs to do campaign work and organize door-to-door foot soldiers, etc. "LOVE FOR SALE"

They are so afraid of one woman ... really?

Mar. 07 2014 04:28 PM

My nephew attends a Success Academy School and he is not a well behaved child. If I was Eva M. I would've kicked him out, but she didn't. They work with him to address his issues. He is bright and does well academically.

Had he been in a traditional public school in the South Bronx, he would've been shipped off to a special education classroom.

Mar. 07 2014 03:02 PM
J. Gordon

First of all if Eva "the millionaire" Moscowitz can be paid millions of dollars as the operator of success for all( meaning Eva)schools then the success schools can pay rent. A state law to have charters make public their finances so that taxpayers can see how tax dollars are being spent by the charters. To make the selection process fair all charters should be assigned their students by the school district they are operating. Charter schools must accept the same percentage of special needs students, English language learners, and students that are performing in all 4 levels of academic achievement.Or take over whole schools with no choice of the students they must educate just as the public schools do. Then we'll see how the charters compare to public schools.

Mar. 07 2014 02:09 PM
Donald J. Sepanek from Bayonne, NJ

De Blasio proving that he is not as pro-education, or pro-civil rights as he claims to be, but is, in fact, in the pocket of one of the democratic party's most powerful interest groups, the teachers' unions. And also demonstrating his political savvy.

Mar. 07 2014 02:08 PM
Donald J. Sepanek from Bayonne, NJ

Is Beth Fertig really trying to convince us that Success Academy has more political clout than the teachers' unions?

Mar. 07 2014 01:42 PM
RJ from prospect hts

The separation of wealth from the traditional public schools is part of a wider privatization of public services. In this instance, we have wealthy people choosing which charter schools they want to fund rather than advocating (like CFE, AQE, etc.) that all are given a good education. We have a significant number of other charter schools--whose public statements have less money behind them and so can't buy ads in the NYT--that want to work with the mayor.

It has been a big struggle to ensure that the initial charter school acceptance rates include poor and challenged students from the surrounding community--the lottery, rather than by application--but advocates managed to achieve at least that inadequate means; as elsewhere reported, too many have found ways around this by cherry picking or "discouraging" kids out of them after their forced acceptance.

This public services fight falls right in line with the privatization of the public parks and basic community services such as sanitation and security, in the forms of wealth-funded park "conservancies" that don't fund (recently one wealthy donor stated this explicitly in his donation) neighborhood parks and Business Improvement Districts in wealthy communities that self-tax to provide private sanitation and private cops.

Meanwhile, income and wealth taxation rates have been lowered (i.e., the infamous 15% rate on hedge funders), providing less general funding for citywide services, despite the fact that their businesses and even private lives benefit from them. Instead, the burden has been increased on poor, working, and middle class communities while wages have not: transit, higher ed tuition, water rates, parking fees, community recreation centers, etc. What since World War II was considered the community of New York City (and nationwide, in varying ways) has been segmented by the wealthy, who hire lobbyists and PR firms to reduce the resources--taxes--on the wealthy that should be going to the entire city. The pool of resources for the general public good has been sharply reduced.

It is possible to create traditional public schools that have creative approaches to education, as pilots or incubators, and has occurred sporadically over many years, but the whole notion has been overwhelmed in favor of this private targeting of wealth, particularly since the Giuliani years, by using the easy scapegoat of unions and teachers. No, I'm not claiming that the unions and teachers are blameless in school difficulties, but claiming they are *the* problem is nonsensical. It ignores, as has been argued elsewhere in these comments, the socioeconomic factors of the city--trying to take the schools outside of them is like trying to take the transit system out and claim that unions and workers are to blame for workers in every industry not having jobs when the primary difficulty is that they have no way to get to them.

Mar. 07 2014 12:39 PM
Penelope from Astoria

Brian....Thanks.....This was an excellent show :)

Mar. 07 2014 12:17 PM

Bernie, why should a poor kid with overstressed poor parents who can't support them be a part of the tragedy? or even kids who aren't poor who have negligent parents (which I've seen too)? So we should just give up on them?

Children don't choose to be born. Furthermore, reproductive rights issues for women are increasingly under attack in our so-called family friendly country. Are you saying we should simply give up educating children just because their parents don't meet your standards?

The whole race to the top creates a huge segregation in abilities that never existed when I was a child. We did have tracking, but it was not nearly as severe as the segregation that I see with all this overuse of testing and school choice. We had a "faster class" and a "slower class" and a wide range abilities within those classes when I grew up and everyone went the the same school regardless of class.

At this point in time we've applied to over 40 schools which I think is absurd. Really after a certain point you can't choose anymore when you go on these mind-numbing tours of schools that have slick buzz words about their "mission" that really becomes meaningless when you try to attach it to "what does that school really teach"? My son has taken two Stanford Binet tests, one ERB test,Statewide tests every year of his life, special test that were part of a teacher education program in elementary school, school specific tests at many schools (which were usually watered down versions of other tests like the ERB or copied over old questions from the SHSAT as was done a NEST+M, a least 20 "play" visits (for nursery and elementary schools), interviews (at least 20 interviews between middle and high school), portfolios (for both middle and high school), essays (for both middle and high school), letters of recommendation (which amazingly were discouraged at the middle school he went to but required for all the elementary and high schools and most of the middle schools) and the SHSAT which was a breeze compared the portfolios and essay and school specific tests. I doubt any adult has undergone as much screening for their job application as most kids these days have undergone by the time they enter high school.

Just think of the administrative burden we have adopted for all of this "race to the top" which has only led to "weed out the undesirable kids" which means those kids who don't have parents that people like Bernie approve of.

Mar. 07 2014 12:07 PM

Andrew Cuomo will support charter schools - except in New York City where they have no State-approved budget for rent. This is nonsense, just another line of electioneering. State budgets for schools, social service agencies, and all non-union wages, remain static for years. But a charter can come into a public school, renovate a part of it and keep the lesser students from using the improvements. And Cuomo is going to provide pre-K without dedicated money? If the charters can raise money. let them raise it for all normal expenses, including rent.

Mar. 07 2014 11:52 AM
anonymous from NYC

Seth....Look....the teachers at my son's school are caring and involved. He gets services every day. The school is small and personal. It is loved by all the teachers, parents, and students. Moreover, education is hands on and experiential. Unfortunately, I see the district schools as a cookie cutter education. Moreover, they are not a healthy place for children with IEPs :( There is little innovation (anything different is found only in Manhattan {like Ella Baker} or Brooklyn). So....yes....I am sad for a lot of children in the city. If one has a child with special needs, they have to be an involved advocate for their child. The city is not handing out IEP easily. So many children are left behind in the district schools :( Charters offer a choice. They were formed to bring fresh ideas that hopefully would trickle down to the district schools. If we did not have the fortune of this charter school, we would leave the city or home educate. We are lucky. By the way, I was a public school teacher before taking time off to raise my children. I guess I am rambling. There is so much more to say. Understand that the parents of children in many charter schools are happy and lucky. With this said...they are not all equal or good and should be liable to closure.

Mar. 07 2014 11:48 AM
anonymous from NYC

Seth....Look....the teachers at my son's school are caring and involved. He gets services every day. The school is small and personal. It is loved by all the teachers, parents, and students. Moreover, education is hands on and experiential. Unfortunately, I see the district schools as a cookie cutter education. Moreover, they are not a healthy place for children with IEPs :( There is little innovation (anything different is found only in Manhattan {like Ella Baker} or Brooklyn). So....yes....I am sad for a lot of children in the city. If one has a child with special needs, they have to be an involved advocate for their child. The city is not handing out IEP easily. So many children are left behind in the district schools :( Charters offer a choice. They were formed to bring fresh ideas that hopefully would trickle down to the district schools. If we did not have the fortune of this charter school, we would leave the city or home educate. We are lucky. By the way, I was a public school teacher before taking time off to raise my children. I guess I am rambling. There is so much more to say. Understand that the parents of children in many charter schools are happy and lucky. With this said...they are not all equal or good and should be liable to closure.

Mar. 07 2014 11:47 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Oh Johnny Boy: If your constant narrative is that "urban" people are "simplistic" or can't speak well. The least you can do, is learn how to spell when you criticize. They deserve at least that much.

Now, go back to sorting mail in that law office of yours.

