Invasion Of The Charter Schools

Former City Councilmember Eva Moskowitz, with Bloomberg's union-busting blessing, is pushing her Success Academy edu-franchise into Brooklyn. The natives aren't buying.

WAGPOPS and the CEC, for their part, say their opposition has nothing to do with the unions. It's "pure grassroots," says Parker, adding that her group hasn't shared resources with, or even consulted with, union leaders. "The UFT does not employ me, nor do they give me a check," agrees Tesa Wilson. "What we do is volunteer work. We don't even get a plastic chicken dinner or a certificate from the DOE or the teachers' union, either."

Citizens of the World is likely to go forward as planned, but Schwartz, Wilson, and the WAGPOPS crew hope that their protests and suits will move the city to amend the planning process for new charter schools to include more meaningful community input. They'd also like to see it conduct a review of the effect on communities when charters target the exact same families as existing high-quality public schools.

P.S. 84 Jose de Diego in Williamsburg. After years of work by local parents, the school is
“balanced,” but on a knife’s edge.
Photograph by Kelly Schott
P.S. 84 Jose de Diego in Williamsburg. After years of work by local parents, the school is “balanced,” but on a knife’s edge.
Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz pulls down more than $300K per year.
edworkforce.house.gov
Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz pulls down more than $300K per year.

The moment is right for that conversation: As Mayor Bloomberg ticks down the last months of his term, the public has lost its enthusiasm for mayoral control of schools, which he acquired in 2002, and for the businesslike agenda of charter schools, high-stakes testing, and all that goes with it. A January 2013 poll from Quinnipiac found that 63 percent of city voters want shared control of the schools, a steep drop from 2009, when a majority favored mayoral control. And by a 53 percent to 35 percent margin, we now trust the teachers' unions more than the mayor to protect the interests of schoolchildren. Maybe it's time for the grownups to be grownups here, and make the children the one priority we can agree on.

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