Posts tagged "Harlem Success"
March 1, 2010
The e-mails, obtained by the Daily News, include a little bit of news — such as that Bill Clinton considered weighing in on the charter schools fight — and a lot of insight into the way Klein and Moskowitz think about the politics of education. We’ve read every word of the 150+ e-mails and have collected the highlights below.
A PERSONAL CHALLENGE: Moskowitz puts her expansion goal in personal terms, in an April 2007 e-mail to Klein: “I plan to be educating 8,000 of your children by 2013.”
SHE DIDN’T LIKE THE TWEED WORKFORCE, EITHER. We know that district school leaders and parents often clashed with Garth Harries, the Tweed official who for years led efforts to insert small schools and charters into their buildings. Now we learn that Moskowitz fumed at him, too. On May 16, 2007, she praised a new Department of Education official, Tom Taratko, to Klein. “He got done in 2hrs what garth could not accomplish in 9 months,” she declared, adding, “look out for him and hire more!!!!!” The more typical Tweed worker she describes this way: “maddening sluggishness and people afraid of their own shadows.”
POLITICKING FOR EXPANSION: In July 2007 Moskowitz described to Klein how she and her main financiers, John Petry and Joel Greenblatt, shored up support for her application to open three copies of the original Harlem Success Academy. They courted New York State Republican Committee chairman Ed Cox, who was at the time chairman of SUNY’s charter board. (more…)
July 30, 2009
Overcrowding comes to city schools for various reasons. In my school, our reputation makes kids want to come, we have magnet programs like JROTC that attract kids from near and far, and there’s never been a cap on enrollment. Neighborhood schools like PS 123 don’t get the opportunity to grow and expand because (more…)
July 8, 2009
The next front for the Harlem school wars could be Albany.
City Council member Inez Dickens yesterday proposed changing the state law to cap the number of charter schools that a single operator can open in a given school district.
She was speaking at a protest against the Success charter school network’s expansion into a traditional Harlem public school, P.S. 123.
Dickens said she had the support of state Sen. Bill Perkins, and Keith Wright, an Assemblyman representing Harlem, said he would introduce legislation to make that change on his side of the legislature.
A neighborhood- and operator-specific cap would add to what exists now, a cap on the number of charter schools across New York state at 200. There are 1,500 public schools in the city.
Such a cap would also squarely challenge the strategy the Success Charter Network has pursued of opening a large number of charter schools in a designated area; Eva Moskowitz, the network’s CEO, has said her goal is to open 40 Harlem charter schools in the next 10 years. (more…)
May 8, 2009
The data on city schools’ English Language Arts scores keeps churning out. The Department of Education has just published Excel files sorting scores by school, grade level, special education status, gender, race and ethnicity, and English proficiency from 2006 to this year. A spokesman says that figures on charter schools are on the way. In the meantime, here’s a document from the state charter school lobbyists with every charter school in the city’s proficiency rates.
In New York City, charter schools out-performed traditional public schools on the test, and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein congratulated the schools on the high scores today at a press conference in Manhattan.
Among the top scorers are two charter schools we’ve followed here: Harlem Success Academy 1 in Manhattan, notable for its founder, Eva Moskowitz, who has regularly challenged the role of teachers unions, and Renaissance Charter School in Queens, notable in part because its teachers and administrators are represented by unions. (more…)
May 4, 2009
Nearly 50 percent more incoming kindergartners scored high enough on two nationally normed assessments to be eligible for a seat in a gifted and talented program, according to data released today by the Department of Education. The percentage of test-takers who qualified also increased, from 18 to 22 percent.
The jump in participation shows that the standardized procedures the DOE established last year for admission to gifted programs are gaining traction, DOE spokesman Andrew Jacob told me today. ”It reflects that families are more familiar with the way we’re running the admissions process,” he said.
The increased number of students eligible for gifted programs could be seen as a feather in the cap for the DOE, which has said it wants to expand access to gifted programs to children citywide, particularly in communities that have not had robust gifted programs in the past. Jacob told me the department this year ramped up its outreach to prekindergarten programs in districts where too few children took the tests and scored high enough last year to warrant opening programs.
“We wanted to find as many children as possible in the city who could meet the standard that we set,” he said.
In terms of sheer numbers, some of the biggest gains happened in districts that already enroll many children in gifted programs, including the districts comprising Staten Island and most of Manhattan below 96th Street. (more…)
April 24, 2009
A line of parents that wrapped around the block, blue and orange balloons, and a carefully choreographed program greetged hopeful families and political supporters last night at the admission event for the four Harlem Success Network charter schools. In addition to the main event, the naming of admitted students, the evening featured a barnstorming speech by Schools Chancellor Joel Klein (in the video above), a surprise announcement about charter school funding from State Sen. Malcolm Smith, and political exhortations from Eva Moskowitz, Harlem Success’s lightning rod CEO.