Mar. 07 2014 11:40 AM
Erana Stennett from Manhattan

I am incredulous listening to this segment on charter schools. The private sector subsidizes parks, playgrounds, art & culture in this city. Why not education? Why didn't Brian mention the fact that Mayor DeBlasio appointed his wife to head the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, which raises money from the private sector, and yes hedge funds, to partner with the city to support initiatives across the city the city wouldn't otherwise not be able to afford. In fact, the Mayor's Fund for Public Schools is almost entirely funded by the private sector. Why shouldn't the hedge funds give black and brown students access to the education they received so these young people can become the next generation of hedge fund investment bankers. They certainly have the money. What would we say if they didn't contribute their vast profits to help underserved communities?!? The Mayor supports Sen. Dan Squadron's legislation to redistribute 20% of funds donated by the private sector to parks like the Central Park Conservancy and Prospect Park Alliance to smaller parks, despite the fact the role of the City Parks Foundation is to raise money for smaller parks. I really don't understand how the Mayor plans to raise money for the various non-profits under his jurisdiction when he continue to alienate the industries and people who can help him. That's what public/private partnership is all about.

Mar. 07 2014 11:37 AM
john from office

Shelly, office on Wall Street, 8 employees, home in upper Eastside and in Monroe County.

Did well with a public education and a dad and mom with 8th grade educations. I type fast because I am busy and work. I don't live in my mother's basement, nor on my knees.

Would like other kids from poor backgrounds to get the same help. DeBlasio and his white progressive liberal ideas hurt the underclass.

Mar. 07 2014 11:36 AM
Estelle from Brooklyn


You misread the statistic. 73% get free lunch. I can't blame you though; the writer left out commas.

Mar. 07 2014 11:29 AM

" I choose it because I believe he is getting better quality services "

Anon', great for you, but what about all the kids whose parents don't have the free time that you do to be commenting here, and who don't have the education that you have. Where do those kids end up???

Mar. 07 2014 11:27 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

By the way - our esteemed Chancellor can "out-Eva" Eva.

Carmen Farina is DOUBLE-DIPPING by getting her salary and her pension while back at work - a common public employee scam of the citizens.

"Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina will collect both a city salary and her pension for a total income of $412,193 a year — nearly twice as much as Mayor de Blasio is being paid. Farina is getting a Department of Education salary of $212,614 — the same as her predecessor, Dennis Walcott, officials told The Post."
New schools boss to collect double de Blasio's pay | New York Post

Mar. 07 2014 11:26 AM
MikeInBk from Clinton Hill

"You can't be for "public schools" if those schools are failing--particularly poor kids."

Amandagov, you have clearly proven that you have no understanding of poverty. I bet that if you take all those "poor kids", with all the baggage they carry (under-educated parents, absent parents, downward social pressures, low expectation, etc.), and placed them in those shiny charter schools, soon there will be discussions/complaints of how charter schools are failing "poor kids".

Let's stop fooling ourselves. The US has done and is doing a terrible job at providing equal opportunities, particularly in education, to it citizenry - whether a vestige of racism or class-ism.

Mar. 07 2014 11:26 AM
John from office

Shelly, always attacking. How about you get off your knees.

Mar. 07 2014 11:25 AM
Jon from Montclair

Brian, how can you be so naive? When in human history have money managers ever taken up an issue because they care about the dispossessed? And if they care so much, why don't they support smaller classes, new school construction, higher teacher salaries, and so on? The very idea that Wall Street has suddenly found a social conscience is absurd.

The charter school movement and its conservative backers, from the Walton family to the prep-school trained President, have one goal: to open markets. Taxpayer money gets diverted to charter management groups, private test-prep organization, technology companies, ETS, leasing and other real estate operations, and more.


Mar. 07 2014 11:22 AM
anonymous from NYC

Seth....You read wrong. 73% of the students get free or reduced lunch. Not 6%. By the way, I have a special needs child in a charter school. I choose it because I believe he is getting better quality services than he would at our local district school. He is not being tossed out but embraced.

Mar. 07 2014 11:21 AM
Sandra from manhattan

I don't hear anyone talking about the educational and psychological effect on kids who share their school building with Charter schools. Is there a sense that they are second class students? That the other students are special and chosen and getting something better? That they, the students in the regular public school,
are 'less than.'

Mar. 07 2014 11:20 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Brian - you outdid yourself today for snarkiness and pettiness.

