Thursday, November 30, 2017

Eva Gets a Small Whiff of New York City

I'm really flabbergasted to read Eva Moskowitz crying and moaning that she hasn't got enough space. She holds galas that earn her millions of dollars, and spent years with the Chancellor of NYC Schools in her hip pocket. Now she trashes Bill de Blasio because he won't give her what she wants. And make no mistake, she wants it all and she wants it now.

Eva is more important than you, and more important than me. She cannot wait. She has to have everything right away. And her students are more important than my students. Otherwise, why would my students be in a building at 200% capacity? Why do they have to struggle through the hallways to get to their classes? Why would they need to go through a 10-period day simply because there isn't enough space to accommodate them in a more reasonable fashion?

Moskowitz makes it a point to call her business a "public charter school," but all that means is she takes our money. takes our space, and demands more of it. She can call her school high-achieving, but that only refers to test scores. It fails to take into account Charter 101--you take a hundred kids, end up with forty, and all your kids are excellent. The other 60, the ones in those awful public schools, are not doing well at all. Clearly it's the fault of those pernicious unionized teachers.

Her "public charter schools" can't be bothered with any stinking rules. When de Blasio had an agreement that every pre-school signed, Eva decided she wasn't gonna make any agreement and her hedge fund backers fought the city in court. Now Eva can open any damn grade any damn way anyhow she feels like. "Public charter schools" don't need no public accountability, thank you very much.

My school has been overcrowded for well over the nine years I've been chapter leader. For a while we were able to control it but it's once again burgeoned out of control. Here's the thing--when you are really a public school, you take the public as they come in. When you are really a public school you take everyone. It doesn't matter if they just arrived from El Salvador yesterday and don't speak a word of English. It doesn't matter if they have disabilities so severe you know they will never graduate from high school.

How many of those students does Moskowitz take? Zero. Maybe she takes some ELLs that are advanced enough to sit around and test prep until they pee their pants. And maybe she takes students with IEPs, but there are IEPs and there are IEPs. Some students have IEPs simply because they need more time on tests. Some have a period of resource room for extra support. Others need to be in self-contained small classrooms. Some are labeled alternate assessment. At our school we bring them to worksites to learn trades.

It's nice that Eva can write editorials about how awfully victimized she is. What I'd like to see is Bill de Blasio, or Carmen Fariña, or someone in charge write about what it's like for the real public school children of New York City. Alas, the papers are all full of trashing the ATRs and there's no space for that.

Eva's line is ridiculous. Her students aren't more important than my students. They don't deserve better space than my students. Shame on the public servants who bow down to her preposterous demands and ignore the overwhelming majority of city children.
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