Posts tagged "jim devor"
December 14, 2011
By the end of tonight’s Panel for Educational Policy meeting, Eva Moskowitz’s new Success Academy charter school is virtually assured of having a home next fall in Brownstone Brooklyn. For another charter school that, unlike Moskowitz’s, had applied to open there, the future is less certain.
The charter school that the Department of Education has proposed siting in District 15 was originally authorized to open in nearby District 13 or District 14, but in an unusual move, the city altered the plan.
Meanwhile, the department has not yet proposed locations for two charter schools approved for District 15, and a founder of one of them says she isn’t optimistic that her school will open in the area.
The Brooklyn Urban Garden School, a mom-and-pop charter middle school founded by a group of parents and educators who live in District 15, applied for public space when its charter application was approved in August. But there were only two school buildings in the district with enough space for new schools and co-founder Susan Tenner said she doesn’t expect BUGS to be offered space in either of them.
As a result, she said she’s unsure if the school, which has an environmental theme, can afford to open for the 2012-2013 school year.
“We’re still shooting for August, but we’re kind of in a tough spot until we’ve signed a lease,” Tenner said.
One option the school might have: To open in District 13, where there is more available school space and fewer high-performing schools — and where Moskowitz originally proposed siting her school. (more…)
September 18, 2009
The founder of a Brooklyn charter school locked in a battle for space with a district school announced yesterday that the school has signed a contract for its own building site.
But Spencer Robertson, founder of the PAVE Academy Charter School, declined to reveal the new location. Nor would he give a date for when the school would move there, instead re-iterating his request for a two-year extension to the school’s contentious site-sharing agreement with P.S. 15 in Red Hook.
“We will be out,” Robertson told a standing-room-only crowd in the auditorium of P.S. 15. “When?” shouted audience members.
The exchange came during an emotional District 15 CEC meeting to which charter school advocates and critics mobilized their most vocal allies. Audience members interrupted speakers, and those who approached the microphone seemed to compete over who could drown out the other groups’ claims. (more…)
August 7, 2009
Nothing in the renewed mayoral control legislation that passed yesterday altered the role of district parent councils, but that hasn’t stopped one council president from starting to rethink his role under the new system.
Jim Devor, president of the Community Education Council in Brooklyn’s District 15, said that the renewed attention to parental involvement and a new parent training center offer parent councils the chance to redefine themselves. Many council members around the city have felt marginalized and have a strained relationship with the city education department. According to Devor, the councils could now become “conduits” between the Department of Education, the training center and parent associations and parent-led School Leadership Teams.
“We could see ourselves as the barefoot doctors for parent training,” Devor said.
Devor said that CEC members should be among the first to avail themselves of the training the new center will provide and can then reach out to their parents and schools and effectually pay the training forward.
Little is known yet about the details of the $1.6 million dollar parent training center created in the mayoral control re-authorization bill. The legislation calls for the center, which will be operated by the City University of New York, to train parents in all five boroughs on how to effectively work both in their schools and also on the district- and city-wide levels. The center will also assist parents in communicating with teachers, school administrators and Department of Education offices. The legislation additionally mandates that the center will “conduct outreach and recruitment” to increase the diversity of parent-led council and leadership teams in schools and districts.
Given the new center’s as-yet vague mission and relatively small budget, Devor said he suspects it will be difficult for the new training center to make deep inroads with parents on the ground level throughout the city. The already-established parent councils could act as arms to assist in distributing the center’s training message to parents throughout their districts.
Community Education Councils are officially charged with evaluating district superintendents, approving district zoning plans and reviewing their district’s capital plans.
July 15, 2009
A group of Park Slope parents is in an uproar over the city’s plan to build a new school building that they say will house two “separate but equal” elementary schools. But schools officials say the plan is exactly how community leaders wanted it.
The plan would replace PS 133′s century-old school building in North Park Slope with a brand new building on the same site. The catch is that the shiny new space will house not just PS 133 but also a new school whose students are likely to be whiter, more affluent, and better prepared for school.
That’s because in an unusual arrangement, the two schools will belong to different districts. PS 133 is located in District 13, which stretches from Brooklyn Heights to Crown Heights. The second school, slated to be twice the size of PS 133, will be part of District 15, which begins just blocks away, and is intended to reduce crowding at PS 321, which is 62 percent white and has only a small fraction of students eligible for free lunch. On average, students in District 15 perform better on state tests than students in District 13.
Parents and community activists say the presence of two separate schools with different demographic compositions would amount to a regression to the days of racial segregation. Via e-mail and Twitter, they are bombarding schools officials and City Council members from the area with requests for a different use of the new building.
“This is an issue that demands creative leadership from you and Councilman [Bill] DeBlasio,” a District 13 mother, Paget Walker, wrote to City Councilman David Yassky. (more…)