No first time listener would have had any difficulty discerning your political leanings on this issue.

This is "journalism"?

Mar. 07 2014 11:20 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Brian - you outdid yourself today for snarkiness and pettiness.

No first time listener would have had any difficulty discerning your political leanings on this issue.

This is "journalism"?

Mar. 07 2014 11:19 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

RE: John from Mailroom: "Where he can give simplistic answers to simplistic inner city "urban" people"

Now, who is being condescending? Or as you say in your "white Dominican" "non-Haitian" English "condesending"

You can do with a Charter School education John. It will get you out of that mail room.

Mar. 07 2014 11:17 AM

Rachael, the wall street connection is NOT nefarious. It just raises the question of whether taxpayers should be paying the rent for schools who don't need it, which takes money from those who do need it.

Mar. 07 2014 11:17 AM

Cuomo is only backing the 3% of parents whose children get into charter schools. Not the rest of us, some of whom actually have the good fortune to see how well UNION teachers can teach when they have adequate resources to work with as well as respect and support from involved parents.

Mar. 07 2014 11:16 AM
Sue from NY

I am shocked that the normally-sophisticated commenters here don't see that this whole charter school thing is part of the Republicans' "smaller government" push. They basically want to get rid of government. Getting rid of public education is part of that push.

And I wouldn't be surprised if ALEC wasn't involved.

Don't know ALEC? See:

Mar. 07 2014 11:16 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Can we really afford to be preying on the public school system? What is the future of education without it? Really.
This charter preoccupation is just more short-sightedness on the part of the uninformed middle/working class...
Public schools -- just like government and unions -- have problems. But we must FIX them, not abandon them. Because it is MUCh harder to fight predatory corporate behemoths.

Mar. 07 2014 11:15 AM
Rosie NYC from NYC

I am changing careers and am currently following the alternate route teacher training program in NJ. and one worrisome thing I have observed is the number of positions advertised by these charter schools. I have done research on those schools during my job search and what I read was worrying: they seem to burn teachers out very quickly and they leave in droves, many of them in the middle of the school year which is causing a huge turnover rate. By the way, their rate of so called "success" on standarized tests doesn't mean they provide a good education. Teaching to the tests is a very easy way to get "good results" but it doesn't mean you are actually educating those kids. And yes, people should be skeptical about the rich and powerful pouring so much money on these schools since most of them do not do anything just for the "good of humanity".

Mar. 07 2014 11:14 AM
Rachel from Manhattan

I am no friend of Wall Street richies, but you have not shown the wall street connection to be nefarious. Please stop your innuendo and implication. Be a journalist here. If there is an issue--just prove it, stop making assumptions. Your utterly baseless criticism is sad and does nothing to further the intellectual fact based discussions we need to have in this city about education for children who only have poor or failing public schools in their neighborhoods. Get a journalistic backbone Brian.

Mar. 07 2014 11:13 AM
Lissnah from NJ

Monied interests finance charter schools for union-busting. Historically they have shown no interest in education reform.

Mar. 07 2014 11:13 AM
mb from ues

What about all the money is saved from the public school budget BECAUSE of all of this additional money coming from the charter school donors? If this money was not coming in to educate these children, it would have to come from the city's budget!

Mar. 07 2014 11:11 AM
john from office

Hot 97!!! DeBlasio does his radio show at Hot 97??, Where he can give simplistic answers to simplistic inner city "urban" people?? WOW. How condesending. Will DeBlasio now do his new policy proposals in RAP.

What a joke, White liberal "progressive" harming people of color.

Licking the boots of the teachers union, while being a homeboy on the radio.

Mar. 07 2014 11:09 AM
josh karan from Washington Heights

Recently, Michael Rebell, lead litigator for the historic 20 year long Campaign For Fiscal Equity lawsuit, returned to New York State Supreme Court to charge unconstitutional non-compliance by the Governor and Legislature with the CFE mandates regarding provision of adequate education funding, facilities, curricula, and class size.

New York State has continued to violate the rights of all students --- in charter and district schools -- to a "meaningful, sound basic education".

Where has Eva Moscowitz been in supporting provision of educational excellence to all students?

