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Eva: I want space for my charters.
Joel: Let me close some district schools.

It’s all in the Joel Klein-Eva Moskowitz emails, courtesy of Juan Gonzalez who tells the story in his Daily News column. On October 3, 2008 [page 50 of the set] Moskowitz tells Klein she wants the P.S. 194 and P.S. 241 buildings. Shortly thereafter, both schools appear on a list of closing schools.

So much for an educational rationale for closing schools.

At a meeting with John White, now acting Deputy Chancellor, which took place shortly after the list was promulgated, I asked him if the DoE was planning to completely replace a closing school with a charter school. He allowed that this was the plan for P.S. 194, P.S. 241 and P.S. 150 in Ocean Hill-Brownsville. Once we knew of these plans, the UFT took action. Together with PTA officers from the three schools and members of impacted Community Education Councils, we filed suit against the replacement of these three schools by charter schools. Recognizing that it would lose the suit, the DoE withdrew its closure plans for those three schools.

This year, all three schools earned ‘A’s on their School Progress reports.

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3 Comments:

  • 1 Phyllis C. Murray
    · Feb 26, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Firing of Central Falls, R.I., Teachers vs Firing NYC Teachers

    The firing of entire staff is nothing new to teachers in the New York City Public School System. It is a part of both Option 1 and Option 2 in the Plan For Restructuring.

    Therefore School Phase-out/Closure or Replacement of School Staff become options. However, there is an Option 3: Major Restructuring. This entails a dramatic change in school structure/organization or suspension of school based decision making authority.

    All of the above are a part of the Region/District needs assessment of each identified school and are in consultation with staff and parents. And lest we forget, the Region/District determination of appropriate options for restructuring identified schools requires consultation with staff and parents. “The replacement of school staff must be consistent with existing contractual provisions.”

    If “Negotiations over ways to improve the school between teachers and the school superintendent broke down when school officials insisted that teachers add new duties, some without any extra pay at all,” in Rhode Island ,this should have been a signal for both parties to continue negotiations. Surely, the wanton firing of Rhode Island professionals in a democratic society is not a picture of democracy in action. Dissent does not mean disloyalty. It is merely a means to become a part of the process of a just government that is of the people, by the people, and for the people. Therefore, it is up to the union to ensure that its members’ voices are heard and justice is served.

    Blaming teachers for failures which occur within a school is unfair. It is time to look at how the schools are pauperized by the continued budget cuts: cuts which strangle education in inner city schools. It is unconscionable to even suggest further cuts to programs, resources and personnel in the already underfunded public schools. The failure of local and state governments to provide funding to economically poor citizens and their schools compromise the teachers’ efforts and the future of this great nation.

    Our quest must be to secure public schools that reflect democracy in action because…the children are waiting. They are waiting for their only chance to get the education they deserve.
    It is a dream that cannot be deferred.

    Phyllis C. Murray
    UFT Chapter Leader
    Visit:
    http://blog.aflcio.org/2010/02/25/firing-of-central-falls-ri-teachers-illegal-unjust-disgraceful/

  • 2 bronxactivist
    · Mar 9, 2010 at 10:24 am

    What a cozy relationship. Its like the cigar rooms where all the real decisions are being made while the public show is going on but the decision was already made behind closed doors. Too bad that this is still going on as if this is the mob and not public funds being discussed.

  • 3 CuriousTeacher
    · Mar 9, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    I teach at a small public school in the South Bronx, so don’t get upset with me, but I’m just wondering–is it impossible that Klein pays so much attention to Moskowitz because the techniques used by Success Charters are actually effective, and he is looking for answers to widespread school reform that will actually work over the long haul?

    From the National Education Association:
    “NEA believes that charter schools and other nontraditional public school options have the potential to facilitate education reforms and develop new and creative teaching methods that can be replicated in traditional public schools for the benefit of all children.”

    What if that’s the case here? And, let’s be honest, does receiving an A on the school report card really mean that your school is a success? Wasn’t it something like 90+ percent of schools did that this year, many of which miraculously moved from Ds or Cs up to As?