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Some W’burg parents don’t want ‘Success’ in their schools

The Brooklyn Paper
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Opponents of a plan to bring a politically connected charter school to Williamsburg slapped disparaging remarks on subway ads promoting it.

Critics vandalized a series of subway ads for the Success Charter Network — a group of charter schools that aims to open an elementary school in Williamsburg this fall — on the same week that the neighborhood’s community board called on the city to reject plans for the school.

The sticker taggers targeted ads at the Bedford Avenue L-train station, slapping down stickers featuring speech bubbles that chastize the education organization for its aggressive marketing and its alleged mistreatment of Spanish-speaking students, among other critiques.

“$uccess Academy spent $1.6 million on marketing in 2009-2010,” one of the stickers reads. “Could this money have been used in the classroom?”

Another sticker turns a photograph of a student into an attack on the school.

“There is one focus at a Success Academy school — testing,” the sticker reads.

The Success Charter Network, run by former Manhattan councilwoman Eva Moskowitz, put up the glossy ads in the Williamsburg subway station, not far from JHS 50 on S. Third Street, where the organization wants to add a 200-child elementary school.

The Department of Education proposed the charter school share space with an existing junior high school, but community leaders and parents have denounced the move.

Community Board 1 members urged the city to reject the co-location plan in a resolution at a full board meeting on Tuesday and about 50 parents met on Wednesday night in Williamsburg to express their frustrations.

“Success Charter is not what our community needs — they’re offering an elementary school when we have four in the neighborhood,” said CB1 member Esteban Duran. “The city just wants to give the whole entire space to Eva.”

A Success Charter Network spokeswoman said Williamsburg is an attractive destination for a school because “there is a need for better elementary and middle schools” in the neighborhood and the charter organization’s schools are among the highest performing in the state.

Moskowitz began expanding her Manhattan charter network into Brooklyn last year and hopes to add new schools in Cobble Hill and Bedford Stuyvesant, which have also faced stauch opposition.

But the Success Charter Network boasts powerful friends — including Mayor Bloomberg, who praised Success as the city’s “most successful charter school operator” and called on it to expedite expansion plans.

Success Charter Network opponents like Williamsburg resident Kate Yourke fear the charter school will “elbow out” existing public schools in the neighborhood’s historically Latino southside.

“[Success Academy’s] claims to success in education are a mask for its real intent — to allow private money to feed at the public funding of public education,” said Yourke, who is mobilizing parents to attend a public hearing on Jan. 17.

Public hearing on Success Charter Academy at JHS 50. [183 S. Third St. at Roebling Street in Williamsburg. (718) 387-4184] on Jan 17. at 6 pm.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at ashort@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2547.

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Reader Feedback

Fred from Williamsburg says:
This article is not true. There are hundreds of Williamsburg Parents who want these charter schools. A woman who works for the teachers union named Cynthia Walker has been spreading lies in the community to try to stop these schools.
Jan. 16, 2012, 8:08 am
Sarah from Williamsburg says:
I am a mother of two children and have gone to multiple meetings about charter schools over the last several months. The fact is that our local schools are failures.

Many people in the community want these schools, but the teachers Union will do everything they can to stop these schools.

Only 40% of the students at PS 84 can even read or write at the basic standards that the city requires.

We have a right to these schools.
Jan. 16, 2012, 8:11 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Excuse me, Fred--There are also hundreds of Williamsburg Parents who DO NOT want these charter schools. Let's not twist it--YOU want a charter school [and we have no idea if you are a parent or some other entity, because Brooklyn Paper makes it impossible to corroborate the identity of comments here]. "You" does not equal "hundreds of Williamsburg parents." If we want to play games, I can also write, "There are THOUSANDS, no, TENS OF THOUSANDS, no, THOUSANDS OF THOUSANDS of parents who DON'T WANT this charter school."

The best way to express your support or opposition will be to come to the meeting at JHS 50 on Tuesday early evening. I'll get more details later.
Jan. 16, 2012, 8:37 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
And Sara, where did you get this, "Only 40% of the students at PS 84 can even read or write at the basic standards that the city requires"?

Sounds like nonsense--arbitrary seeming imagined percentages put to deliberately vague conceptions like "basic standards." What basic standards? You mean those set by, egad, "public schools"? Sure, charter school students have 100% of students who "read or write at 'basic standards.'"

Do you know why? Because charter schools, unlike the public schools they supposedly trump, don't have to report their expulsion data. Isn't that something? The #1 criteria used to critique public schools, the criteria you read about in every single criticism by every politician or mass media venue, is curiously omitted from every charter school analysis. Why? If charter schools are indeed superior to public schools?

It's called 'nonsense'--hypothetically, if a school has a 33% expulsion rate and has to report it, that will mean 67% of its students are at "basic standards"--ahem. If a charter school has a 33% expulsion rate, 40%, 50%, 75%--it will always have 100% of its students at "basic standards"--ahem again. No matter how that charter school really performs against the public school it invades, it will always be "superior" as long as its statistics are cooked to give that appearance.
Jan. 16, 2012, 8:47 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
And that is CRAZY. Exempting charter schools from reporting on their expulsion data is meant specifically to shield them from criticism and from observation by, ahem, "other parties" [like the Feds]--but charter schools make promises that are greater than any made by public schools. If anything, charter schools should be held to higher standards, and thoroughly washed clean of any bs--not coddled while public schools are hedged to leverage results for the charter schools and against public schools.

The simple fact of the matter is that the millions given to charter schools for their skewed results should be given to public schools to enhance them--check salaries and indulgences.

Whereas charter schools began under different impulses--honorable ones, THE PRIMARY GOAL OF ANY CHARTER SCHOOL NOW IS NOT TO EDUCATE A STUDENT BUT TO RETURN A PROFIT TO SHAREHOLDERS AND INVESTORS. Take a cue from Wall Street, from bailout-banks, from corruption--if we play at "trickle-down education" we will be laughing a few years from now, maniacally and coupled with tears, at how stupid we all are today.
Jan. 16, 2012, 8:52 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
By the way, Short--good article. Thank you.
Jan. 16, 2012, 8:53 am
Claire from Williamsburg says:
Dennis

Go to the the department of education web site and type in all the names of the southside schools. They are all failing. Just type in ps 84 brooklyn ny in the site and you will see.

If charters are so bad don't send your kid there, but don't stop something for my chiild.

BTW, Obama, Coumo and Bloomberg all want charter schools. It is going to happen.
Jan. 16, 2012, 9:04 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Claire,

I'm not going to do your job--you must prove your argument yourself. And that still doesn't consider, at all, why charter schools are exempt from reporting on expulsion data. I don't know who you are, and given the type of activity that goes on here, and BP's implicit shielding of bots and trolls, I'll have to take your claim of parentage with a grain of salt.

Oh, and "Obama, Cuomo and Bloomberg all want charter schools"? Really? Maybe "Margaret Thatcher, King Leopold and David Dinkins," too? C'mon, give me a break. Name-dropping does not an argument make.
Jan. 16, 2012, 9:09 am
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Well hello there, "Fred." I am Cynthia Walker, and I do not work for the teacher's union. Nor have I been "spreading lies." Your comments are both 1) false 2) slanderous. But please do share how you know my name, and that I oppose the Success co-location, as I do not know anyone named "Fred," nor have I made any public statements regarding the Success Academy. Are you a member of BabyHui?
Jan. 16, 2012, 9:16 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Somebody please get the proofreader on that title already.
Jan. 16, 2012, 9:41 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Also people, the "Success Academy" [wow--excellent Orwell there] plastered glossy ads at Bedford Avenue, not "in the Williamsburg subway station, not far from JHS 50 on S. 3rd", as this article claims. If it really meant to plaster glossy ads in the area of the school, it would have been the Marcy Avenue station on the j/m/z line. That station is in the actual area of JHS 50.

The reasons for plastering ads at Bedford Avenue and NOT Marcy Avenue are quite clear, and quite cynical, even evil: the Success Academy is NOT trying to help students at JHS 50. It is trying to transport students from wealthier, newer families who are also less informed about the community's dynamics so as to expel students from poorer, older families here [expulsions it will not have to report]. And that, my dear friends, is the 'displacement' at the very heart of GENTRIFICATION.
Jan. 16, 2012, 10 am
dose says:
@ dennis
i see and read a lot of your posts and i really admire your fighting spirit for your community.
i have mixed views on gentrification myself but i can tell you one thing for sure, it wont ever stop, ever.
look at manhattan, used to be so diverse downtown especially, see many irish down there lately? german?
no ya dont , because they moved on or were pushed out. chinatown is moving to flushing and little italy is a tourist attraction
circle of life in this city
sorry if ya cant take that hard dose of reality, but its gonna happen
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:16 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
@ Dose,

I appreciate your perspective. I also appreciate the dynamic nature of all our neighborhoods--I'm not opposed to change. I'm opposed to 'displacement'--the situation between the Irish downtown and the Puerto Ricans of Williamsburg are not the same. The Irish did not experience 'displacement,' they migrated. But I very much appreciate that, whether pro or con, you consider the issue.

However we feel about inevitability in our communities, though, it doesn't give the Success Academy the right to be cynical with their recruitment process, or, as a 'charter school,' the right to skew their data to give the impression they are 'superior' to public schools. You're a thoughtful person--thoughtful people tend to be fair people. And fair people don't support lies or cynicism in our schools.
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:29 am
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
There's nothing inevitable about the Success Academy--there's a lawsuit to block them.

And where has that hilarious troll "Fred" gone? Is that all ya got, "Fred"? I really expect more tenacious harassment from Moskowitz's stooges. Please do entertain us.
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:29 am
David from Williamsburg says:
A few points, in addition to the ones already made:
(1) Charters have been around long enough that there are now a number of academic studies that show that in general they do not outperform traditional public schools. The most extensive I know of is a Stanford study: http://credo.stanford.edu/reports/MULTIPLE_CHOICE_CREDO.pdf

(2) There is a good deal of evidence from global education reform efforts that indicates that the entire charter paradigm of shifting to privatization and testing does not work, and that the paradigm that's required is that of professionalization (my word) - that what succeeds is to elevate teaching to the status of a profession like other critical services like law and medicine; making the investments in training to turn teachers into professionals (just as nobody becomes a lawyer or doctor with just an undergraduate degree, the same should be of teaching, as this argument goes); demanding the results expected from a professional; and socially and culturally giving the respect accorded to a professional. The most notable example of this is Finland, that kicks everyone else's butts in international testing:

http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/82329/education-reform-Finland-US
http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/what-americans-keep-ignoring-about-finlands-school-success/250564/

(3) If we would all stop and really think about and investigate what's going on here, we may conclude that the entire charter approach is inconsistent with education as a public good. Every parent wants the best for their child, and the people making statements in support of Success clearly want the best for theirs and are trying to be the best parents they can be. But there are many cases in which what appears to be a good course of action for oneself/children/family in the short term is in the long term detrimental not only for oneself/children/family but for society as a whole, and I'd argue that this is one. We all need every child to be well educated, now and in the future. Yes, many schools are not performing as well as they should. But think about what you might do if some other public agency that needed to deliver an important public good was not performing well - what would be effective public policy and civic action? If crime was high and the police department was not performing well, would it make sense to say, "Let's make public money available to for-profit corporations by taking money from the police dept budget and give it to those private companies to offer competing police services and let citizens choose who they want to call for police services"? Most people, I think, would correctly recognize that such an approach would create more harm than good, both in fiscal terms and in quality of service delivery, and the task for government and citizens would be to fix the police department we have. If the US Army started losing battles and wars (like it did in the Vietnam era), would it make sense to to say, "Let's give part of the defense budget to mercenary organizations to let them offer competing forces, and if a war happens we'll let them and the Army compete"? We would demand that the government fix the Army, which is what happened after Vietnam. A market-based solution is not effective or appropriate for critical public goods because of the lack of accountability - that is why we don't have private police forces and armies, and I'd argue that education is also a critical public good. There 's a confluence of forces out there that have a self-interest in making the case for charters, but they are not motivated by the public interest, and it is my view that they are fooling citizens who do not think deeply enough about this problem; for example, see http://www.salon.com/2011/09/12/reformmoney/

In the end, we will get the schools we deserve. If we think, "I just want what's best for my kid" and don't think about the future, we're all sunk. If we want better schools, then we as citizens need to learn about all the dimensions of the problem (and that means not trusting a single source for information, whether that source is Eva Moskowitz on the pro side or Diane Ravtich on the con side - read all sides, then think about it). If you conclude that we need to be like Finland rather than give public money to charters - and I hope you do - then we all need to engage public officials and demand appropriate action, and we all need to become appropriately engaged with our local schools systems and with each other. My wife and I are pregnant with our first child, and we are getting engaged now so that she has good public schools to go to here in Williamsburg, to be educated equally alongside all her fellow citizens.
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:58 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Damn, Dave--you are GOOD. Please come to the Tuesday early evening meeting at JHS 50, if you don't already know about it. Many persons will appreciate your insight there.
Jan. 16, 2012, 11:19 am
Jill from Greenpoint says:
Cynthia your lawsuit is going no where.

