Monday, November 28, 2011

Opponents Of 'Cobble Hill Success Academy' Urge Others To Join Fight For Public Education

Emotions are running high in regards to the latest school controversy in the neighborhood.
It all started when it was announced that the Board Of Education was planning on allowing Eva Moskowitz of Success Academy Network to open a charter school in the Cobble Hill/Boerum Hill neighborhood. The new 'Cobble Hill Success Academy' is to occupy space in the School for Global Studies and School for International Studies building at 293 - 284 Baltic Street.
The co-location caused outcry amongst community parents who don't want more charter schools. Instead , they want resources to go to strengthening and improving public schools. On a recently created Facebook page, they write:

Our community resources should go towards the educational needs of children in our community. Cobble Hill Success Academy, a charter school, will accept students from across the city, not just our district which will add to the issue of overcrowding in our schools rather than addressing it. Cobble Hill Success Academy also will not include Pre-K programs that our community needs.
In addition to bringing in kids from outside of the district/neighborhood, the Success Academy would only contribute $1/ year to the upkeep of our school building leaving an unfair burden on our neighborhood schools. That's not right."
Assemblywoman Joan Millman and Former Deputy Schools Chancellor (and former PS 29 teacher) Carmen Farina have gotten involved by putting together a proposal for a public early childhood center in the Global Studies building. The center would provide pre-kindergarten and kindergarten slots for children in the local school zone. The alternative plan is gaining support amongst parents.There is a public hearing on the matter on:
Tuesday November 29th at 5:30 PM 284 Baltic Street (between Court and Smith Street)

And below is a press release from Assemblywoman Joan Millman:

Millman Rallies Against Charter School
Community Demands Early Childhood in Cobble Hill
Brooklyn - Today, Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman joined parents, education leaders & elected officials to speak out against the Department of Education proposal to create a Charter school within P.S. 293, in Cobble Hill. Parents, community leaders and educators have stated that they need a public Early Childhood Center for the growing number of young families in the district.
 Eva Moskowitz, CEO of Charter Success Network, after making proposals for Districts 13 and 14 announced that her organization wanted to expand within the school building in District 15 to open a Charter school for elementary children. Under her plan, the Cobble Hill School— which is home to Brooklyn School for Global Studies, and the School for International Studies and a District 75 program — would house a new elementary school. 
 Ms. Millman said she objected to the charter school proposal because it could impede the growth of the existing schools in the building. For example; The Brooklyn School for Global Studies is undergoing a federal school improvement plan that, Ms. Millman and other hope, it will increase student achievement and thus increase enrollment.
“The neighborhood elementary schools are high achieving and their prekindergarten and kindergarten classes are overcrowded with too many youngsters denied an opportunity for a quality prekindergarten and kindergarten experience. And because the Center would only serve children in two grades and would not expand, it would not threaten the growth of the existing schools.” 


Anonymous said...

Playing Wack-A-Mole with the Stepford parents and teachers on the Gotham Schools message board is exasperating.

If Eva Moskowitz wants to open a charter in D15 she should make the proposal to the CEC and not do this end run around the D15 CEC. Better yet, she should find her own space and pay for it like Prospect Charter did. She should also spend some of her near two million dollar advertising budget on the ENTIRE district and not just focus on a specific demographic.

I aslo don't think relieving over crowding in high performing schools is a legitimate reason to open a charter school.

But what I really want to know is will the Cobble Hill parents have to attend Saturday detention if their children are late or will there be different rules than at the first Success Charters? What happens if the hedge fund well dries up? And most importantly, what is the plan after the charter reaches full capacity at the fourth grade?

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Millman et al start to act concerned about schools and education once a charter is proposed. Perhaps this is because they just dislike Moskowitz and can't get past the fact that this is an option for students.

The reality is that the charter opponents have taken a play out of the Karl Rove/GOP playbook and are just saying "no" to anything proposed -- even though children, particularly those in the Gowanus and Wyckoff Houses will be beneficiaries of these schools.

Where were all of these folks when all of the condos were being built and the schools were becoming seriously overcrowded?

And let's get real: Opening a Pre-K option is not really going to help address the real issue with failing and overcrowded schools.

I'm disappointed that Millman, my rep, is a shill for the teachers union.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:45,

Did you read Eva's op-Ed in the NY Post. She made it quite clear that the children who live in Wycoff Gardens and Gowanus Houses are not her target audience. Her focus is on the affluent families who have the means to relocate or send their children to private school. Maybe you mean that the charter would free up space in the public schools for our district's economically disadvantaged children.

This is not a UFT proposal but a COMMUNITY one so quash that red herring.

Anonymous said...

Red Herring? Really?

I read Ms Moskowitz's op/Ed in the Post. I understood it to read that charters should offer an alternative to all kids, including middle class kids, who's parents should not have to pay $30k annually to educate primary school children.

District 15 has some great public schools, ps 29 and ps 58 among them. But it also has some real losers too, like ps 38, which has been a work in progress for more than 15 years.

Why not try something new? What are you really afraid of?

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:37

Well, since my kids are in high school I don't have anything to be afraid of. BUT my kids have friends who atted two of the schools that will be negatively impacted. Honestly, if you have 30, 000 to spend you should if you don't want a data driven education for your child. Even Eva is held accountable.