Friday, February 28, 2014

To NBC4 News

To Whom It May Concern:

I just watched what appeared to be a commercial for Eva Moskowitz charter schools, introduced by your anchor as a "war on charters." I saw no mention that de Blasio had closed fewer than one quarter of the colocations Bloomberg pushed through. I saw no mention of the charters, including the Moskowitz charters, that were not closed. Nor was there any mention of attrition at Moskowitz charters, or the fact that they do not take a representative selection of city kids.

Those who rely on your newscast for information are most certainly not getting the full story.

I teach ESL students. My school takes just about every ESL student that walks through our doors, regardless of level. And if they know very little, they end up in my beginning class. How many beginning level ESL students do you suppose attend the Success Academies? Has it even occurred to you to ask? We also take kids with all sorts of special needs, including alternate assessment kids who we do not expect to graduate with Regents diplomas. How many of those kids attend the charters you filmed with such reverence?

When Eva Moskowitz accepts the same kids we do, when they stay for their entire scholastic careers, when she opens her books to the same audits we're subject to, then we'll have something to discuss.

As of now, I just called your newsroom, where an unidentified male listened to what I had to say, thanked me, and hung up.

Honestly, how can you profess to inform people when you show so little curiosity or interest in the very subjects you purport to cover? Your story was shallow, one-sided, and highly misleading. There's incredible irony in the fact that teachers are now subject to a draconian rating system while those who supposedly inform the public feel no obligation to do the most cursory investigations before presenting what they deem to be news.

Should you be interested in the whole story, which I sorely doubt, feel free to contact me. I can place you in touch with people who actually care and know what is going on.


Arthur Goldstein, ESL Teacher/ UFT Chapter Leader
Francis Lewis High School

Related: If you're more interested in this than NBC was, read this.
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