Success is going to happen.
Jan. 16, 2012, 11:28 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Cynthia, the lawsuit will prevail. Many persons thought Broadway Triangle would also "go nowhere." Ahem.

Success IS going to happen.

Success Academy won't.
Jan. 16, 2012, 11:45 am
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Hi "Fred"! It's not "my" lawsuit. It's a massive community effort. And Success is DOA in Williamsburg and Cobble Hill. The community doesn't want you.
Jan. 16, 2012, 11:47 am
Judahspechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Any info on where in bedstuy they are comin. My biggest problem with charter schools is what they r doin to Unions. I don't agree w/ a lot of the teacher's union philosophy but we must not allow for the further dimishment of unions in this country.
Jan. 16, 2012, 12:04 pm
Moshe from Williamaburg says:
The public schools are bankrupt. Without g.d there is nothing. We are the biggest group and cant use any public school.
Jan. 16, 2012, 12:05 pm
God says:
Moshe, leave me out of it.
Jan. 16, 2012, 1:26 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Thank you, God.
Jan. 16, 2012, 1:37 pm
Henry from Williamsburg says:
I am dismayed by the vitriolic attacks against the expansion of public -- and I emphasize -- PUBLIC school choice for parents in this community. In the last five years, there have been hundreds -- if not thousands -- of new residential units that have opened in the Williamsburg area due to drastic zoning changes. The neighborhood children population is exploding. This is exactly the time for new school choices to come on line in our neighborhood to prepare for the large number of new children who inhabit the area. The advent of public charter schools is to provide choice and competition to existing schools, which can only raise the level of all schooling in the neighborhood. How can more and different and quality schooling ever be bad for a neighborhood and our children? As a parent of two near-school age children, I welcome the possibility of new schools entering our neighborhood to increase the breadth and scope of PUBLIC school opportunities for my kids. Think about it. We hail diversity in the classroom as an asset to improve upon the educational and sociological experience for our children, but at the same time, others decry the possibility of diversity in our teaching ideology and schools. Why is the district school teaching model the ONLY model that should be available to us? We certainly don't believe that in other areas of our life. Isn't that why many in Williamsburg work so hard to prevent corporate "chain" stores from becoming the only place we can shop in the neighborhood? Because choice is good.

Schools not based on the teaching methodologies imposed or promoted by the monolithic DOE provide diversity in how they inspire learning in the classroom. Some school models include project or experience-based learning -- not relying on a module-based curriculum. Other schools, like the Success Academy, believe in a structured environment that focuses on longer school days and an emphasis on math and science, and logic-based tools for learning (such as an intro to chess and robotics). My point is that just as diversity in a community brings new insights and perspectives and adds value to the whole, education models can act in the same way. Rather than accept one-size-fits-all, why not embrace the introduction of new and proven teaching methodologies in our community that adds choice to parents -- all of whom want only one thing -- the best education possible for our children.

Public education financing is not a zero-sum-game. Putting Success Academy in JHS 50 does not mean that the junior high school will get less financing, or that if the Success Academy elementary school was not coming to Williamsburg, then that money would go to JHS 50. Likely, it would go to another neighborhood in the city that was willing to accept diversity in its school choices. Let's work together to put the spotlight on public education in Williamsburg -- not because we believe in tearing down the expansion of schooling in the neighborhood -- but rather let's create a neighborhood that becomes a hotbed of new ideas and educational innovation. Let's unite behind a common goal that we will not stop until we raise the total educational experience in the neighborhood. Imagine what is possible. Williamsburg can become a model of what public education should look like -- a diverse and challenging collection of teaching ideologies and school programs. By doing that, we can attract the best educators and administrators in the city. Isn't that what is in the best interests of the kids? Shouldn't that be the focus of our efforts?

I look forward to this view of the future being expressed and explored at the public hearing tomorrow!
Jan. 16, 2012, 1:44 pm
Henry from Williamsburg says:
I am dismayed by the vitriolic attacks against the expansion of public -- and I emphasize -- PUBLIC school choice for parents in this community. In the last five years, there have been hundreds -- if not thousands -- of new residential units that have opened in the Williamsburg area due to drastic zoning changes. The neighborhood children population is exploding. This is exactly the time for new school choices to come on line in our neighborhood to prepare for the large number of new children who inhabit the area. The advent of public charter schools is to provide choice and competition to existing schools, which can only raise the level of all schooling in the neighborhood. How can more and different and quality schooling ever be bad for a neighborhood and our children? As a parent of two near-school age children, I welcome the possibility of new schools entering our neighborhood to increase the breadth and scope of PUBLIC school opportunities for my kids. Think about it. We hail diversity in the classroom as an asset to improve upon the educational and sociological experience for our children, but at the same time, others decry the possibility of diversity in our teaching ideology and schools. Why is the district school teaching model the ONLY model that should be available to us? We certainly don't believe that in other areas of our life. Isn't that why many in Williamsburg work so hard to prevent corporate "chain" stores from becoming the only place we can shop in the neighborhood? Because choice is good.

Schools not based on the teaching methodologies imposed or promoted by the monolithic DOE provide diversity in how they inspire learning in the classroom. Some school models include project or experience-based learning -- not relying on a module-based curriculum. Other schools, like the Success Academy, believe in a structured environment that focuses on longer school days and an emphasis on math and science, and logic-based tools for learning (such as an intro to chess and robotics). My point is that just as diversity in a community brings new insights and perspectives and adds value to the whole, education models can act in the same way. Rather than accept one-size-fits-all, why not embrace the introduction of new and proven teaching methodologies in our community that adds choice to parents -- all of whom want only one thing -- the best education possible for our children.

Public education financing is not a zero-sum-game. Putting Success Academy in JHS 50 does not mean that the junior high school will get less financing, or that if the Success Academy elementary school was not coming to Williamsburg, then that money would go to JHS 50. Likely, it would go to another neighborhood in the city that was willing to accept diversity in its school choices. Let's work together to put the spotlight on public education in Williamsburg -- not because we believe in tearing down the expansion of schooling in the neighborhood -- but rather let's create a neighborhood that becomes a hotbed of new ideas and educational innovation. Let's unite behind a common goal that we will not stop until we raise the total educational experience in the neighborhood. Imagine what is possible. Williamsburg can become a model of what public education should look like -- a diverse and challenging collection of teaching ideologies and school programs. By doing that, we can attract the best educators and administrators in the city. Isn't that what is in the best interests of the kids? Shouldn't that be the focus of our efforts?

I look forward to this view of the future being expressed and explored at the public hearing tomorrow!
Jan. 16, 2012, 1:44 pm
B from Williamsburg says:
I am a mother living in Williamsburg and though I am still learning about the issue and deciding where I ultimately fall, I definitely support the idea of charters and of educational choice. Cynthia Walker's statement above that "the community doesn't want [Success Academy]" is incorrect. Many don't, but very many do. There is an active parents' group in the community called Brooklyn Baby Hui and there are plenty of parents on that listserv who are very vocal about wanting the opportunity for charters in our community. In fact, there are many, many daily posts supporting both sides of this issue. I would say it seems to be very clearly divided down the middle right now.
Also, Cynthia, whether or not you work for the teacher's union may still be unclear, but you ARE a public school teacher (right?). I certainly don't mean to imply that a teacher can't have an opinion on this subject, but I find it very suspect that you have never disclosed this fact in your Baby Hui posts when it is could undoubtedly be considered a potential bias.
Jan. 16, 2012, 2:14 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Henry, the discussion here has been reasonable and not at all hysterical--'vitriol' is mischaracterizing. Has anything here been said about Moskowitz that isn't true--please highlight those phrases and provide evidence against their statement. I don't think there is a person alive who doesn't want the things you're describing in their schools, but the key phrase and turn here is "public" and "choice". Success Academy is NOT a public entity. Period. Your characterization is figurative, but it isn't real--no matter how often you reference "public" you won't be removing the fact that Success Academy is NOT a public entity.

Furthermore, the fact that Success Academy need not report its expulsion data, or that that criterion is not weighed against expulsion data in public schools, disputes your characterization of "choice." The purpose of a Charter Academy that functions FIRST as a private corporation beholden to shareholders is to discourage and thwart not encourage competition, but to seize, acquire and monopolize--indeed, Moskowitz is doing exactly that. You say that no one in the space will be reduced in funding, space or type by Success Academy--that is less than eloquent. I would say it's bald-faced, in fact. Moskowitz's venture coincides with recent political attacks by Bloomberg and Cuomo. Both have mischaracterized things the way you are. Like this false dichotomy: public education bureaucracy vs. our children. You see--that's eloquent, like you. But it's also rubbish, because the real dichotomy is public education bureaucracy vs. private education complex. This is a choice between daggers, really.

For me, it boils down to the issue of choice, possibly more nuanced than you're allowing for: Moskowitz is not interested in the "choice" of the lower income residents of the Southside. She is certainly interested in their "space" because she, as anyone with eyes can see, knows that Hispanic households in the Southside are most lucrative--beautiful than the antiseptic pseudomodernity of the Northside, the rents are lower, it is at the very beginning of the history of the gentrification of Williamsburg--GENTRIFICATION. And Moskowitz administers in the same pattern: pretending to care about her target demographic, but only insofar she can gain the space, while simultaneously soliciting an entirely other demographic altogether, pushing out the demographic inviting her in, then concealing the expulsion or even the invitation.

So, in fact, again, whereas you're eloquent, I find your references to "community" and "ours" and "us" to be quite incredulous.
Jan. 16, 2012, 2:14 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Excuse me, I meant *incredible.
Jan. 16, 2012, 2:19 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Emma,

I wonder if we should thank you for being douchey and posting what was obviously a private message between you and her. But it certainly back-fired, because Yourke only demonstrates what makes her a marvelous human being. What exactly in Kate Yourke's message is caring less about white people?

You would have done better to have just offered your anecdote, since trying to supplement it's viewpoint with K. You're message to you undermines your credibility.
Jan. 16, 2012, 2:23 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Emma,

Excuse me, that last sentence had typos, so I'll repeat it corrected:

"You would have done better to have just offered your anecdote, since trying to supplement it's viewpoint with K. Yourke's message to you undermines your credibility."
Jan. 16, 2012, 2:24 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Nope B, not a teacher. But keep guessing! And "Emma," I'll assume you're a total coward who has no intention of revealing your name, since you just violated the terms of service of a private parents listserv. And a psycho racist--Kate yourke "doesn't care about the white people"? What a genius thing to say on MLK day. Definitely, it is a great social problem that everyone *just doesn't care enough about white people.* White people are really getting the shaft, man. Especially in Williamsburg!
Jan. 16, 2012, 2:32 pm
Sarah from Greenpoint says:
Emma took a private message from the yahoo group, Brooklyn Baby Hui, and posted it on a public forum without the consent of the author.

As the mother of a younger child, I found Kate's post eloquent and informative while we navigate our upcoming choices in the neighborhood.

And fwiw, Kate is white.
Jan. 16, 2012, 2:35 pm
Henry from Williamsburg says:
I guess I don't understand why there is discussion of a "dichotomy" at all between the district and charter school approaches. In fact, both are indeed public schools, i.e., are available to all in the community equally without having to pay tuition. The only difference, yes, is in their administration. Even though an organization like Success Charter Network would have management control of their schools, this does not divest the DOE from its authority to regulate it as an entity funded with public money. In fact, according to recent DOE action, the DOE is being particularly aggressive in supervising existing charters. In a recent action, it refused to extend a charter for a school that only received a "C" grade in its recent DOE Progress Report. If that same criteria were used to evaluate district schools in District 14, then both PS 16 and 17 would be losing their schools. I agree with strict regulation of charters because they are entities serving and being funded by the public. They work for us.

Also, as a father of two near-school age children, I want my kids to get a public school education because of the diversity in the classroom that public school education provides. Public charter schools do not give a preference based on race, religion, socioeconomic status -- nothing at all, because they are public schools governed by our constitutional protections. All that any parent of a child in the neighborhood needs to do to have an equal chance with any other child in the neighborhood to gain admission is complete a one page form for admission. Granted that the spots are unfortunately limited (and that is why I encourage even more schools to come to Williamsburg to increase spots and parent's choice), the eventual make-up of the public charter school class is based on random lottery: a non-race or religious or class-based criterion. And a quick review of the demographics of existing Success Charter Network schools show that these schools are incredibly integrated -- both racially and socio-economically.

Finally, the Success Charter Network is not a for-profit entity. It is a non-profit Charter Management Organization ("CMO"). Charter schools in NY are semi-autonomous public schools operated by private entities (in Success's case, a NON-PROFIT organization). They have contract-like relationships with the State and City DOE and are governed by state and federal law -- they only get their authorization to operate by being licensed and regulated by the public school authorities. CMOs were developed to solve serious problems limiting the number and quality of charter schools. On average, charter schools receive FEWER dollars per pupil that district-operated schools. CMOs developed as a way to capture economies of scale for groups of charter schools and support the performance improvement efforts of groups of schools pursuing similar approaches to teaching and learning -- the differing teaching ideologies that I spoke about in my earlier post.

