Saturday, April 30:
As a follow-up to the post earlier this morning:
You can't go anywhere in District 14 without tripping over an elementary school. PS 147 where I taught is within no more than a 10 minute walk - or less - than 4 other elementary schools. But Eva is coming anyway because people want "choice." Ah, "choice" - the buzzword of corporate raiders everywhere. But the end game will be no choice - that's free market capitalism, isn't it? Drive out until you have a monopoly. Just check how we have gone from choice in phone companies after the Ma Bell breakup back down to basically ATT and Verizon. Here is a report from an ed notes correspondent on the follow-up CEC meeting, our final entry of the week of "Eva and District 14." The story will go on as things are brewing that will send more strong messages to the powers that be.
Everyone spoke so boldly on April 14 and showed the folly of Eva and her academies. However, Foster was back last night asking for three more co-locations "either for D13 or 14" as was Beginning with Children (Mr. Flowers) asking for another school that they wanted to co-locate. A DOE rep from Portfolio on Charters was also present. (She was not introduced.) There was hardly a soul in the audience. Three CEC members and I asked questions/made comments. The upshot was that D14 does not need any more elementary schools. One male CEC member kept asking why our public schools were not being funded and expanded. The DOE rep said she was not there for that discussion. People want "choice" (that should be a four letter word). Much discussion went on, but it was made clear that the community did not want more elementary schools. Our community schools are on the whole doing well; we have high parent satisfaction; we are meeting the needs or our community were the general agreements of the questioners.
Superintendent, Quail pointed out the positives in D14 schools even as he said he had to represent Tweed. He asked, "What does under-served mean?" No one can seem to define this, but the charters say they go into underserved communities. Ms. Wilson (CEC 14 Pres) ) asked Foster what her schools offer the community that is different. She could not give an acceptable answer. Our district 14 schools are declining in population and as children are lured to charters, the public schools lose funds and ultimately programs. All of the schools are planning K-8 charters and it was argued that what is needed in the community are more good junior and senior high schools. There was a lot of dialogue and questioning as well as criticism. This is a Portfolio Planning review phase. If anyone wants to comment they should do it by tomorrow (within 48hours of the meeting) at CharterSchools@schools.nyc.gov I feel that people need to keep coming to these types of meetings to have their voices heard before final decisions are made.