Eva Moskowitz is deeply concerned about the education of English Language Learners, at least according to a favorable report in today’s Wall Street Journal. In a swipe at the New York City Department of Education, Moskowitz declares that “(i)t shouldn’t take six years” for students to achieve English proficiency on the state language test. English Language Learners are being left behind.
Eva talks the talk, but falls down when it is time to walk the walk. Her charter schools have enrolled very few ELLs, despite the fact that they are located in communities such as East Harlem which have large numbers of such students. She runs five Harlem Success Academy charter schools in Manhattan Districts 3, 4, and 5. In Districts 3 and 5 English Language Learners comprise 10% of student enrollment while Eva’s schools no more than 4% of her students are English Language Learners. In District 4 English Language Learner students are 12% of the student population, yet at the two charter schools that Eva operates in the area no more than 3% of the students are English Language Learners. At Harlem Success Academy I, Eva’s longest running charter, there has been no change in the proportion of English Language learners attending her school since the 2008-09 school year — which begs the question how would she know how long it should take for children with limited English proficiency to become proficient, since she doesn’t attempt to educate them!
Perhaps if Eva would stop using the NYC public school system and its school buildings as the location to run her business, the neighborhood schools in Harlem that are really educating these students would have the space to open and operate language labs.