Friday, July 25, 2014
The Rime of the Modern Educational Mariner
There is a war being fought now for the heart and soul of education. Let us imagine this war pictured above. Let us say the large ship above symbolizes Eva Moskowitz and her Success Academy. With so many stout financial backers, her guns are loaded. She got a lot of ammunition and met with little resistance in Albany. With the help of the Governor, she is blowing the public schools out of the water.
In this analogy, the smaller sail boats represent other charters. They do not have the same weapons at their disposal. They will soon become targets of Eva's expansionist policies. Her chain will grow, and like a chain pulled across the Bosphorus' Golden Horn to protect Byzantium, it will attempt to block the expansion of other charters. It will also strangle competition, operating almost exclusively to defend its own self-interest.
The smaller boats represent the public schools. How might one know? Just see how the people are packed in like sardines. Do you wonder about their fate? Many will be blasted out of the water. Eva may carry the flag of public schools, but so long as she can weed out students and refuse services to others, Success Academy is something entirely different. And, as much as I would like to believe Moskowitz is a modern-day Mother Teresa, looking out for the disadvantaged, her half-a-million-dollar salary, huge war-fund chest and push for co-location at the expense of truly public-school students, tells me otherwise. As long as she places pleasing financial backers ahead of helping students with poor test scores, kids who don't do well will be forced to walk the plank. Happily, the public schools are still life boats for these children--but if Eva sinks one too many public ships, she will have hung the Albatross about her own neck.