Taking Back America By Taking Back Our Schools
2-17-14 Bill Korach
By Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org
New York Mayor Bill De Blasio owes the Teacher’s Unions big time for his election. His down payment will be to shut down New York’s charter schools. Some of the Charters like The Success Academy serve poor blacks and have experienced phenomenal results. According to the New York Post:
“In an unexpected move late Friday, Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina said the city is redirecting $210 million in capital funding earmarked for charter schools in order to open 2,100 pre-kindergarten seats.
The move appears to confirm fears by charter school supporters that de Blasio’s mammoth plans for expanding pre-k would be used as an excuse to boot charter schools from public school buildings.
‘This administration has a decision to make, and soon,’ said James Merriman, CEO of the New York City Charter Schools Center.
‘If they’re interested in results, they will make sure high-performing charter schools are fully included in the pre-K program, including maintaining capital funding,’ he added. ‘Otherwise, it will be clear that their move to push pre-K is more about ideology than about helping children.’”
You would think that the ultra-liberal Bill de Blasio would favor any schools that produced a good result where public schools have failed, but de Blasio is firmly on the side of the union. Eva Moscowitz, who heads up the Success Academy, stated in the “Wall Street Journal:”
“As she reminds every audience, the 6,700 students at her 22 Success Academy Charter Schools are overwhelmingly from poor, minority families and scored in the top 1% in math and top 7% in English on the most recent state test. Four in five charters in the city outperformed comparable schools.
“We think one of the sins of American education is intellectually underestimating children,” she says. “It’s so much more engaging for kids when they’re challenged.” Her other complaint about many traditional schools: “It’s incredibly boring.” While those public schools don’t have her flexibility to design a curriculum and hire and fire teachers, “engagement doesn’t cost any money. It can be done tomorrow if the adults decide that boredom is not acceptable and you embrace a curriculum that’s interesting and rigorous.”
Mr. de Blasio explicitly campaigned last year against charters—and against Ms. Moskowitz in particular. In May at a forum hosted by the United Federation of Teachers, or UFT, the potent government-employee local: “It’s time for Eva Moskowitz to stop having the run of the place. . . . She has to stop being tolerated, enabled, supported.” In July, on his plans to charge charters—which are independently run public schools—for sharing space with city-run public schools: “There’s no way in hell Eva Moskowitz should get free rent, O.K.?”
Charters Are an Existential Threat to Unions
“The fast growth of Success since its first school launched in 2006 has disproved the critics’ contention that these schools aren’t scalable.
Union leaders dismiss the charters as a boutique effort, with only 4% of the national school population—yet teachers unions and their political allies also treat charters as an existential threat. Charters hire teachers who don’t have to join and pay union dues, and who work outside the traditional system.”
Ms. Moscowitz says: “They do payback at a pretty intense level. There is a lot of bullying.”
Mayor de Blasio had the chance to really help improve New York’s public school system. Instead he has chosen to side with union power and money.
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