It is no secret that the Community Education District 21, of which I am a former member and maintain close ties with, is fighting a losing battle against the Department of Education and the Bloomberg Administration over charter schools. The city is determined to shoehorn the Coney Island Prep charter school into a Department of Education building, sharing precious space and resources with one of our public schools, and it’s not going to stop until it gets that job done. Its latest target is IS 303.
This is a copy of the press advisory that was sent out regarding this issue on Monday April 4, 2011:
“Expecting a huge turnout of disgruntled parents to protest democracy not in action. The Community Education Council (CEC) District 21 met with Tweed officials and tried to explain its position why Coney Island Prep should not be placed in IS 303 building. A dangerous learning environment will result due to extreme overcrowding of the shared facilities which is currently housing three schools: IS 303, Rachel Carson High School, and District 75 P771K. This disregards the children’s safety and is something the CEC cannot ignore or tolerate.
“As per CEC21’s resolution, which was sent and ignored, the current construction of the IS 303 facility is not designed to safely support the existence of four separate school populations. IS 303 implements a unique instructional model that includes self–contained classes on the sixth and seventh grades to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of its students. Co-location would force the removal of this model.
“The current fifth grade parents of the incoming students are victims of fraud perpetrated by the Department of Education. The school that these parents visited and approved is far different from the school their children will be attending. This contradicts the mayor’s and chancellor’s vision of empowerment for school principals.”
Whether you are a proponent of charter schools or not, the true issue is that charter schools, with much smaller classes, and the fact that they are not totally under the direction of the Department of Education, have much more leeway in educating.
The Bloomberg Administration has changed the education system twice; re-naming it the Department of Education and dividing it into regions, and now taking power away from principals when it claims to be empowering them.
Everything stems from Tweed — a stone’s throw from the mayor’s clutches. If every school were to be a charter school, where every child was to be educated equally, we would have no problems with charter schools.
But by the nature of the beast, charter schools only serve the elite.
As of this writing, I do not know what occurred at Lincoln High School, but based on previous encounters, parents that support the district schools versus the parents that support charter schools have proven to be a never ending battle.
Will the mayor win?
Screech at you next week!