She would have a lot more credibility if she were in the struggle not just to serve those students who are more advantaged with intact families, better educated, healthier English speaking parents, those more able to engage in the arduous process of applying for charter schools.

And in addition to your focusing on charter schools which serve 10% of the school kids, have a segment on the status of CFE.

Invite Michael Rebell.

He represents all the kids, not just a select few.

Mar. 07 2014 11:08 AM

I just want to know who are these ""displaced" charter school students from the Moskowitz schools. Since September, we have received nearly a dozen advertisements requesting that my child apply to one of her schools for the 2014-2015 academic year. Why waste money on recruitment if the students are supposedly already there?

Mar. 07 2014 11:08 AM
bernie from bklyn

why can't we all just say what the real root of this issue is....parents who care and "parents" who don't. the socio-economic backround of the kid is irrelevant. a poor kid w/ good, caring parents who takes school seriously should not be punished by having to be a part of the tragedy of another child who's parents are morons and have children who are the same and are only in school because the moron parents want free babysitting, basically.
contraception, contraception...the only way.

Mar. 07 2014 11:08 AM

John from Office, that "underclass" comment is so superfical. Success educates children who have parents with the time to care and be involved. The others, the majority, get getto-ized.

Mar. 07 2014 11:07 AM
amandagov from Manhattan

If public schools could do their jobs, this would not be an issue. So people who are upset about charters need to think about what options we give to mostly poor children. You can't be for "public schools" if those schools are failing--particularly poor kids.

Mar. 07 2014 11:06 AM

Re Charter Schools. Please stop repeating the disinformation about charter schools selecting students according to lottery. The admission process is highly selective and very political. Charters are notorious for cherry-picking easy learners and for expelling students who do not produce acceptable grades. The point is valid that charters operate with immunities that public schools do not have, yet do not produce better results.
Charters have had their trial period and it is now reasonable to raise the question: "What do we do about our failing charter schools?"

Mar. 07 2014 11:04 AM
john from office

DeBlasio, low standards for all!!!. Ms. Moskowitz is educating the underclass, unlike the teachers union.

Mar. 07 2014 11:04 AM

Seth Peckstiff that has totally been the case with my son. I thought he was a normally smart social kid and was happy.

He went to two public schools that were a stellar example of normal solid good public school education. Yes, there was a teacher or two who was substandard, but no more than what I heard from parental friends with children in private schools. His friends were diverse ECONOMICALLY as well as ethnically. Furthermore, they had diverse abilities.

He now attends Bronx Science because he loves theoretical physics. He would have had no problem getting into to Stuyvesant either, but their physics program wasn't as good. So, he was equally comfortable listening to lectures on astrophysics at the Splash event for high school students at MIT as he is playing X-box games or basketball with his friends. His bio teacher recommended him for the Intel Science competition.

He's not stressed, I don't have to nag him to do homework, he has time for sports and the Debate team. I still don't think of him as a genius child or a nerd. He just works hard and is interested and part of that interest was spurred by some really good teachers he had in those "normal" schools.

Clearly, his experienced UNION teachers educated him well enough that he is not having any problems whatsoever adjusting to the work load at Bronx Science.

All children should have access to schools as good as my son had - and his were not charter schools.

Mar. 07 2014 11:03 AM
James from Queens

What exactly is it that charter's do to achieve these better results? Why can't we free up existing schools to use some of these same techniques?

Mar. 07 2014 11:02 AM
Sue from NY

The charter school movement is just a GOP gambit to privatize education. More of their democracy-destroying BS.

Mar. 07 2014 11:01 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Where is the money coming from to refurbish the bathrooms & put in the other amenities Ms. Moskowitz's charter schools have? And it's outrageous that non-charter-school students in the same schools can't use the same facilities! (Who enforces that, anyway?)

Mar. 07 2014 10:59 AM
MJS from Brooklyn

Charter schools in NYC deserve a little nuance. Charters include neighborhood sponsored, parent-directed schools alongside the corporate education factories. Even co-location varies from place to place. NYC school buildings were designed for thousands of students -- doesn't it make sense to utilize the space? For-profit corporate schools should certainly contribute to rent, but not every charter conforms to that model.

Mar. 07 2014 10:58 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Oooooh, Eva sounds like such a bullie ... FOR THE KIDS!
She is sooooo connected ... UNLIKE THE TEACHERS UNION!