I don't tout charter schools as a panacea to our community's education issues. Like everything else, one should not judge based on generalizations and stereotypes. What I do encourage is for parents who are unsure of whether you want a Success Academy school to be one of the choices for your children's public education in the neighborhood, you should visit and take a tour of one of their existing schools. I toured both the Harlem Success Academy and the Upper West Side Academy and was blown away by both. The engagement of the teachers and the students in those schools was truly an inspiration to see. One anecdote that I won't easily forget is overhearing two first grade students argue about fractions on their way out of the class. They were so excited about understanding how to add fractions with different denominators that they were actually debating their points with each other -- certainly not a staged act for the open-house parents. That is what I want for my children -- an environment where learning is joyful and challenging. Can't we all agree that we should have that in our schools? Do the reasearch -- the Success Academy Network approach has been working and is a valid educational choice. It might not be right for all, but you certainly cannot discount it as a valid and valuable choice for parents to have in selecting a public school that best fits the needs of their child.

School diversity does not end with the student demographic in the classroom. It should also exist in the teaching methodologies that are delivered by the educators. Why not have a working and successful school like Success be one of those choices available to us as parents in Williamsburg?
Jan. 16, 2012, 3:14 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Henry, whatever side we fall on these issues, I will say you make a marvelous presentation of your point. Thank you for your patience and fairness, and most of all, for your perspective. I will defer to positions such as K. Yourke and yourself as we all proceed on this, since you both are parents and are in the area. I don't want to unfairly prejudice anyone here with my own ignorance, since my overriding considerations are 1) with children in the area because their enhancement is mine, and 2) gentrification. Your specific knowledge in this regard will further consideration in these regards for me, personally.
Jan. 16, 2012, 3:25 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Well, there's a difference between Kate Yourke and "Henry." (Aside from the fact that Henry hits all the Success publicist talking points.) Henry hasn't provided a last name.
Jan. 16, 2012, 4:02 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Oh, don't I know It--K. Yourke is a magnificent human being and a treasure to the community. That is Real. "Henry" is eloquent and his narrative is compelling, but, as you already know, this is Brooklyn Paper--who knows who is who here, and what is their agenda? Because he is eloquent we're more taken in to accepting his anecdotal argument where we don't usually fall to that, his argument lacks statistics and impact data, but he clarified for us what Success Academy's legal status is--that's pretty important. That in of itself doesn't preclude its financial structure, but, again, I'd rather leave that to the experts.
Jan. 16, 2012, 4:09 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
This was also released to the public just moments ago. I'll quote it in its entirety:

For Immediate Release: Contact: Luis Garden Acosta, 718-387-0404
Martin Luther King Day, 2012


Latinos Charge Racism
Say No To Eva Moskowitz’s School

On Martin Luther King Day, the largely Latino community of Williamsburg’s Southside as well as Occupy Williamsburg and many other supporters, of all colors and classes, are gearing up for a major showdown, tomorrow. The community outrage is against the forced co-location at Middle School 50 of a corporate driven Charter School, The Success Academy, a proposed elementary school led by the controversial Eva Moskowitz.

Public Hearing
Tuesday, January 17th at 6:00 p.m.
Middle School 50 on South 3rd Street (and Roebling St.)

Tuesday night’s public hearing promises to be the quintessential confrontation that pits an unprecedented, United Southside Community (including, virtually, all churches, schools and community organizations) against the wealth and power of the Eva Moskowitz corporate empire. The unwarranted, misguided attempt to usurp the will of an entire community is the “brain child” of New York City’s Department of Education. It is forcing the acceptance of the “Success Academy,” a proposed Kindergarten through 4th Grade, elementary school in a Middle School building, in the heart of the Southside Latino Community, a Williamsburg neighborhood that has hundreds of empty public school seats begging for students.

Just before the Holiday break, the New York City Department of Education promulgated the proposed transformation of the M.S. 50 building to accommodate the integration of Ms. Moskowitz’s Charter School. “Such a decision, without the proactive support of the community is most regrettable and flies in the face of our community’s unique and successful history of creating and leading excellent centers for learning and development” cites Frances Lucerna, Founding Principal of the community’s “A” rated, public high school, the El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice.

"Our community is in need of an inclusive process that unites us, this proposal divides us and we will not go out quietly " declares Rob Solano, Executive Director of Churches United For Fair Housing, Inc. (CUFFH).

City Council Member Diana Reyna emphasizes that “the Southside Community Schools Coalition (SCSC) is not against Charter Schools, it is against the practices of the Success Academy Schools, that they point out, virtually, bar the standard number of English Language Learner and Special Education Student admissions.”

Reverend José Gonzalez-Colon, Pastor of the Southside Community’s, First Spanish Presbyterian Church, unequivocally charges Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy School strategy to slip into the Southside as inherently racist. “It is immoral,” says the Pastor, “to spend thousands of dollars on Madison Avenue-like advertisements that focus on marketing the Success Academy, overwhelmingly, to the (non-Latino) Northside and not the Latino Southside that it purportedly plans to serve.”

Indeed, the total blanketing of the L train’s Bedford Avenue Station with huge billboards extolling the virtues of the Williamsburg Success Academy is not only racist but flaunts Charter School Law regulations that require those proposing a Charter School to inform the public, clearly, that the school in question, is proposed and not approved. Yet, just about every hand-out and especially, all of the (13) thirteen, overwhelmingly large, billboard advertisements in the L train subway station urge the Northside’s, mostly white, non-Latino residents to “apply online” for the “Williamsburg Success Academy,” providing no hint that the elementary school slated to begin in September, 2012 is merely a proposal.

Furthermore, both Juan Martinez, former President of the Local School Board for District 14 and head of Progress, Inc., the sponsor of Progress High School as well as Esteban Duran a former New York City Department of Education official insist, that the introduction of yet another elementary school is an act of “Academic Malfeasance” in that, according to the New York City Department of Education pronouncements, the (4) four elementary schools, within walking distance of MS 50 and serving children of the Southside (P.S. 16, P.S. 17, P.S. 19 and P.S. 84) are all “underutilized.”

“The total disregard of the Latino Community and its real need for a quality middle school, by the preordained occupation of an unwanted, unneeded Eva Moskowitz School, is the most blatant and disempowering form of ‘Benign Neglect’ ”, states Ramón Peguero, Executive Director of the Southside United HDFC, the community’s first and largest network of affordable housing. (Mr. Peguero, an attorney, is also the former President and now, a leading member of the Department of Education’s official Community Education Council).

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez urges the Mayor to take control and respond to the legitimate request of the Southside community.

And, Luis Garden Acosta, Founder and President of El Puente, a community institution of several Leadership Community Centers and an award winning, public high school, summarizes the entire struggle when he makes clear that “ just like the empowering success of the dual language program at P.S. 84, we look forward to the day, in the spirit of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s teachings, when all our schools are blessed with the bright smiles of white, brown and black children of all classes, including, the sons and daughters of Newcomer residents. But, we will not accept a “Trojan Horse” school that is academically not warranted, divisive in approach and does not meet the real needs of our community.”

* * * * * * * *

Southside Community Schools Coalition (SCSC) partial listing: Churches United For Fair Housing, District 14 Community Education Council, El Puente, First Spanish Presbyterian Church, The Make School Planning Collaborative, Nuestros Niños Child Development Centers, Occupy Williamsburg, Parents of P.S. 19, Parents of P.S. 84 Dual Language Program, Parents, Teachers and Staff of M.S. 50, Progress Inc., Councilmember Diana Reyna, Los Sures (the Southside) United HDFC, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez.
Jan. 16, 2012, 4:11 pm
U from Williamsburg says:
Emma, it's unacceptable that you posted a fellow mom's signature with her kids' name and ages. I hope these comments are moderated and urge the immediate removal of those comments.
Jan. 16, 2012, 4:19 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Dennis,

If you want to understand the "financial structure" of Success, start with Juan Gonzalez' articles for the New York Daily News and Democracy Now: http://news.firedoglake.com/2010/05/10/wall-street-hearts-charter-schools-gets-rich-off-them/
Jan. 16, 2012, 4:42 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
...then wonder why *every single member* of Success' board is a hedge funder: http://www.successacademies.org/page.cfm?p=301
Jan. 16, 2012, 4:43 pm
Ingrid from Williamsburg says:
David:

The Stanford Study says NYC charters do better than the district schools.

http://gothamschools.org/2010/01/05/stanford-study-shows-many-city-charters-besting-district-schools/
Jan. 16, 2012, 4:48 pm
Jenny from Williamsburg says:
Why is it that everytime someone makes an articulate and thoughtful point in regards to charters their identity is questioned. Would you prefer that Henry leave his last name so you can run a character assassination by google. Do you not understand that most parents are turned off by this? I often find myself arguing on either side of the debate, but Cynthia I find your tactics disturbing. Each poster who mentioned the listserv by name has compromised the privacy and security of it's members. Awful!
Jan. 16, 2012, 4:48 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Sorry for any impression that compromised anyone here. Simply meant to demonstrate that I have faith in who we're talking about--she knows what she is talking about, and is good people. She definitely knows the issue better than I could ever comment on and anyone who listens to her will be enriched for it.
Jan. 16, 2012, 4:52 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Cynthia and Ingrid,

Thanks for the sources.
Jan. 16, 2012, 4:53 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Hello, umpteenth moronic troll pseudonym! If "Henry" is a local parent and not a Success flack, he should proudly sign his name, and speak under it at tomorrow night's hearing.
Jan. 16, 2012, 4:57 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
...and Ingrid, the Stanford substudy on New York doesn't hold up (excluded failing charters): http://ed.stanford.edu/press-releases/headline-grabbing-charter-school-study-doesn039t-hold-scrutiny-says-reardon
Jan. 16, 2012, 4:59 pm
Jim from Williamsburg says:
Only 20-40% of the students at P.S. 16, P.S. 17, P.S. 19 and P.S. 84 are literate in English.

At PS 19 80% can't pass the basic skills tests. Why don't you tell these kids how great their life will be with having no math and english skills.

Why would any parent want to send their kids to these schools?

Lets assume charters are bad. You cant do much worse than this?

That is why there is so much capacity. No one wants to send their kids there. People either go to Greenpoint, Manhattan, private or the burbs.

I am sure the room will be packed with teacher union members and people who don't have kids.

If someone has kids and wants to send their kids to ps 19 use your real name and say why.
Jan. 16, 2012, 5:07 pm
Ingrid from Williamsburg says:
Cynthia or whoever you are, do you have children? Why don't you tell everyone what you do, why you hate charter so much?
Jan. 16, 2012, 5:11 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
...apparently you didn't read the SCSC press release above, which was endorsed by "parents of PS 19."

(and there's a hearing Wednesday night on the closure of PS 19, which PS 19 parents oppose.)
Jan. 16, 2012, 5:12 pm
Henry from Williamsburg says:
I look forward to meeting you all tomorrow at the hearing and enjoying a civilized and substantive public debate with the best interests of the children in mind. Sometimes I think that some of us forget what we are doing this for. I simply want all kids to have a chance in a progressively more difficult economic environment in this country. I am not affiliated with the Success Academy or any other charter school. I am a concerned parent who lives in Williamsburg and am willing to engage in debate on a civil level with anyone who wants the same. Given the level of personal attacks on this comment stream, I am concerned with privacy and the safety of my family and children. I am not a public figure. I just want my voice heard as a parent and I want the most information possible to understand the choices I am making as a parent for my children.

I look forward to meeting other like-minded parents in the community who should unify in one goal: getting the best education possible for our children in an incredibly and wonderfully diverse neighborhood.

Let me leave you with a quote from Prof. Cornel West:

“The country is in deep trouble. We've forgotten that a rich life consists fundamentally of serving others, trying to leave the world a little better than you found it. We need the courage to question the powers that be, the courage to be impatient with evil and patient with people, the courage to fight for social justice. In many instances we will be stepping out on nothing, and just hoping to land on something. But that's the struggle. To live is to wrestle with despair, yet never allow despair to have the last word.”

