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Friday, September 12, 2014

The Expansion of a "Public" School With a Very Limited and Specially Chosen "Public"

It seems four more charter schools will be co-located with New York City Public Schools, two belonging to Ms. Moskowitz.  

In my mind, behind the glamour of some spiffy charter-school statistics lies a secret often well kept by the media.  Charters enforce a much stricter set of disciplinary codes and practice selective admissions as well as frequent suspensions, ultimately culminating in high student attrition rates.  In addition, they may gear their curriculum almost exclusively towards state test prep.  Witness the very poor performance of eighth-grade Success Academy students on NYC High School admissions tests.  Not one student passed.  If nothing else, this should prove that it's not a school of geniuses with non-unionized Wundermeisters.  They prep for one set of tests...and sometimes it's the wrong one!  

They have no magic formula.  It is not a longer school day or calendar year that gives them "the edge."  It is not teachers without tenure, overworked, overburdened, driven to resign after a year or two.  It is not the new PCB-free light bulbs or snazzy carpets--although I'm sure these amenities do not hurt.

I would have no issue with providing charters with public space so long as they follow the rules of public schools and answer to the people, rather than to profiteers or "privatizers" who are further segregating society.  Charters are only truly public schools in the overactive imaginations of moguls like Moskowitz and the media and politicians who seem to stand blindly beside her and her merry band of millionaires.

If the Success Academy wishes to banish so many students and send them back to the public schools--and still call itself a public school and accept public dollars--then, it seems, the least it can do is accept students that the public schools send Success Academy's way.  We could set up an exchange program.  Enough of educational segregation!  Truly public schools ought to do more to integrate children of diverse skills and diverse backgrounds.   

Perhaps Eva should rename her "public" schools given their mission:

School of Any Academic or Behavioral B.S. and There Goes Your Right to a Public Education At Success Academy!

School of Let's Prep Again for the State Tests and, By the Way, Here's a Barf Bag!

School of Ha, Ha, Ha, Move Aside You Public-School Kids and Take Your PCB-Laced Bulbs With You!

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