Brian, you are such an embarrassment ....making this an Eva bashing gig.

Mar. 07 2014 10:58 AM
mb from ues

Eva is amazing! She is working tirelessly for the children of our city and she should be celebrated, applauded, and encouraged, not "put in her place". People of such excellence should not be squashed, especially when they are working to make the children of our city better educated. One size does not fit all, and she is doing a great job with many, many kids.

Mar. 07 2014 10:57 AM
MikeInBk from Clinton Hill

They (CSs) may not have a say in who is admitted, but it is an unfair comparison between CSs and PSs. Unlike PSs, CSs are often choosing from a pool of children whose parents are motivated to see they children succeed educationally. A fairer comparison would be to require charters to take the same population (from broken home, neighborhoods, etc.) are PSs, apply their methods, and let's see if they have greater success than PSs in the end. And why again should CSs be allowed to exist rent-free in tax payer funded PSs?

Mar. 07 2014 10:56 AM

"Free or reduced lunch 6%"

That's a clear sign that Success does not retain/keep very many low-income students.

Mar. 07 2014 10:53 AM
John S from Manhattan

In using public school space, are there expenses that the public schools are responsible for that charter schools are not? Upkeep, custodial staff, etc. Do they share the expenses or do the charter school "tenants" get a free ride?


Mar. 07 2014 10:52 AM

"Seth....They do not have a say in who they admit."

Anon', you are correct in a very superficial way. They admit low-income kids, but then they convince low performing kids to transfer out. And they use other tactics to rid Success of kids with special needs. You've been scammed.

You really skimmed the surface to make Charters sound so good, but you left out all the other things they do to eventually get the smart kids they want.

Mar. 07 2014 10:51 AM
Ben from New York

I've had the opportunity to work around Eva Moskowitz for a while. The woman is an ABSOLUTE TERROR. I'm no fan of DeBlasio, but he is correct here.

Moskowitz is very good at working the system, a total politician. She succeeds through power and gaming and not by the abilities of her schools.

She needs to be controlled and it is good the Mayor is doing this.

Mar. 07 2014 10:50 AM
anonymous from NYC

Seth....They do not have a say in who they admit. Quote: "Charter schools are tuition-free and non-sectarian. Students
are admitted by a random lottery, without regard to
their academic background. Charter schools follow state
standards and participate in state exams. They are subject
to health, safety, non-discrimination, and open meetings
laws, as well as specific regulations to ensure fair admissions
and prevent conflicts of interest."

Also....Charter demographics 2011-12: 60% African American 33% Latino 73% Free or reduced lunch 6% English Language Learners 9% with IEPs for Special Ed

Mar. 07 2014 10:24 AM
Seth Peckstiff

Now let's not say that DeB and Eva were in opposition as councilmembers. Eva and every councilmember were in opposition. No one who ever had to work with her got along with her.

Bloomberg was smart -- he bought her off. That was the only way to keep her from being a thorn who did not want to work together with anyone. Now it's coming back to bite her.

But the really problem is that her charters cheery pick kids, pulling smart kids, or kids with partents who care, from the rest. And in the end that will make the larger share of students less smart.

The less smart need to be around the smarter ones, to raise all boats. Taking away the smarter kids is a bad, bad longterm plan.

Mar. 07 2014 10:08 AM
Eleni from NYC

In regards to co-location, I want to leave a quote here from the "New York Post":
"About 1,150 (63 percent) of the city’s 1,818 public schools now share space inside often quite large public-school buildings. Each school is assigned a segment of classrooms and hallways, while major amenities such as gyms and libraries are shared. Of these co-located schools, 1,035 are district (i.e., union) public schools; they rarely attract attention. Only the 115 of the co-located schools that are charters (mostly nonunion) attract the scorn of the teachers’ union and its allies.

Mar. 07 2014 09:10 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Even David Axelrod was making fun of de Blasio last night in Chicago when Red Billy went there for a summit of big city mayors. Axelrod told him that governing a large city required a bit more effort than “simply joining hands and sharing a vision.”
(Like maybe getting up earlier in the morning like everyone else.)

LOL, he also reminded “Warren” that he was in Chicago, not New York, and that they didn’t want him speeding back to the airport.


Mar. 07 2014 07:59 AM

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