I want to leave my kids and my community a little better than I found it. I encourage patience with people and being willing to "step out on nothing," and see if there might be a different way of doing things that might improve everyone a little bit. Don't say "no" for the sake of saying "no." Let's explore and find out if there might be something gained by change . . .
Jan. 16, 2012, 5:13 pm
Ingrid from Williamsburg says:
Well said Henry. I doubt Cynthia Walker lives here, has children, and she or some close relative works for the Teachers Union.
Jan. 16, 2012, 5:17 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Jim, you've got a strong argument. I don't have children--only the people I care about do. What is the income range of the students? If charters come in, and prefer wealthier clients, what becomes of students in the lower economic ranges? I hear from one side that they'll be swept aside, and from the other side--well, to be frank, I don't hear anyone talking about that. Don't take that as an accusation--I'm in no way trying to claim I know more than you or anyone else. It's true--you've got kids and that's what's important.
Jan. 16, 2012, 5:21 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Uh, poorly said, "Henry": Cornel West is adamantly opposed to the closure of "failing" public schools ( starved for funds by Bloomberg) to make way for Success charters:http://www.dnainfo.com/20111205/harlem/cornel-west-vows-fight-harlem-school-closures
Jan. 16, 2012, 5:23 pm
Burg Parent from Williamsburg says:
PS 84 is trying to attract wealthier parents as well. They hung a sign up sheet a few months back in my condo asking for interest in an 84 info meeting for our residents in our building. I didn't really see anything wrong with it at the time, but if success is going to be accused of displaying Latinos, why couldn't we make the same argument about 84.
Jan. 16, 2012, 5:31 pm
Burg Parent from Williamsburg says:
Sorry displacing.
Jan. 16, 2012, 5:32 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Whenever I hear the supporters for the charter schools, I would like to know what they were taking when saying such things. In reality, charter schools are no better than public schools. The only difference is that charter school owners have better connections with friends in high places, while public schools don't. If a charter school wants to locate, they should get their own land, and pay full price for it rather than pic where a public school already is and get it for less. Also, why do they get more priorities of the facility compared to the public schools that have used them longer, which is exactly what the NAACP/UFT is fighting against? The only for sure way in is to have connections otherwise you have to take the chance at winning a lottery where they chances are very slim and most will never make it. One other thing, charter school members have a history of sending their best lobbyists to help make sure that many public school budgets never pass.
Jan. 16, 2012, 5:43 pm
Henry from Williamsburg says:
Ah, the cool thing is that I can still recognize how right Prof. West's words are in the quote I left and can still differ in some policy arguments with him. (I was certain that you would pounce on his position on charters.) That is the beauty of democracy and the progress to be made by debate. I just hope that the value of this debate is not given short-shrift to name-calling and putting others down for their viewpoint and perspective. In that spirit, I quote my dear Prof. West, and I am sure he would agree . . .

As to the introduction of charter schools to the neighborhood, I think it is better to have schools here that do a good job than have students left hoping for some unspecified change in the DOE in the future. Let's bring change now -- in September of this year -- and let that be the call going forward that we will demand action over neglect.

Please, visit a Success school first before passing judgment. Arrange a tour. They are offered. There is a great energy at these schools. The kids do well and move on to some of the top public high schools in the city -- like Stuyvesant and Hunter. The teachers and principals are engaged and caring people who want all students to succeed. That is why they are educators in the first place. If that were not the case, and the school did not care about its community and its children as a whole, the parents who are motivated enough to put their kids in a lottery for a spot at the school would be the first to pull them out and put them in a school that was acting as a more inspiring neighborhood leader. That is the beauty of school choice -- it allows us the opportunity to evaluate our schools as parents and let our actions let a school know if we feel that it is letting the children down.
Jan. 16, 2012, 5:45 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Nope-- Cornel West would go to jail protesting Success, amd agrees with you about nada re Success. Same with the NAACP: http://gothamschools.org/2011/06/02/naacp-fighting-back-with-pro-lawsuit-rally-of-its-own/

You make about as much sense on Dr. West as the nut cases who tried to appropriate Dr. King. ("If he were alive today, he'd be in favor of invading Afghanistan...")

Happy Holiday!
Jan. 16, 2012, 6:07 pm
Henry from Williamsburg says:
More words of inspiration before tomorrow's hearing. I leave an extensive quote from Mayor Cory Booker of Newark (one of a growing number of African-American leaders who support school choice and the immediate energy and change brought by the charter school movement to our more impoverished communities, who have been all too long deprived of quality education):

"We have underestimated the profound genius, the infinite capacity, the unbelievable ability of our children. One of the worst sentiments in our nation is this toxic resignation to a school system that fails children. We have become comfortable with, not mediocrity, we have become comfortable with failure. It is time for a wakeup call. And folks don't like to be woken up. My dad used to it to me all the time. You don't like to be woken up. You get angry. You get frustrated. People like being comfortable. But we are here to disturb the comfortable. We are here to wake people up to the truth of our nation. We were not born for mediocrity. We were not born to fit in. We were born to stand out. This is the call of America. This is the call of our country, and our children say it every single day, like a call to our consciousness; like a demand upon our moral imagination. They say it from Newark to Oakland, those five words: Liberty and justice for all. But we are failing in that.

We fought the greatest war on American soil for the liberation of our people but yet we imprison more and more of our own in the prison of ignorance every single day, snuffing out their options and their potential.
They do not let their fear grow bigger than their faith. They do not let their inability to do everything undermine their ability to do something.

Don't tell me there is something in America we cannot do. But woe to the people who want to protect the status quo. Woe to the people who want to defend mediocrity and failure. Woe to the people who want to attack others for trying a different way.

We are a nation that was born from innovation; innovation of our ideals, innovation of agriculture, innovation in industry, innovation in science and technology. Why has the one sector of our society most in need of innovation been left in the agrarian age, and that is education? No more!

But I would be irresponsible if I didn't make one point. We are part of a charter school community that's under attack in every single state. We are a part of a charter school community that is trying to show the nation not that we're better than anybody but that our children—our children—should be our focus.

If we become a sclerotic movement, if we become an establishment that begins to protect charter schools just because they are a charter school, then we have failed as a movement. A charter school must be a school of accountability. A charter school must be a school of excellence. We cannot protect mediocrity or failure within the charter movement."

Cory Booker
Mayor, Newark, New Jersey

Or as another proponent of the proliferation of innovative and accountable charter schools, the Rev. Al Sharpton has said in a public letter to Pres. Obama: "It is not acceptable for minority students to be four grade levels behind."

Happy MLK Day to all! This is why I love Williamsburg!
Jan. 16, 2012, 6:36 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
And of course, the Black Agenda Report has *no love* for corporate hack Cory Booker: http://blackagendareport.com/content/cory-booker-clear-and-present-threat-public-education
Jan. 16, 2012, 6:58 pm
Henry from Williamsburg says:
What is incredible to me is that a mayor of a small and impoverished city like Newark who gets rich people to donate hundreds of million of dollars for public education in his city -- money and resources that otherwise would never be seen by the kids of that city -- gets lambasted as "selling out" to "corporate" interests. Isn't what Cory Booker accomplished in Newark what we should aspire to -- get rich donors to put money back into communities in need? Props to Cory Booker for getting things done in his schools.

Succumbing to the knee-jerk reaction of saying that Success Academy must be bad because it has "hedge fund" people on its board, is like shooting yourself in the foot. Would you not want PS 84 to accept donations from "Newcomer residents" (as Mr. Acosta curiously labels families moving to the neighborhood) to allow it to buy smart boards for the classroom because it might be a "threat" to influencing public education? Are we that entrenched in an "us v. them" mentality? Do we not trust our collective judgment to evaluate schools on our own for what they teach and inspire? I just don't get the "fear" that people are trying to spread over the introduction of innovation and change in the way we look at public school education. It is time to get out of the stone age . . .
Jan. 16, 2012, 7:18 pm
Hipster Mom from 11211 says:
""Isn't what Cory Booker accomplished in Newark what we should aspire to -- get rich donors to put money back into communities in need?""

No! What we should aspire to is working together as a community to build our schools, not relying on "rich donors" to pay Eva Moskowitz to do our job for us.
Jan. 16, 2012, 7:38 pm
Hipster Mom from 11211 says:
The type of education Success Academy offers our children is the equivalent of the type of nutrition McDonalds offers, and the economic development opening a Walmart on Bedford Ave would bring.
Jan. 16, 2012, 7:38 pm
Kate Yourke from Williamsburg says:
Wow! and hello neighbors!

I would like to say that the co-location hearing is NOT the place for us to have a civilized debate on this issue. The debate should have started many years ago (I tried, and feel I dropped the ball, but life interferes with perseverance sometimes.) For white parents to have helped set the groundwork for Success Academy to come into the Latino community without discussion with or participation of the legitimate leadership of that community was inappropriate, and will doom their effort, no matter how well-intentioned or well-reasoned.

This plan is not in the best interests of this diverse community, but we can develop one that is. I don't know who would feel comfortable sending their child to a school facing this level of opposition. I would have hoped that the DOE would not need to be reminded how important community support is to the success of a new school. I am excited to see so many involved, articulate members of the community ready to work on this issue. The first step is to join forces and STOP this Charter school co-location. Then we can get to work planning what will work for this fascinating and complex community.

There are many experienced and educated people who know how to accomplish the establishment of schools in this area. With the support of the entire community, we can create the kind of dynamic educational opportunities we will all be proud to claim as our own. We don't need to buy these mediocre choices off the shelf, this is a do-it-yourself community and we need you to join us at the table!
Jan. 16, 2012, 8:07 pm
Frank from Williamsburg says:
The current schools are failing. How would anybody oppose a possible improvement to the situation..? smh
Jan. 16, 2012, 8:42 pm
Sam from Williamsburg says:
Kate:

The total school population of the 4 southside schools is around 1400 at most. They are declining every year, and if new people never came here they would close 2 of the schools and sell them off or just keep them vacant.

In 5 years there will be lets call them 2000 new students coming online. This is reality. There is nothing to discuss.

These new people are going to take over the schools and that is true democracy. 60 yeas ago Latinos took over the schools and now it is someone else. In 50 years another group will come.

Fight all you want, but you cant break a wave.
Jan. 16, 2012, 8:43 pm
Rosita from Chicago says:
Kate:

I grew up in this neighborhood, went to PS 19, did well, went to Baruch, and work in Finance in Chicago

I was the lucky ones. Most of my classmates who are men are in jail. They graduated learning nothing, and most dropped out by the time they were in 9th grade.

What do people do in this society when they have no skills? Start a business? Get a job at a good company?

For you to say that local population needs to be on board with all this change is like saying that southerners should have embraced the civil rights movement before blacks were given civil rights.

You are some rich white lady who thinks she knows best for me and my community, but most of my community has been robbed of a basic education.

Where were you 20 years ago? Where was my community?
Jan. 16, 2012, 8:53 pm
Henry from Williamsburg says:
Rosita, very well said and sadly true in so many ways.

The time has passed to wait and do nothing. How many children need to be left in failing schools before we get the "process" right? They will not be given jobs because we waited to organize properly. Let's change now! We cannot tolerate the same bla bla bla any longer.

Time for change is now. Change that will give new hope to all in the community - This is New York City after all; we are not known for accepting mediocrity and failure for too long! Let's stop talking and start doing. Success Academy is hopefully just the first of many schools to open here. Let the hotbed of learning be known as Williamsburg - a community of all shapes and sizes!

The other commentator had it backwards. The district schools are the Walmart of education. We want to bring in the new laboratories of learning. The old way is not the only way. Time for change is now! Education should be at the forefront of our innovation -- not iPads and coffee shops! Let's do it for the children!
Jan. 16, 2012, 9:25 pm
Susan from Williamsburg says:
Cynthia, I would hope that especially on MLK day everbody would recognize that we will not overcome racism by pitting black against white. We need to stand together as a community and make it clear that no form of racism is tolerated at our public schools.
Jan. 16, 2012, 9:57 pm
Franny from Greenpoint says:
I too would like to know what Cynthia does for a living. She sure heats up the baby board with articles & proof to show charter schools don't work & bankrupt our schools. Brother.
I'm really not pro-success charter school; I think we can do better. Success doesn't speak to me; we have 31 & 34 to fill the over tested, stale, unenlightened environment. But if a great charter came along, I'd totally be on board.
If schools can really be changed by parent involvement, it would have happened already.
And Cynthia- welcome to the Brooklyn paper. You must not get out much. Most of the charm of the Brooklyn paper is you can be honest, without outing yourself. Btw Franny isn't my name so don't bother googling me. P
Jan. 16, 2012, 9:59 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Rosita, I've been paying attention to the discussion and avoiding commenting because I don't have children in our schools, but you opened the door with your personal account.

Firstly, Henry's rhetoric slants more and more towards sloganeering with each post. Earlier he made some comment about how opposing an administrator because they're a hedge manager is unduly prejudicial, and that is preposterous on its face. A business person, no matter how astute or successful, is not an educator. Education is fundamentally different and even juxtaposed to commerce and it is ridiculous to say one cannot be weary of someone whose success is proven not on education but by finance or business. I want my educators to be top-notch educators, not mixed-time hedge fund managers slash cum whatever educators. Again, he has wowed some people here with his eloquence, but his eloquence has not always been substantive.

His remarks to you indicate some of this disingenuity in his remarks: is he really listening to what you're saying? His doesn't sound like sincere empathy--his sounds like pandering and condescension. Of course, though he is eloquent he is not solely so, and it is interesting that people here are with this nonsense cheerleading off on the side, "Well put there, Henry" "Why, that's quite the point" "Oh my, heavens to betsy I don't think I've ever been so flummoxed" because he panders to them.

Now he is dropping some bromides in there, some slogans: Yes, let's change! Let's charge ahead! Let's not stop the Sun rising over the horizon! All of that is nothing but false dichotomy: another thing he has responded to with feel-good Glenn-Beckisms. The persons who oppose charter schools in our community neither oppose quality education, innovation, change or advancement. By hijacking those terms with such magniloquence that responding to his lack of specificity and anecdotalism and sloganeering leaves one vulnerable to being against "change." People who oppose charter schools are as opposed to change as they are opposed to the sky being blue. They do not want static settings--they acknowledge the imperfection of their system along with the imperfection of charter schools [remember that the charter school advocates here are unable to assume such a position]. What they are opposed to and that these charter schools will bring and that Henry and others here are dancing around with expert phrasing and choice polyphonics is the eventual displacement of that student body by charter schools--eventuated by their obfuscation and outright concealment of expulsion data.
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:06 pm
Pete from Park Slope says:


It's simple:Eva Moskowitz and her pal Michael
Bloomberg play a catch and toss game where
Bloomberg slants it so the schools "fail", and then Eva
moves in to steal their space for free.
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:10 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Anyway, I also went to PS 19, from K to 4th grade, then to PS 18, 5th grade; JHS 71 then Eastern District High School. Eventually I ended up at Vassar. I've also had my problems--specifically homelessness for more than 10 years [on the streets of Williamsburg]. It's true--our schools need to do more. But what's not true is that K. Yourke is just "some rich white lady." Her life and commitment to this community is recognized and respected by many of the often opposing groups here in Williamsburg. I know personally she has been a neighbor to this neighborhood.

You should learn some respect, and Henry, for egging her on without knowing who K. Yourke is himself while simultaneously goading others questioning C. Lewis, should be ashamed of himself for exploiting Rosita's and many similar pasts and simplifying them into a slogan for charter schools.
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:10 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
And one more thing: if I hear one more time, 'hey, call up Success Academy and set up a tour, and believe me, you calling them and them scheduling it and you showing up on the day you both have scheduled won't be contrived, believe me' I'm going to vomit on this screen.

My advice to parents is forget that 'contrivance is really sincerity' bullsmack--show up at a Success Academy school unannounced if you really want to see how it goes. Don't just be overwhelmed by the scenery--check the books. Check the salaries. And most of all, check the expulsions, and why.
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:20 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
There's lots of prefacing of remarks here with amazement. Well, I'm amazed that people extolling education, which involves curiosity and inquiry, rational discrimination over capricious emotion, would seriously frame THEIR ENTIRE ARGUMENT on visual impressions. Everyone here is talking some nonsense about "what's best for our children" while in their actions and rhetoric are demonstrating awful awful pedagogy themselves.
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:23 pm
Rice & Beans from Northside says:
This whole conversation has a kind of sickening racist and elitist tone to it and to have Cornel West and MLK tossed around to make conflicting points is really too much. There are many better school models we could replicate from around the world and profit does not have to be a factor. Imagine: children who attend a public school that is co-located with a charter school ask why they are the ones in the inferior school, why the other children get better supplies, food, services, and apparently teachers. This is anecdotal from a friend of mine who tutors in a public school co-located with a charter school in Manhattan - she is in the difficult position of having to explain the inequity. It is worth recalling that active parent involvement in schools is a big part of any school's success - and in the context of the challenges we currently face, parents must participate in and demand excellence from public schools, it is that simple. Schools do not operate in a vacuum, they exist in society and around families, and cannot perform miracles without community support (this is infinitely more important than financial support). Charter schools are not the answer to what ails our current system, not just because they are profit-motivated but also because by their very nature they are not equitable. Those are my two cents to this heated discussion, and that said, I hope the meeting tomorrow night is at least civil and brings the community together rather than dividing it further. We have enough challenges with gentrification and displacement these days. Brooklyn is a beautiful tapestry - but it is also a place where low-income people have a right to live, and so I stand with El Puente, which runs its own kind of successful academy on a different more equitable model.
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:32 pm
Rice & Beans from Northside says:
P. S. Forgot to mention that plastering the Bedford L station with slick posters that seem vaguely sinister and insincere in the context of the issue at hand (like the pharmaceutical companies do) immediately made me suspicious of the intentions of the "Success Academy".
Jan. 16, 2012, 10:42 pm
Henry from Williamsburg says:
I also hope that we will have a civil debate tomorrow. I look forward to it. And I agree with Kate that I wish this debate had been engaged earlier and not on, as Dennis correctly states, some anecdotal comment board. That being said, misinformation needs to be stamped out so we all make decisions based on facts. Charter schools are public schools that receive a State stipulated amount per student (I believe it is about $13,000 per child.). In some respects, charters are not eligible to receive other additional funds that district schools receive. So, the truth is, from a financial standpoint, district schools have more money to apply to their schools. This is also explained in the Stanford study referred to earlier by other commentators.

Also, charter schools are not for-profit businesses. Now, the management company retained to operate them might be. I agree that is where mischief might arise. And management fees need to be analyzed and audited to ensure that public funds are not being misused. In any case, the Success Charter Network is a non-profit organization. Yes, Eva Moskowitz is paid a salary, but there are no "shareholders" looking to turn a profit on the schools. That simply is not true. In fact, in order to maintain it's non-profit status, the organization needs to publish it's financial statements to regulators.

I also applaud the work of Ms. Yourke in the neighborhood. This is not about any one person, and should not be personal. This is about improving the public schools in a neighborhood shared by us all. Honestly, I want to stay in this neighborhood and raise my kids here. I don't want to go to some sterile, segregated suburb. But nothing comes before my kids' education. I will not compromise when it comes to that. I don't know whether I would enroll my children in a Success school. I am keeping an open mind. But I don't see the harm in adding that school as a possible choice among others. I say this because of the network's impressive record in graduating kids, and yes, on their success at standardized tests.

I grew up the son of non-college educated parents who only wanted the best for their kids. My Dad worked in a factory and still lives in the neighborhood he was born. The schools I went to had poor track records (I grew up in Trenton). The only way I was able to go on to college and grad school was because I did well in testing. National universities care about that the most. That is also a fact of life. The best way to move up in this society is getting good test scores which open the way to attending acclaimed colleges and universities. If the world changes, maybe then we can not worry about preparing our kids for these tests, but until then we should applaud schools that get their students ready to excel at these real world markers. I was able to get my degrees and a good job because of my teachers who instilled this importance in me.

If Success can educate kids in the neighborhood -- anyone who applies to the lottery has the same chance to get in -- and teaches them the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic to excel at standardized tests (and kids that do well in tests usually do so because they like school and learning), that is more than what is being done now at the district schools. So it is worth a shot, don't you think?
Jan. 16, 2012, 11:11 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Thank you for redirecting the conversation back towards inquiry and investigation, and I apologize for my more heated remarks. We all acknowledge that parents got to get what they think is best for their students, and undue personal attacks on people like K. Yourke are counterproductive. I've lived here all my life, and I also don't want you to leave if you want to stay. I wish you and your family well and good long lives in this community.
Jan. 16, 2012, 11:19 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
This was in the NY Times, today. Just food for thought:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/17/education/studying-steinbeck-new-jersey-students-find-common-ground.html?ref=nyregion
Jan. 16, 2012, 11:30 pm
Kate Yourke from Williamsburg says:
Henry, I think your standards of education are reasonable and easily supported. But our school buildings are community resources, and I believe they should not be handed over to dubious institutions with the hope that we are moving forward and offering possible choice. There is a wider agenda here which you seem resistant to acknowledge- the privatization of public education- which I perceive as a threat to a foundation of our democracy- add this to the deliberate neglect of low income people in general in this City, and especially of the public schools given the responsibility of educating them, and then fold in the intense marketing of this "option" to the wealthy residents while locating it in the heart of the Latino community, and you have a whole pack of wolves in one ugly sheep's clothing. This is why the push-back is so severe, not because we are lacking imagination but because (once again) we have not been given the opportunity to participate in the decisions which affect us, and (once again,) the net effect is harmful to our most vulnerable residents.

When diverse representatives come to the table to plan for the future of our District, the options of "drill & kill" charters can be discussed, as can the best opportunities for students for whom that educational model would only bring about disillusionment and alienation. If we allow this type of charter school network to continue its expansion, the public schools will be left to educate those students who have challenges which prevent them from accessing or achieving at the level expected in charters like Success Academy. The impact on our public education system would be terrible. It is already happening, I think PS 19 is an example of the challenges of public education in a low-income immigrant community, and the inability - or unwillingness- of the DOE to rise to the challenge. Rather than using that as an excuse to abandon truly public education, we need to abandon mayoral control for a community-based model where accountability includes managerial relationships and not just test scores. I understand the desire for new schools on line for the Fall, and I feel sorry that I did not work harder on this- sometimes an ugly alternative brings the ideal in focus and I think an amazing array of people are on the same page now. Our first step is to reject this mediocre proposal, outreach to all those who wish to participate, and embark on the process. There are some proposals which might be able to ramp up in time to open with a limited number of students in the Fall, they can be discussed and adapted if that deadline is a priority. But they must be supported by the diverse members of this community to thrive. We don't need Success Charter and their faux achievements, we have this amazing community, bring your commitment and investment to something we can all feel a part of!
Jan. 16, 2012, 11:55 pm
Steve from Williamsburg says:
Test
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:08 am
David from Williamsburg says:
After posting something early in the day, I've just been reading and following these postings, but I can't stand this anymore. Several people here sound like they work for or are agents for Success - "Yay, 'Change' is good! Yay, 'choice' is good!" I know that Success has people monitor and participate in these forums - "know" in the sense that would be smart, and whatever people say about Eva Moskowitz, nobody says she isn't smart.(Go to New York Magazine Web site and read the article on her - tried to provide link but it caused the posting to be blocked.) If people here are agents for Success, I would not expect them to admit it - in what I have seen so far, transparency is not a Success practice.

Let's observe some documented facts, OK?

- Finland has shown that the most successful approach to improving school performance does not involve charter schools and testing, it involves supporting and respecting and training teachers as professionals and giving them what they need to do the job while insuring the parents and communities around the schools are engaged and doing their part. I raised that earlier and gave sources, nobody has tried to refute it. Success Academy goes in the opposite direction - they pay low wages and just replace staff as they burn out, the opposite of Finland - standard corporate model (see above article as one reference - read the past on p. 3 about burning through principals at Harlem Success Academy 1. Lots of others, just search in NY Times and NY Daily News Web sites for Success Academy and you'll find articles on high teacher turnover yet high spend on marketing, Eva's salary, etc. Sorry but the links again caused the post to be blocked, copyright issues I guess)

- The data is coming in on charter performance and they don't outperform - see p.1 of the Stanford study - in that broad study, 17% of charters outperform, 46% do the same as standard public schools, and 37% underperform (and a link was provided earlier that showed NYC's attempts to claim its charters still did better were based on bad statistics). Do the math, a kid has better odds in a public school. People are being fooled by slick marketing, and need to wake up and smell the coffee.

- If "choice" is a solution to the problem of delivering a high quality public good like education, then why don't we have a "choice" for our fire dept? Why isn't there a "Success Fire Dept", and when you have a fire, you get to choose either Success or the FDNY? Why isn't there a "choice" for the army, the navy the air force? Two reasons. First, if one just gives it careful thought, one can see that a private sector competitive model is not the best way to deliver a complex public good like fire protection, or national defense, or education. Two, there's no money in it - nobody has figured out a way to profit from public money from the fire dept budget, but a group has figured out a way to profit from our education tax dollars. It doesn't matter if a charter might be non-profit, they're still paying bills to others, but they don't have to make their finances public, and just because the charter isn't making a profit does not mean the people that finance them and support them are not. Ever hear of the New Markets Tax Credit? Look it up, then check out things like http://www.occ.gov/static/community-affairs/community-developments-investments/spring11/articles/financing/cde11spring06.htm , and use your head - it's possible for someone to make 39% over 7 years on the tax savings alone by financing a charter school using that tax credit, and that's before other potential kinds of financial engineering to structure it to take advantage of other aspects of the tax code. Like they said in Watergate, "Follow the money," only here we can't because Success Academy does not have to publish their finances, even though they are spending taxpayer money, which by itself sounds illegal and is an insult to all citizens, but of course M.B and and Eva don't care about that. But maybe now might one think there might be a reason why all these hedge fund managers are on the boards of Success and other charter schools?

There is another very dark aspect to all the political support of charter schools like Success - while there is a great deal of evidence out there that indicates a child's socioeconomic environment is the single biggest determinant in their academic performance (go Web search for yourself - and note how many affluent school districts outperform, even though they have teachers unions), lots of politicians and their 1% backers use charter schools to avoid questions about the impact of economic inequality: "People are only poor because of lack of education, and that's due to those awful selfish teachers unions, so we're fixing it by giving our poor kids charter schools (and therefore we don't have to talk about growing income inequality and all the negative repercussions of that…)" That is one of the biggest, most horrible, selfish lies being perpetrated in this whole big charade.

Good education is hard - it takes committed parents and teachers, communities working together, thoughtful local government, etc. Too many people are avoiding that reality and their own duties as citizens while getting fooled by other people with non-public, financial and ideological agendas. And it really makes me mad, maybe it should make you mad too. Someone asked one poster earlier why they hated charters so much. I'll answer that question for myself - because if you'll just take the time to research and discover all the facts and give it some careful thought, you may conclude that charter schools like Success Academy appear to be a big myth engineered for others' personal gain, that are being pushed on NYC through a non-democratic process, and are not improving education and democracy but are instead undermining it - and then you'll hate them, too. I was totally neutral on the question of charters as of a few months ago, and then I did my homework. Everyone going, "Oh, choice is so wonderful!" should do theirs (assuming you are not a Success agent).

Apologies to all for the length of this posting...
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:40 am
Christy from Williamsburg says:
I find it odd that Cynthia is incredibly vocal on every matter--except what she does for a living. (And no, there's no law that says you have to reveal your occupation on a listserv or public website, but she has no problem Googling people and outing their occupations without their consent...) She says she is not a teacher, but I find it extremely hard to believe that she does not have professional ties to the teachers union or to public schools in some ways. She is just a little TOO into this--especially for someone without kids. She is curiously vocal--and vitriolic--in her comments, posts a comeback (complete with the perfect article citation to bolster her case) minutes after seeing anything vaguely pro-charter, appeared out of nowhere on BBH and yet now posts a zillion times a day, and even though she is fervently anti-charter, she HAS NO KIDS. Am I the only one who finds this a little weird?
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:48 am
David from Williamsburg says:
Christy,

How is any of that relevant to the substance of her comments? Nothing you say challenges the veracity of anything she has said. It seems to me you are engaging in ad hominem attacks in classic "Shoot the messenger" style to try to shift attention from what Cynthia is saying, because you can't refute it. If you can, then do so, but don't talk about her. You make yourself seem petty (or maybe you work for Success?)
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:06 am
Christy from Williamsburg says:
Hi David. I'm actually mostly referring to her comments on Hui, which are way more hostile and out there than they are here. She definitely has a right to say what she thinks--anyone does. I would just appreciate a little more transparency about her background and biases. Many others on both sides of the issue have done this and it really helps put everyone's comments in perspective. I am actually not sure of what side of this debate I ultimately fall on. I don't think charters are perfect but I also think the public school system is frighteningly bad. I also think it's not helpful enough to just say "the community and parents have to be involved!" I went to public school my entire life. I had parents who were extremely active in the PTA. I had an supportive community. My high school still sucked. (And it was still WAY better than what kids today have.) Again, I'm not sure charters are the answer, but I appreciate anyone willing to bring new ideas to the table, because something has to be done. I also really appreciate reading all of the comments and perspectives, but some really do jump out as being biased (on both sides--Cynthia just seems to be the most vocal and glaring), and as someone who is still deciding about this issue, it helps when those biases are disclosed. Thank you!
Jan. 17, 2012, 6:50 am
Kate Yourke from williamsburg says:
Christy,

Bringing new ideas to the table is exactly what I am hoping for. Unfortunately in this situation the "table" was practically empty, and those sitting at it reflected only a tiny fraction of the community. Even they were there just to fill out the space not occupied by the Mayor, and therefore little true discussion was had. This Success Academy proposal is not a beginning point for a discussion, it is an aggressive bid for space in a precious community resource and we must stop it so that a table can form that serves to bring together ideas and perspectives for discussion and investment by all sectors of our diverse neighborhood.

sorry to stretch that metaphor to the breaking point!
Jan. 17, 2012, 7:07 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
David,

Did you mean this article about Eva Moskowitz?

http://nymag.com/news/features/65614/
Jan. 17, 2012, 8:13 am
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Hey "Christy," would you (and a large number of other "people" in this discussion, who are likely one person) mind disclosing your name and letting BP verify the source of your IP address? Because I smell paid online trolls: “there are some campaigns where it would be undesirable or even disastrous to let the audience know that your organization is directly involved … Message boards, chat rooms, and listservs are a great way to anonymously monitor what is being said. Once you are plugged into this world, it is possible to make postings to these outlets that present your position as an uninvolved third party." We already know that a Grannis/Moskowitz professional astroturfer infiltrated a private parents listserv. And that this article reveals what the Moskowitz machine doesn't want publicized: the community board voted against Success. Williamsburg doesn't want it.
Jan. 17, 2012, 8:21 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Cynthia,

Thank you for your service, but the strength of the voices here and the civility and reason of the discussion has made the presence of a shill or paid troll largely moot. I agree with some of the posters here that calling on people's last names, especially when we're all heading into a public meeting tonight, is alienating. The onus here should be on Brooklyn Paper, not the posters--it's true, BP's posting format allows for abuse under pseudonymity, but live with it for the moment and attack the substance of the remarks. As you can see, you have also been repeatedly attacked by numerous pseudonyms and I apologize myself for that, but you have also been defended by pseudonyms. At the end of this particular discussion, all has balanced out and we all can agree that we have all been informed and enriched by this discussion.
Jan. 17, 2012, 8:29 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Personally, I think coalition sentiments have been very well represented here.
Jan. 17, 2012, 8:31 am
John Bredin from Williamsburg says:
I have a masters degree in Education from NYU, and have taught English in NYC--both at the high school and college level; including at Boricua College in Williamsburg. Look at what the brightest people in education, past and present, have to say about the testing-based corporate model of learning Success Academy (with its Orwellian name and slick, soulless posters) is attempting to foist onto the children of Wiliamsburg. Start with John Dewey, then work your way through Paulo Friere and Herb Kohl and Jonathan Kozo and Ira Shor and Maxine Greene...I could go on and on. These folks, who are to education what Einstein was to science, were and are very much against the sterile, undemocratic, and inhumane pedagogy espoused by a school run by a former politician--who apparently knows little about education theory.

To help add clarity to this debate, I suggest looking at the work of Frank Smith; one of today's brightest, and most innovative educational thinkers. Smith contrasts the modern, testing based, cookie cutter approach to learning (which Success Academy represents), to a classic view of learning that's--based on an apprenticeship model, which focuses on the intrinsic desire to learn--that's been around for thousands of years.

Places like Success Academy also make no room for critical thinking; which creates passive, undemocratic citizens less likely to stand up against injustice. Here is, I believe, the real, more nefarious intention of corporate
model drill-and-kill factory schools like SA. It's to give Americans a civic lobotomy. To reduced our population to passive non-thinkers who'll do whatever their corporate masters (and their political puppets) tell them.
Kind of like what's happening in China. Those slick, soulless, creepy, totalitarian-looking posters in the Bedford Ave. L station say it all.

John Bredin
Jan. 17, 2012, 8:40 am
John Bredin from Williamsburg says:
I have a masters degree in Education from NYU, and have taught English in NYC--both at the high school and college level; including at Boricua College in Williamsburg. Look at what the brightest people in education, past and present, have to say about the testing-based corporate model of learning Success Academy (with its Orwellian name and slick, soulless posters) is attempting to foist onto the children of Wiliamsburg. Start with John Dewey, then work your way through Paulo Friere and Herb Kohl and Jonathan Kozo and Ira Shor and Maxine Greene...I could go on and on. These folks, who are to education what Einstein was to science, were and are very much against the sterile, undemocratic, and inhumane pedagogy espoused by a school run by a former politician--who apparently knows little about education theory.

To help add clarity to this debate, I suggest looking at the work of Frank Smith; one of today's brightest, and most innovative educational thinkers. Smith contrasts the modern, testing based, cookie cutter approach to learning (which Success Academy represents), to a classic view of learning that's--based on an apprenticeship model, which focuses on the intrinsic desire to learn--that's been around for thousands of years.

Places like Success Academy also make no room for critical thinking; which creates passive, undemocratic citizens less likely to stand up against injustice. Here is, I believe, the real, more nefarious intention of corporate
model drill-and-kill factory schools like SA. It's to give Americans a civic lobotomy. To reduced our population to passive non-thinkers who'll do whatever their corporate masters (and their political puppets) tell them.
Kind of like what's happening in China. Those slick, soulless, creepy, totalitarian-looking posters in the Bedford Ave. L station say it all.

John Bredin
Jan. 17, 2012, 8:40 am
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Nope, definitely paid troll here posting under multiple pseudonyms, and a known professional astroturfer on the parents listserv. Maybe it's not as obvious to you because you're not a member of that listserv. Minutes after I posted a link to this article on the listserv, the very first comment at BP was a hilarious troll stating the whole article was "untrue," and accusing me of working for the teacher's union and "spreading lies." And the posting of Kate's private message to the listserv was the work of a paid troll. Hi troll!
Jan. 17, 2012, 8:43 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Thank you, John Bredin. I appreciate the many insightful posters here.
Jan. 17, 2012, 8:48 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Cynthia,

Many of us are going into this meeting tonight less informed than you--I'm appreciative of the material you've provided. Is there any more so we can be fully armed?
Jan. 17, 2012, 8:57 am
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Dennis,

One good thing to know--Liza Featherstone's articles for the Brooklyn Rail do a good job of explaining what Kate has referred to--that the Moskowitz-machine/Bloomberg have zero democratic process. This will not be an actual hearing tonight, where the community's mass opposition will make any difference: http://www.brooklynrail.org/2011/12/local/report-card-here-comes-success
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:08 am
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
There's an account here of how the Success Cobble Hill/PEP meeting went down ("a riot in slow motion")--and a great photo of the only empty section in the meeting: the one for Success supporters. (but Success got they wanted from the Puppets for Educational Policy anyway) http://mcbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2011/12/with-charter-school-co-location-vote.html
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:13 am
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
...and that's why there's a lawsuit: the total lack of democracy in decisions regarding Moskowitz's charter expansions into public school buildings, leaves litigation as the only remedy: http://www.nycparentsunion.org/archives/199
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:16 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Thank you, that's fantastic. Always good to have SOURCES. Not enough on that here in BP.
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:31 am
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
But it's still worth going to the fake hearings--the press covers it, and Moskowitz hates that. And they definitely don't want parents/community members getting to know each other better and organizing effective opposition.
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:32 am
parent from Dist. 13 says:
Eva Moskowitz's husband, Eric Grannis, also has some sort of charter school organization, the Tapestry Project, which is targeting Williamsburg. Moskowitz and Grannis, both backed by powerful financial interests, are really gunning for north Brooklyn. Take a look at the board for Grannis's organization:
http://tapestryproject.org/team.html
Jan. 17, 2012, 11:06 am
David from Willilamsburg says:
Dennis,

Yes, that is the NY Mag article. I haven't quite figured out Brooklyn Paper's Web software yet - as I mentioned in earlier post, it blocked me when I tried to include links to sources that included NY Times and NY Post, but it just allowed your NY Mag link and seems to allow .edu and .gov sources. I assume they have legal reasons for blocking links to some sources but not others.

In response to your "Always good to have SOURCES", FWIW in the process of educating myself I collected a large number of links regarding education reform in general and charter schools in particular. At work now but later will try to post some of the more useful ones, and hopefully the Brooklyn Paper screening software will let a few more post.

My links tend to be more from the perspective of data, public policy, and national politics. John Bredin raises an important perspective - education is a discipline and learning is a complex process and very smart people like Dewey, Whitehead, etc. have developed that discipline; maybe he can suggest some specific links/sources that are useful from that direction. I'm still learning about the local political history and current politics around charters here in NYC, but it sounds like of the participants here, Kate Yourke and Cynthia Walker are most knowledgable about that.
Jan. 17, 2012, 11:25 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
If you post that list of sources some of us will certainly appreciate and make good use of it. This issue is huge and there's so much to learn in so short a time, but that's Life, right?--can't just forfeit It.
Jan. 17, 2012, 11:59 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Your insight is also very much appreciated.
Jan. 17, 2012, Noon
Hipster Mom from 11211 says:
Here is Alfie Kohn's perspective on "drill and kill" schools like Success Academy:
http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/edweek/poor.htm
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:10 pm
Franny from Greenpoint says:
Cynthia - I'm not a paid troll; I'm a parent of 2 in Greenpoint. You sound like a paid troll yourself and the fact that you keep skirting the issue just proves our point.
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:16 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Ah, poor "Franny"--I guess that would make you an unpaid troll? :-) If you exist, you can prove it my coming up to me tonight and saying douchey things to my face to see how that works out for you. Best of luck!
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:34 pm
Cynical mom from williamsburg says:
Perhaps, Cynthia is a paid troll for Success. She certainly has drummed up a lot of publicity for the charter chain. She seems to live on the baby board and always has the perfect article at the ready. She's managed to unnerve quite a few people. I hope somebody meets her at the meeting tonight. Perhaps we've all been dupped!
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:41 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
I've certainly managed to unnerve the sleazy AstroTurf trolls of the moskowitz/grannis machine, and will continue to do so!
Jan. 17, 2012, 12:52 pm
Marcia from Greenpoint says:
Franny, B, Jenny, Ingrid, Christy, and Cynical Mom - you may very well all be the same person given your single minded focus on Cynthia's credentials and anger at her posts. I don't know Cynthia or any one else on this board. It seems pretty obvious that people have an axe to grind with the way Cynthia digital voice. That's fine. You can not like Cynthia.

Who Cynthia is is irrelevant when the points she makes are backed by other people who say the same thing less abrasively. Her statements are backed by real evidence and, like others have said, not pitches designed to appeal to your emotions.
Jan. 17, 2012, 1 pm
Marcia from Greenpoint says:
Sorry. I meant "people have an axe to grind with Cynthia's digital voice"
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:01 pm
David from Williamsburg says:
I have attended two charter school info sessions in Williamsburg. (Success Academy and Citizens of the World Charter School). Both meetings had standing room only. In the audience were parents and public school teachers. There is definitely an interest in Charter schools in Williamsburg. Petitions are being signed to allow Charter schools into our area. For those that work for a living and are not able to attend the press conference today at MS 50 you can contact the schools directly to sign a petition electronically.

http://williamsburg.successacademies.org/sign-a-petition

http://www.cwcschools.org/newyork.html
info@cwcschools.org

No Cynthia Walker, I am not a troll. Trolls are for Charlie Sheen. I am a father of two looking for the best affordable option for my children. After you give birth to your own child, have sleep deprivation for 1 year or more, go through teething, sickness and potty training you may have a different perspective. When you do finally have a kid where do you plan to send your him/her? I want to make sure that my children do not go there. I can't imagine you as a member of the PTA in any school.
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:06 pm
Marcia from Greenpoint says:
David, Standing room only doesn't mean much. You have to factor in that members of the audience were there to get information about the school to stop them, not because they believe in them. I would be wary of overestimating the interest in charter schools in W/G. When people scratch the surface of Success Academy they get pretty horrified at their practices. Granted, I'm an optimist

I'm curious, David and Henry, I have to believe that you are the kinds of people who make weighted decisions. So what do you think when you do due diligence on these charter schools? What do you think when you read posts like John Bredin's that talk about how these schools don't work? Why do you believe that Eve Moskowitz would know more about learning than people who have made this their life's work?
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:18 pm
David on N. 3rd from Williamsburg says:
Too many Davids. For reference, the above "David" is new, I am the original "David from Williamsburg", will here after post as "David on N. 3rd"

And Marcia, thank you for your point
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:21 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Is this the same "David from Williamsburg" as the one we were reading above? Because I find it odd that the "David from Williamsburg" above would make a subtle passive-aggressive snark like "for those who work for a living". What exactly is that supposed to mean?

And the "David from Williamsburg" above, if I read him correctly, would have his own links to supply corroborating his argument about education overseas--he wouldn't have suddenly about-faced and furthered Success Academy's agenda and supplied links on their behalf.

In fact, that would qualify the previous post as "by a troll." Because we all already got pseudonyms here--now you're just forging pseudonyms. Isn't that what a troll does?

Cynthia Walker has a legitimate right to worry about identities here even if this wasn't a Success Academy issue because Brooklyn Paper already has a nest. So please--stop with the faux outrage and seeming offense. It's hogwash.
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:22 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Oh, see, the "Dave" issue has been cleared up in the seconds it took for me to write my post. Nevertheless, the point about Cynthia Walker's concern for trolls and shills is entirely legitimate. This place is a well known haven for trolling by agents and interests aligned to people like Moskowitz.
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:23 pm
David on N. 3rd from Williamsburg says:
Marcia,

i.e. your point that people should not be allowed to use ad hominem attacks to distract attention from substance. The question you pose for David and Henry feels like it's directed to this most recent David, not me.

Gee, i hate having such a common name, it's so confusing !! :-)
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:24 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Some people do sign those petitions--and then Success uses them in deceptive marketing. For example, 1500 people signed a petition supporting Success Cobble Hill. Success also polled the neighborhood, and--in their own poll!--found that %95 of the community were opposed to them. What did they advertise on their website?--that 1500 people signed the petition, not that %95 were against them. If you want Success here, you're in a tiny minority. (But Success of course wants to conceal that as much as possible--hence the damage control when an article comes out stating that the community board voted against them. They pay trolls to create the illusion that there is some controversy involving an equal split in a community, when they know it to be false. And they certainly didn't have any luck getting any cobble hill petition signers to attend the PEP meeting-- as the article I posted showed, the success supporter side of the room was stone cold empty.)

And please do sign your full, real name as I have done--so I can be sure not to accidentally piss on you if you are on fire.
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:30 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Response to David 2 (not David 1 of n3rd), obviously.
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:33 pm
Dee from Williamsburg says:
Henry,

I'm not sure if you knew your post yesterday at 5:45 was factually incorrect. You wrote, "The kids do well and move on to some of the top public high schools in the city -- like Stuyvesant and Hunter."

Success Academies do not have any students who have graduated from Middle School.

This factual error makes it very easy for me to believe that your intentions are less than noble.
Jan. 17, 2012, 1:49 pm
David on Kent from Williamsburg says:
My apologies for the confusion. Yes, David, a very common name.

Excuse me for not using my last name but Cynthia has a history of stalking people who she disagrees with and posting their photo and personal information online without permission. (i.e. BrooklynBabyHui listserv) She uses this technique to cyberbully those into silence. I have two young children who live in this neighborhood and do not want their identities compromised.

1500 signatures from parents sounds like enough interest in a school to me. Were the "95% of the community" opposed to the school parents of elementary school-aged children in Cobble Hill? If there is such little interest here in Williamsburg then you have nothing to worry about.

What is wrong with having a choice? Why should I be forced to take my kids to a failing public school? Small class size and an emphasis on the basics such as Math and Reading sound like a good place to start. I understand that I have a social responsibility to my diverse community but I think by providing opportunities for choice I am being responsible.
Jan. 17, 2012, 2:14 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Dee from Williamsburg, you're touching on something there. It's fascinating that the same people who are commending Henry for his eloquence are also attacking Cynthia West for being substantive. "Why is it you have an article ready whenever there is an argument?" Egads! Sources! Heavens to betsy! Don't corroborate your arguments with facts, just wow us with poetry!

Those of you criticizing her as such--don't. Someone who applauds education doesn't attack someone for having readily available and identifiable sources for their arguments. You're setting a terrible example for education and for children who may read this.
Jan. 17, 2012, 2:16 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
And David on Kent from Williamsburg--on those grounds I hope that you're as outraged as we are that someone would take discrete communications on that private listserv you are so describing and post it right here on this board, as well as the names and ages of their children. I hope you get back on that listserv and root out that stalker who committed this violation just as you described and out them.

There's lots of talk here about ideals and wishes and values but the inconsistency in their application has to give pause as to their authenticity.
Jan. 17, 2012, 2:19 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Now, "David on Kent" you have falsely accused me of committing crimes, and I will be making a police report for aggravated harassment--check the NY Penal Code.

See ya in court!
Jan. 17, 2012, 2:21 pm
Marcia from Greenpoint says:
David on Kent, Cynthia never posted photos or personal information on brooklynbabyhui. She googled somebody and put the results in her post. It was google not a private investigator. Jeez. On the other hand, someone anonymously posted Kate Yourke's personal information on a public website.

And you didn't respond to my question. Don't you do your due diligence? How do you respond to the genuine criticisms of Success Academy?
Jan. 17, 2012, 2:32 pm
MarathonMama from Williamsburg says:
Are you a cyberbully or mother Cynthia Walker? Sounds like you are ready for a fist-fight at the public hearing today. It is hard for us to take you seriously when you speak like this. Do you mind toning it down and speaking like a grown-up rather than a thug? A little respect please.

"And where has that hilarious troll "Fred" gone? Is that all ya got, "Fred"? I really expect more tenacious harassment from Moskowitz's stooges. Please do entertain us."

"Hello, umpteenth moronic troll pseudonym! If "Henry" is a local parent and not a Success flack, he should proudly sign his name, and speak under it at tomorrow night's hearing."

"Ah, poor "Franny"--I guess that would make you an unpaid troll? :-) If you exist, you can prove it my coming up to me tonight and saying douchey things to my face to see how that works out for you. Best of luck!"

"And please do sign your full, real name as I have done--so I can be sure not to accidentally piss on you if you are on fire."
Jan. 17, 2012, 2:33 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Yea, that language is tough, but this issue isn't about Cynthia Williams. It so happens that she is the knowledgeable person on this board and so we have to pay attention to her even with all that regrettable language. Much more regrettable is Success Academy, so let's focus on that.

I also ask that we all tone down our language because then the issue is going to get lost in the muck. So MarathonMama, this is your first time on the board--I presume. It's at least the first post from the pseudonym "MarathonMama"--is Cynthia Williams all you're going to care about herein? Give us your position on the issue--that's more valuable.
Jan. 17, 2012, 2:38 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
...and "David on Kent," not only is it a criminal violation of 240 in the NY Penal Code to falsely accuse someone of a crime-- stalking-- but falsely accusing someone of a crime is also "per se libel" under civil law.
Jan. 17, 2012, 2:41 pm
Sarah from Greenpoint says:
Cynthia,

I have found your comments and the information you have relayed on the BBH and in this forum very helpful and informative. I have generally finding myself agreeing with your viewpoint except when it veers into nasty name calling.

However, like Christy (who doesn't need quotes around her name, as she is an actual person and the mother of 2 in the neighborhood) I am curious to know what your background is. You have questioned nearly everyone else about their biases and flat out accused some posters of nefarious based on nothing factual. If you have nothing to hide, you should provide the same information about yourself in the interest of community building.
Jan. 17, 2012, 2:57 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Getting ready for the meeting, dealing with the police, and preparing subpoena for civil suit re "David on Kent." Nice work, "David on Kent"--you're obviously not a lawyer. I don't have to prove damages for per se libel. Be a nice little piece of change to donate to El Puente and PS 84--successful fundraising day!
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:04 pm
Marcia from Greenpoint says:
Sarah, it's these kinds of defective tactics that make conversation go nowhere. Who cares, really, what Cynthia's credentials are? Her points are backed by REAL research and REAL data.
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:07 pm
Michael from Williamsburg says:
"tough".... LOL. Talk about trolling... But I have to be careful, otherwise Ms. Williams will sue me...
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:11 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Sure, Michael, you really contributed to the discussion there. You know what I think we're going to do--taking all the links mentioned on this thread in one nice little post to help anyone who is interested in legitimate discussion on facts.
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:15 pm
Marcia from Greenpoint says:
Deflective tactics. Oooops.
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:16 pm
Michael from Williamsburg says:
No problem Dennis. Here are some more links for your collection:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/schizophrenia-helping-someone-who-is-paranoid-topic-overview

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/tourettes-disorder-symptoms
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:21 pm
Sarah from Greenpoint says:
Marcia,

It discredits her information when she refuses to reveal her own biases. As I stated, I agree with Cynthia and have found her information to be illuminating, to say the least. However, if she is going to call everyone else out, it certainly would only give further support to her arguments if she was as transparent as she wants everyone else to be.
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:21 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
BP's threading blocks multiple links and certain sites. Needless to say, Cynthia Walker, David from N. 3rd St, and Hipster Mom provided 18 links and references to support their argument.

Everyone here supporting Success Academy has provided a big fat ONE link to support all their passionate claims..

Henry, David from Kent and other herein supporting Success Academy get an 'A' for English literature only.

Cynthia Walker, David from N. 3rd and Hipster Mom get an 'A' for Sociology, Anthropology, History, Epistemology and Pedagogy.

Michael gets an 'F' for multiple reasons.
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:28 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Well, he gets an 'A' in "Projection." Not sure how that translates into a career, though.
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:31 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Disclosure: I omitted Success Academy's own link as a legitimate source. Advertisement is not a legitimate education reference.
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:32 pm
Michael from Williamsburg says:
OK, Dennis, I will be a good student now. No laughing in the class room, alright.

But seriously, I am as concerned as anybody else about the new school. Why wouldn't we just support public education?
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:33 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Here's another link, Michael. It is most instructive on your use of the word "public":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Orwell
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:37 pm
Michael from Williamsburg says:
Interesting read Dennis but I'm a little confused.

Anyway, back to the topic: I think we all agree that our schools need all the help they can get. So, why would we spend resources (money) not on public education? For example advertising, that seems like a waste.
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:48 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Well, if you feel that way, how do you feel about the method and location of the Success Academy's advertising?
Jan. 17, 2012, 3:49 pm
Dennis from Williamsburg says:
That's what I'm refering to Dennis. I think this money should have gone to our public schools.
Jan. 17, 2012, 4 pm
cynical mom from williamsburg says:
So Cynthia is gone and Michael and Dennis Sinned seem to be the same person. Hmmm.
Jan. 17, 2012, 5 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Your grade has been changed to an 'A.' See you at the meeting now.
Jan. 17, 2012, 5 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Ha! That's funny--given typical animal farm here on BP. But no, ehyeh asher ehyeh--haha.
Jan. 17, 2012, 5:01 pm
Michael from Williamsburg says:
Sorry about the typo. I meant to address it to Dennis. But OK, we can agree on some things, then.
Jan. 17, 2012, 5:20 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Not a SINGLE person spoke in favor of Success at the meeting tonight--the community opposition was %100 unanimous. The whole room roared as speaker after speaker denounced Success.
Jan. 17, 2012, 8:40 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
That was so fantastic and encouraging. And to see an already electric crowd climax with Frances Lucerna's testifying/testimony. Ah, Life, you remain good.
Jan. 17, 2012, 8:44 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
So many different faces, all over Williamsburg--united.

SIGH.
Jan. 17, 2012, 8:45 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Excuse me, from all over Williamsburg. But if it was all over Williamsburg that would have been nice, too.
Jan. 17, 2012, 8:46 pm
BurgMama from Williamsburg says:
Cynthia, I have learnt a lot from
the information you have provided. My husband and I attended a Tapestry meeting, and we drank the coolaide as such. I am foreign and know more about the private system here than the public. You have been a service to the uninformed but please, please!!! Tone it down! I really find your aggression, name calling, pissing on people, because they don't hold your opinion, crazy!! Are you seriously pregnant? These are meant to be your happy peaceful days, before the onslaught of sleepless, teething, sick nights and days quite disturbing? I can only imagine you are in a fisty-cuff situation at the meeting as I type this. You obviously LOVE controversy. Notoriety. Anger. Hate! You could have just put your argument across peacefully and held the attention of and swayed more local parents into your court, with less agression. I really hope that my son never attends the same school as your future child, you would be the "crazy psychopath parent, I would hate to associate with." regardless of whether the charters enter "our" neighbourhood or not!
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:07 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Let's revel in it some more, just for pleasure-- not a SINGLE person spoke in favor of Moskowitz, charters, or Success! We rule; trolls drool.
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:17 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Thank you, Cynthia--let's indeed revel. These other comments are meant to be a distraction from this celebration--we won't let them.
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:22 pm
B from W'Burg says:
ok, cynthia. i have to stick up for "david on kent." you DID post personal information about members of BBH who disagreed with you on that listserv for all to see--information that you obtained via the internet and information that was definitely not yours to share. I saw multiple examples of you doing this but one that sticks out is when you repeatedly called out one father for working for a hedge fund. (and wouldn't let it go for an uncomfortable amount of time.)
just wanted to set the record straight for people here who are not members of BBH. As a member of the group for nearly two years, I found it extremely disturbing and honestly, it's made me nervous to post about ANYTHING. I hate the idea of someone in our group who is willing to go to those extremes. It's supposed to be a supportive group and you've made it feel like there's a stalker watching our every move.
and, no, i'm not a troll. but, no, i'm not using my real name. the thought of you googling me and my family and then posting the info god knows where, quite frankly, gives me the creeps.
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:23 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
B from W'Burg, I'm in the middle of celebrating the community's harmony and unity tonight, but I will indulge your digression--why is it you're the second or third person here condemning Cynthia for doing a public google search on a private listserv? It's not discrete information she has posted to your listserv.

I take it that you are also on that listserv right now as we speak condemning the individual who did what you and others here are continuously accusing Cynthia of [only to further galvanize people to her side]--that is, take an ACTUAL discrete communication on a private listserv and display it on a public venue, along with the names of the children of that person and their ages--you don't think that was sinister?

Attacking Cynthia while omitting an acknowledgement to this violation of your own listserv's terms of service speaks to your credibility.

Now--back to celebrating.
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:28 pm
BurgMama from Williamsburg says:
Here, here, B from WBurg. I would like Cynthia off of BBH as much as she wants Charter Schools out of Williamsburg. I feel she has compromised the security and safety of our group, as she has accused other "Trolls," of doing so! Just for the record, I am on the fence so far about Charters, I still have a lot to learn about them. But do not need some crazy cyberbully compromising a Local Listserve that I have been a part of for a few years now. But clearly she loves this chat around her! I prefer the other members who are anti charters, who put their arguments out in a much more professional manner, to speak on this matter! Dennis, are you Cynthia's Husband? Sounds like it!
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:40 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Dennis: Reveling, reveling, reveling!
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:40 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
And more reveling to come!: the press reports on the hearing and how NO ONE in Williamsburg wants moskowitz's crap school here, ha ha ha.
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:44 pm
Reality from Williamsburg says:
Success Academy is going to happen unless a judge stops it. Bloomberg wants the school and he controls the DOE.

Forget right or wrong, does anyone really believe that the DOE won't approve the co-location and thus far has any appellate court said co-location is illegal? The answer is no.

So, as long as Bloomberg is mayor which is for two more years all the charter schools are going get approved and get the space they need.
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:54 pm
Jew from Berlin says:
The meeting was like a Hitler rally circa 1933. No one dared speak up in opposition because if they did they would be put in a KZ
Jan. 17, 2012, 9:59 pm
Susan from Brooklyn says:
Where can I vote to have Cynthia banned from commenting here and on groups?
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:04 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
All of these other opinions are one thing, but you "Jew from Berlin" as being the most likely candidate for "troll."

"Hitler Rally circa 1933"? What universe are you coming from? That is offensive not just to the community that was there, but repugnant to any Jew who suffered under the Nazi regime.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

No one there was treated in a hostile fashion. You're such a bigot that you are threatened by the jubilation and passion of a people. Don't twist it into something else entirely.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:05 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
And to you, BurgMama, your claims of being "on the fence" sound unbelievable. Why exactly do I sound like I am Cynthia's husband? Because we believe in the same things? I'm guessing that you would be one of those shouting about the injustice and outrage of it all if someone said, "BurgMama, are you married to Henry? Or are you concubine to David from Kent?" Please, before you project, look to the mirror.

I'm sorry, but my real wife would object to that nonsense.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:07 pm
Susan from Brooklyn says:
Cynthia is a disgrace, but I admit that "Jew from Berlin" is worse.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:08 pm
Susan from Brooklyn says:
Agreed B from Wburg, I don't even want to post on things like breastfeeding anymore. There is hatred out there...
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:17 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
And are BurgMama and B from Williamsburg the same person? Their writing looks exactly the same--same phrasing, words, punctuation, syntax. If I'm going to be called Cynthia's husband for aligning my thoughts towards a community, then we're entirely within our rights to say the cheerleading section between BurgMama and B from Williamsburg is some more of the same pseudonymous nonsense from earlier today--desperate in the face of complete collapse before the community. Everyone who was there for Success Community were exposed to the articulation and eloquence of a community united and hightailed it out of there--not because they would have been treated roughly. Quite the opposite--this unified community demonstrates their grace by hosting well even those who seek to undermine it.

No, Success Academy's people left because they realized the difference between right and wrong when it comes to establishing an educational institution where we live.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:18 pm
Cynthia Walker from Williamsburg says:
Reveling, reveling, reveling! Success is DOA, like I said. Where were the "hundreds" of people who support success, according the very first incarnation of moskowitz's paid online troll (the one who said I work for the teacher's union) bahahahahahahaha!
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:18 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
I mean, check the poem by that young man on the mic!

Hatred? Hell no. There was love and beauty in the house. All this falseness and mischaracterization is only further uniting people to the truth of things.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:19 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Moskowitz didn't even show up! That speaks volumes right there!
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:20 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Susan from Williamsburg,

Now you're challenging "Jew from Berlin" for his crown of disgrace. What hate? Were you even at the meeting?--whites, African-Americans, Hispanics, young, old, professionals and laypersons were united. What in blazes are you talking about? Breastfeeding? We're supposed to take you seriously about what is the proper recognition and acknowledgement of 'hate'?

Please.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:23 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
There were old-school Germans and Lutherans there, united with us, speaking against Success Academy. Did you see hate in the raucous applause they received from the audience of United Peoples? In the cheers that rained down on them? You have no idea what you're talking about.
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:25 pm
rose from williamsburg says:
From the 1990's no one wanted to come to the community of Williamsburg because of its gang violence and drugs roaming around the streets. Today it has become an area where culture has started to become forgotten. Families leaving because of unfair rent, unsafe environment and lack of government help. We are fighting here for what? "Success Academy" coming into a school where violence is exposed to children. Now I will say this to parents who want this school in JHS 50: "Do you really want to put your child who is 5-6 years old in a school where the majority of our young adults are exposed to disrespecting anybody in their way? I don't think so." I graduated from JHS 50 years ago and it was a great school that taught me to become the person I am today,how? Because parents came together to fix their child's school, and because of that I am in college for journalism and media studies because JHS 50 taught me those skills. JHS 50 and all this school needs is a make over. You see these parents complain and say these schools are failing... Well its because those parents don't make an effort to help the schools that are failing. If you care for what is best for your child, fight for their education not a boot camp facility that will brainwash your child to be a robot more than a kid. Kids are just kids, they are the ones who go to school. Stop arguing and whining that the area schools are failing because if the community school fails, you are more of a failure than the school.
Jan. 18, 2012, 1:54 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Oh look at that--whereas Brooklyn Paper has removed the post from the other thread on the meeting, it has yet to remove the one here involving K. Yourke's discrete and personal information. How interesting.
Jan. 18, 2012, 12:06 pm
SAM from Brooklyn says:
I teach in the DOE and as long as our schools continue you to fail there is always going to be a push for these charter schools as a remedy. Forget charter schools and lets start dumping some money for resources and professional development for weak teachers. By improving our schools we will improve our community. Every child is entitled to a great education. Not all of our students will be successful academically but if we can teach them to be good productive citizens then we've done our job. It's not all about standardized tests.
Jan. 18, 2012, 8:41 pm
Chicken Underwear from Park Slope says:
It is amazing that they have money for bus stop ads and my kid's school begs me for money for paper.

http://whatyourdonotknowbecauseyouarenotme.blogspot.com/2012/01/ironic.html
Jan. 18, 2012, 8:42 pm
Rice & Beans from Northside says:
It is great to hear the meeting brought out the community and let their voices be heard, but I have to say that the earlier post by Reality from Williamsburg may still apply:

- Success Academy is going to happen unless a judge stops it. Bloomberg wants the school and he controls the DOE.

- Forget right or wrong, does anyone really believe that the DOE won't approve the co-location and thus far has any appellate court said co-location is illegal? The answer is no.

- So, as long as Bloomberg is mayor which is for two more years all the charter schools are going get approved and get the space they need.

We all know that Bloomberg gets what Bloomberg wants. Just saying... so additional strategies will be required to fight the battles that lie ahead.
Jan. 19, 2012, 7:47 am
Rice & Beans from Northside says:
Let me just highlight a good quote from yesterday's article on the community meeting, which speaks eloquently to one of the issues here:

“If you spend all your money on ads in the northside and barely put up ads in the southside, what does that say about who you are targeting?” said neighborhood activist Luis Garden Acosta, executive director of El Puente. “They only want the white middle-class members of Williamsburg, while we want to have Latino, black and white children in our schools.”
Jan. 19, 2012, 7:49 am
Rice & Beans from Northside says:
As a longtime fan of Nydia Velazquez, I was also happy to read in Dennis Sinned's comments on yesterday's article the following:

"And, most significantly, you forgot to mention that representatives from Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez's office were also there to pledge support against the corporate business academy. That representative went so far as to say that "Congress" will be involved in this matter.

Couple that with refusals and condemnations from Lincoln Restler and Jason Otaño from the Brooklyn Borough President's Office alongside of Councilwoman Diana Reyna, and I think it is safe to say that the corporate business academy is not alone in having powerful friends."
Jan. 19, 2012, 8 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Thank you, Rice & Beans. Believe me, many appreciate your continued attention, observation and participation. I think we can best support unity and equity by supporting those representatives we just mentioned.

I want to disclose that I am not a paid or otherwise compensated representative or spokesperson for those community leaders. They have not commissioned me or otherwise instructed me to speak on their behalf--I do it entirely of my own judgment. They are fantastic leaders and do best speaking for themselves. Therefore consider donating to
http://elpuente.us
at
https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=3062&uniqueID=634588002278884597

Consider donating, writing a letter of support, or otherwise assisting the following:
Councilwoman Diana Reyna
http://council.nyc.gov/d34/html/members/home.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_Reyna
http://brooklynrail.org/2002/10/local/introducing-councilwoman-diana-reyna

Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez
http://velazquez.house.gov/index.shtml
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nydia_Velázquez

Lincoln Restler, 50th Assembly District, State Committee
http://www.lincolnrestler.org/welcome/l.html
http://www.greenpointnews.com/news/the-reformer-lincoln-restler
Jan. 19, 2012, 10:14 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
And, of course, how could anyone forget Los Sures--Southside United HDFC:
http://www.lossures.org/
Jan. 19, 2012, 10:15 am
JMF from Brooklyn says:
@Dennis - it's actually 30% http://insideschools.org/elementary/browse/school/632
Jan. 19, 2012, 2:37 pm
TEACHER MOTHER from WILLIAMSBURG says:
As a teacher and a mother of Williamsbug children, I can state that Charters schools are not the answer. If you really want to know why schools are failing, its due to the political mumbo jumbo that The Dept. of Education caters to. Children First is a crock. Money First should be posted on the DOE website. Keep feeding our children disgusting unhealthy lunches. Keep taking away physical activity. Keep taking away money and time from the teachers. Keep making certain schools dumping grounds for undiagnosed students with special needs, behavior problems, non english speakers, and emotionally disturbed students, and blame the teachers for all the failures. Continue to make Principals, and Assistant Principals out of people who spent as little as three years in the classroom, and who have no people or financial skills, and blame the teachers for all the failures. Charter schools are the MAYOR'S way of getting rid of union jobs. It is his way of bringing CORPORATE AMERICA into the classroom. POLITICS AS USUAL!!!!!
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