“I wish we could open them faster and have spots for absolutely everyone,” Moskowitz said about her schools to the thousands of assembled parents. But she said, “There are special interests and even elected officials who don’t support the growth of charter schools.” Moskowitz has sparred for years with the teachers union over her aggressive school reform strategies.
For the thousands of parents in attendance, politics took a distant second to anxiety about whether their children would be among the 475 selected from the 3,500 entered into the lottery. (more…)
April 23, 2009
Governor David Paterson and Malcolm Smith, the state Senate majority leader, are back in good favor with their long-lost charter school friends. Smith has just announced a plan to counteract a budget freeze that took the schools by surprise earlier this year, by sending the schools a one-time $30 million grant.
The grant is less than the $51 million that charter schools were slated to lose after legislators axed planned funding increases in their recent budget deal. And it will expire at the end of next year, leaving supporters to wage a new fight over funds then. But a source familiar with the plan who is a supporter of charter schools said that $30 million will be enough to help schools that had been imagining slashing after-school programs and turning down extra staff they’d already hired for next year.
Smith announced the planned injection just now at a charter school lottery in Harlem, which Philissa is covering. The lottery is the annual event for the former City Council member Eva Moskowitz, who runs the Success Charter Network in Harlem. Harlem Success is expecting more than 5,000 parents at the lottery, which will determine which children are selected to attend the schools. (more…)
April 7, 2009
In her first appearance before the City Council committee that she used to chair, controversial charter school operator Eva Moskowitz today warned members of the council about the dangers of what she called the “union-political-educational complex.”
Moskowitz was referring to what she has said is interference by the teachers union in the Department of Education’s bid to close low-performing schools and replace them with charter schools. Her Harlem Success Network of charter schools was set to replace two zoned schools in Harlem, PS 194 and PS 241, but the DOE said last week it would keep those schools open because of a lawsuit filed by the United Federation of Teachers and others that alleges that the school swap is illegal. Moskowitz said today the lawsuit shows that “the union wants to shut down the the competition rather than compete on the merits of what it offers.”
But her former colleagues on the council’s education committee weren’t quick to accept Moskowitz’s rhetoric. Several of them took used her appearance as an opportunity to lecture her about the divisive tactics employed by Harlem Success and the parent organization it operates, Harlem Parents United. In a withering press release, the organizations last week called for the neighborhood schools to be shut down. Elizabeth reported that a public hearing last month about using the PS 194 building to house a charter school was dominated by shouting and name-calling. Committee chairman Robert Jackson today said the hearing was “so volatile” that he feared it was more than the eight safety officers present could handle.
“Your arrogance about what the system should do and that charter schools are the answer is exactly what drives the conflict in the community,” said Maria del Carmen Arroyo of the Bronx. (more…)
March 18, 2009
If you can, make sure to stop by the Harlem Armory tonight for an evening that charter school advocates are billing as the largest gathering of New York City parents ever in one space. The point is to show support for charter schools, which are proliferating in Harlem — to the delight of some parents, but not to the liking of a coterie of teachers and elected officials who have protested the schools’ growth.
Hosting tonight’s event are Harlem Children’s Zone C.E.O. Geoffrey Canada and KIPP co-founder David Levin. Similar events have been held recently by Harlem Success Academy, the network of four charter schools founded by former City Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz that has been at the center of the political fight. A Harlem Success official says she expects 6,000 7,000 charter school parents to attend tonight, plus some parochial school and traditional public school parents.
Also scheduled to attend are the rapper Lil Mama, whose adoptive mom is a board member of Harlem Success, Mayor Bloomberg, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, and school choice advocate Howard Fuller.
Among the political currents swirling tonight will be Canada’s outspoken support for mayoral control of the public schools, which some Harlem elected officials have indicated they’d like to see curtailed; Levin’s ongoing saga with a group of his teachers who are trying to unionize; and Harlem Success’s struggle to get space inside a traditional public school. (more…)
March 10, 2009
Harlem is gearing up for round two this evening in a showdown between charter school backers and those who oppose a Department of Education plan to close a traditional public school.
The hearing last week drew supporters of PS 194, a low-performing school that the DOE has said it would like to close to make way for a charter school to expand, and members of Harlem Parents United, a group of parents organized by Eva Moskowitz, the ambitious leader of the Harlem Success network of charter schools. But the DOE scheduled another hearing for tonight after getting complaints that it had not announced last week’s hearing, or the plan, far enough in advance.
As skirmishes like this one take place across the city, few have been criticized more loudly or more often than John White, the DOE official who is in charge of finding space for schools — and delivering the bad news to schools that are being closed or relocated. Others acknowledge that White has been given a tall order, to find homes for a constantly increasing number of schools when the amount of space the DOE controls is not growing at nearly the same rate. At a recent hearing in Greenwich Village, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said White has “the worst job — ever.” Here’s video of Stringer defending White: