Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A new article from The Daily News

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Spencer Robertson founded the PAVE Academy; is he qualified?
BY RACHEL MONAHAN DAILY NEWS WRITER
Monday, September 8th 2008, 9:06 PM
Egan-Chin/News
PAVE Academy, which opened in Brooklyn this year despite some parents' ire, is founded by Spencer Robertson (below).
The son of a billionaire who contributed more than $10 million to Mayor Bloomberg's school projects opened a new charter school this year, despite questions about his qualifications.
Spencer Robertson founded the PAVE Academy at Public School 15 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, after the foundation of his father, Julian, gave $6.75 million to Bloomberg's New York City Center for Charter School Excellence and $3.25million to the Fund for Public Schools, a nonprofit that raises money for schools.
PS 15 parents who were already outraged that the school has to share space with the charter were angered to learn of Julian Robertson's contributions.
"If you funded my pet foundation, I'd return your phone calls. I would even send my car," said Brooklyn parent leader Jim Devor, who opposed the PAVE Academy and called Spencer Robertson's résumé "sparse."
The Robertson Foundation was one of three founding donors of the mayor's charter school project in 2003.
Of the 17 other new charter schools opened this year in the city, at least 12 had founders with more experience in the classroom or running schools, businesses or community organizations than the younger Robertson, the Daily News found.
Spencer Robertson, a Stanford University Business School graduate, taught at a city middle school for three years and worked at a charter school for a year before applying to open PAVE in 2007.
"Spencer Robertson has been involved in public education for more than a decade," said Robertson Foundation spokesman Fraser Seitel. "He has been committed to charter schools since 2002."
Education Department spokesman David Cantor defended the PAVE approval.
"There is zero evidence Spencer Robertson was accorded special treatment," he said.
Robertson did not return calls seeking comment.
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mbdono Sep 9, 2008 1:47:34 AM Report Offensive Post Are you that stupid and dense that you are questioning the teaching qualifications of a man who is willing to donate 10 Million to open a school in the arsehole of Brooklyn ? You must not have too much on that vacuum that is your mind! If he did that in my neighborhood, I would name the street AND the school after him! Horray for Spencer Robertson, And as a matter of fact he taught in the public schools, More than I would do! And you doubters, what are your qualifications to be parents?
Queensgirl1 Sep 9, 2008 7:32:35 AM Report Offensive Post How can anybody be opposed to having a facility available to provide educational opportunity to more students? This guy has spent more than $10 million of his own money to provide a chance for these kids and they're balking at it? The next thing you know, they'll be screaming about how nobody cares about their kids and their neighborhood, and how jacked up the school "system" is. It seems to me that the administrators who've been "qualified" to run schools all along have had ample opportunity to ***** them up - and have done so, grandly! Come on down to Virginia, Mr. Robinson...we will gladly accept your kind assistance.
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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fwd: NYC Public School Parents - Where do you go when your complaints to NYCDOE go unresolved?

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Date: Sun, Aug 31, 2008 at 2:34 AM
Subject: NYC Public School Parents - Where do you go when your complaints to NYCDOE go unresolved?
To: emilyholiday <emilyholiday@gmail.com>


 

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Where do you go when your complaints to NYCDOE go unresolved?

Guest blogger James Calantjis (calantjis@aol.com) is a NYC teacher, a long time advocate for School Leadership Teams (SLTs), and the founder of the SLT Empowerment Alliance. The problem of lack of enforcement of state and federal mandates in NYC schools is a chronic one.

When I became an advocate for School Leadership Team empowerment in 2004, I became frustrated trying to get the NYC Department of Education to respond to their lack of compliance with State Educational Law concerning SLTs.

In Dec. 1996 (renewed in 2003), State law mandated that School Leadership Teams be formed in all schools to develop Comprehensive Educational Plans (CEP) and school budgets through a shared decision making process. Parents were to make up 50% of the Team by law, with the balance including teachers, administrators and others. The principal, Parent Association President and UFT Chapter Leader were to be core members.

The problem was that the NYCDOE shut out Teams from any decision making concerning the development of the school's budget, violating State Education Law. My complaints to NYCDOE went nowhere. Their agenda was to empower principals and neutralize parent and teacher involvement.

I then turned to the NYS Office of School Improvement and Community Services (SICS-NYC) under Associate Commissioner Shelia Evans-Tranumn. This State agency regulates Commissioner's Regulation 100.11 concerning shared decision making, which is incorporated into the SLT law. It also investigates Title 1 complaints through a formal procedure required by the Federal government.

Federal law requires "substantial parental involvement" with Title 1 programs and funds. In all Title 1 schools and districts, parents are suppose to be consulted by school leadership teams in the spending of Title 1 funds and the planning of programs, especially in the 1% of these funds that are suppose to be used for parent involvement activities. School Leadership Teams then incorporate the programs and spending into the Comprehensive Educational Plan.

The response of SICS-NYC and its coordinator, Sandra Norfleet, was to ask me to contact NYCDOE and follow-up with them. I told them this was unacceptable since NYCDOE was not willing to resolve the issues and I expected NYSED to follow-up until the matter was resolved. When I submitted Title 1 complaints from parents at several schools, including a District 31 Title 1 Committee, stating that parents had been shut out of their right to be involved in Title 1 planning and spending decisions, the State refused to take direct action by following their formal complaint procedure.

The State continued to refer these complaints to NYCDOE without any resolution. Numerous e-mails were sent to Ms. Norfleet and Ms. Tranumn that were mostly ignored. Commissioner Mills was copied on all e-mails.

In frustration, I contacted the Federal Office that supervised the NYC area for Title 1 to try to force NYSED to respond and follow the formal complaint procedure required. While this action forced them to respond again, the complaint procedure was never followed.

During the last four years, I have received letters and e-mails from NYCDOE and NYSED thanking me for my concerns but void of substance, leaving the issues unresolved.

What have I learned? I learned that the deck is stacked against parents and others who make complaints to the State concerning the NYCDOE.

While the State has oversight powers, it is unwilling to enforce State and Federal regulations under the present Commissioner. The State Education Department would rather maintain a friendly relationship with the NYCDOE, than enforce policies that protect the rights of parents. The State Education Department has neglected its responsibilities to ensure that School Leadership Teams are functioning according to law in NYC and that Federal Title 1 parent involvement mandates are being enforced.

--- James Calantjis

See this earlier post about the complaint, Pollicino v. Klein, filed by Marie Pollicino, a Queens parent to the NY State Education Dept. about the Chancellor's unlawful attempt to eviscerate the authority of School Leadership Teams. This complaint was subsequently joined by the United Federation of Teachers. See the UFT's brief, as well as an affidavit from Amina Rachman, special assistant to the the UFT President, Randi Weingarten, that includes a letter from Randi to the Chancellor about the improper process used to revise the regs concerning SLTs, and the illegal result.



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"Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Read my blog, Charter Free PS15 at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/

Saturday, August 30, 2008

"News" about PAVE Academy

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According to the PAVE Academy's website, there was a public board meeting on August 5th. I'm wondering how well this was publicized throughout the neighborhood (and beyond)... this is the first I heard of the event myself, and I would have attended myself if I hadn't had to deal with a family tragedy (my mother was killed in a car accident on the 2nd in Long Island, and because of this, I was not in the city much that week).

Recent News

Coming Soon!

 PAVE Academy Public Board Meeting

Tuesday August 5, 2008, 6:45 p.m.

71 Sullivan St., Second Floor

Brooklyn, NY 11231

At any rate, I've also gotten calls this week from Rachel Monahan (reporter for the Daily News) and a few other people who were involved in protesting the co-siting of  PAVE last spring. Although it looks as though we're stuck with PAVE's occupation of PS15 for the coming school year, the issue of getting them off the premises within 2 years (if not sooner) should not be dropped, particularly since at least one of their funding sources makes a rather large point of promoting establishing independent sites for charter schools.

Let's keep the lines of communication open and not let the issue drop.

--
"Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Read my blog, Charter Free PS15 at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Letter on PEP Budget Vote

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I just read your thoughtful and incisive letter regarding the PEP Budget Vote, and I wanted to congratulate and thank you and Patrick Sullivan for having the conviction to vote against the proposed budget. I agree with much of your letter, and hope that there is some way that this budget can be overturned before September.
 
I am personally most concerned right now with the decreases to after school programs (the Beacon Center at my son's school, PS15 in Red Hook, may not be able to continue its after school program next fall due to cuts; they're run by Good Shepherd Services, and not only is the afterschool program free and an invaluable and irreplaceable service to the community where most parents work full time jobs, it's also a source of jobs for local youth, who are especially dedicated to helping younger members of their community) AND the increase of funding for charter schools - for all the many, many reasons why I oppose charter schools, please take a look at my blog (which the DOE actually had the nerve to tell me to stop posting material to about a month ago!) Read my blog, Charter Free PS15 at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/
 
What can concerned parents do to make sure the budget for our children is fair and makes sense?
 
Thanks again,
 
Emily Brown
--
"Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Fwd: NYC Public School Parents - Manhattan President Scott Stringer -- Letter on PEP Budget Vote

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Thank the powers that be that SOMEONE has the backbone to do the right thing.
I wish Marty Markowitz had been able to vote the same way. I feel let down, especially since I was born in Manhattan and chose Brooklyn as my new hometown 20 some years ago.
 
Mr. Stringer's statement is wonderfully articulate and straight to the point. I know I'll be emailing a thank you to him.
 
Emily
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Subject: NYC Public School Parents - Manhattan President Scott Stringer -- Letter on PEP Budget Vote
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Manhattan President Scott Stringer -- Letter on PEP Budget Vote

THE CITY OF NEW YORK
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN

SCOTT M. STRINGER
BOROUGH PRESIDENT

June 26th, 2008

Dear Manhattan Public School Parents:

On Monday, June 23rd, the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) voted
on the executive budget for New York City public schools. As may
already know, my appointee to the PEP, Patrick Sullivan, voted
against the proposed budget, and I am writing to share with you the
reasons that Patrick and I felt it necessary to vote no.

The state law is clear from my perspective. The PEP is
supposed to "approve an estimate of the total sum of money deemed
necessary for school operations in the next fiscal year." The
budget presented by the Chancellor of the Department of Education
(DOE) would require cuts to all schools, some ranging from five
percent or higher. The proposed budget with these cuts would, in my
view, not be sufficient to fund school operations. Consequently,
pursuant to the PEP's duties as outlined in state law, Patrick and I
felt he simply could not approve of the proposed budget.
Furthermore, rather than propose an estimated budget that sets forth
the funding to meet schools' needs, it appears that the Chancellor's
budget instead starts with the funding provided by the Mayor and
reduces expenditures until a balance is achieved. This is not the
way state law dictates the budget should be presented to the PEP,
the Mayor and the City Council for approval.

My concern is that the proposed budget will require cuts to
essential programs such as academic intervention and tutoring,
including programs for those students at risk of being held back
under the third, fifth, seventh, and eighth grade retention
policies, arts, music, sports, enrichment programs, advanced
placement courses, after school programs, professional development,
technology, libraries, and classroom supplies. Many schools facing
the deepest cuts would likely lose teaching staff as well.

The lack of disclosure and transparency also made it extremely
difficult to assess the sufficiency of the budgeted funding. DOE
refused to provide budget code level detail (which would provide
information about the cuts or lack of cuts taking place at the
central level) or respond in writing to Patrick's questions about
cost increases.

What we do know about DOE's itemized $963 million in cost increases,
however, is cause for concern. DOE has embarked upon a series of
initiatives that are all extremely expensive including the retention
of thousands of students, the ramp-up in standardized testing and
test prep, the creation of charter schools, the expansion of
collaborative team teaching (CTT) classes, and the restructuring of
large high schools into small high schools. While some of these
programs are clearly beneficial and the efficacy of others is
subject to debate, the fact is that each one alone costs hundreds of
millions of dollars annually. The decision to proceed
simultaneously with many expensive initiatives while the mayor has
asked DOE to reduce its budget by $428 million raises questions
about the fiscal management of the school system. While we are
fortunate to have an additional $608 million in state funding, our
oversight of finances must be rigorous if we are to avoid harmful
cuts to the classroom.

My hope is that the Mayor and City Council can work together to
achieve an education budget that does not affect the quality of
education provided to Manhattan's children. I will join parents in
asking that the final budget restore the cuts and thus the City's
commitment to its children.

Very truly yours,
Scott M. Stringer

Manhattan Borough President

MUNICIPAL BUILDING
1 CENTRE STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10007
PHONE (212) 669-8300
FAX (212) 669-4305
www.mbpo.org
bp@manhattanbp. org


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"Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Read my blog, Charter Free PS15 at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Fwd: Emily Brown has forwarded a link to you from Edutopia

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I have very, very mixed feelings about this article. On the one hand, it may be one way to "fix" some of the budget problems, at least short term, BUT - as the article mentions towards the end - doesn't it take pressure and heat off the government to take care of what they're supposed to be making a priority? And what about areas where families can't afford to pay thousands each year to attend schools that are supposed to be free? However, approaching corporate donors may be one resource we could and should pursue for some needs.
 
Feel free to comment on this after reading the article.
Emily

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: emilyholiday@gmail.com <emilyholiday@gmail.com>
Date: 26 Jun 2008 07:29:37 -0700
Subject: Emily Brown has forwarded a link to you from Edutopia
To: emilyholiday@gmail.com

 
edutopia.org

check this out

Beyond Bake Sales: Family Subsidy of Public Schools
Parents shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year for services once covered by state and local education budgets.


Click here to read more on the Edutopia web site.


--
"Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Read my blog, Charter Free PS15 at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/

Fwd: NYC Public School Parents - Hey City Council, what are those $800 million in "nondiscretionary" DOE cost increases?

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Date: Jun 26, 2008 8:02 AM
Subject: NYC Public School Parents - Hey City Council, what are those $800 million in "nondiscretionary" DOE cost increases?
To: emilyholiday <emilyholiday@gmail.com>

 

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Hey City Council, what are those $800 million in "nondiscretionary" DOE cost increases?

I recently sent this letter to City Council Member Dan Garodnick, and similar letters to Speaker Christine Quinn and Council Member Alan Gerson, with copies to Council Member Robert Jackson of the Education Committee. I encourage other parents to do the same. Dramatic cuts to school budgets are being negotiated in the City Council right now, and the cost basis for these cuts deserves to be challenged.

UPDATE: See full detail on Tweed's $809 million in "non discretionary" cost increases here and $154 million in "discretionary" increases here.


Dear Council Member Garodnick,

It was good to meet you last week and convey some of parents' concerns about the DOE budget.

I mentioned when we spoke that many parents following education issues feel that the overruns in the FY 09 budget identified by the DOE as inevitable cost increases are in fact discretionary. I attach an exile file from the DOE detailing their claimed cost increases. You'll see that very few of them are milk and fuel. Several fund increases in controversial and untested programs. Items that could be considered non-compulsory include:

- $70 million in growth for charter schools
- $64.3 million in growth for CTT programs
- $30 million for expanded school closures
- $26.7 million to maintain school level funding for Fair Student Funding

Of these reputed overruns only about $380 million is increased staff expenses, and $2 million of that is a CSA bonus created by Chancellor Klein. Only $43 million is increased transportation costs.

Under "necessary improvements":

- $25 million in expanded merit pay for teachers (the first year of this program, which was privately funded, has not been evaluated)
- $20 million in "school support reserve": what is this?
- $10 million more for ELA and math test scoring. Why?
- $2.3 million more for "Talent Intitiatives": what is this?
- $2 million more for G&T classes

In their budget cuts document (also attached), DOE claims they are cutting periodic assessments and children's first intensive programs at a savings of $1.4 million and $2.45 million, respectively. But under "necessary improvements" these programs are identfied as increasing by $3.6 million and $2.8 million, respectively, in costs.

Additionally, according to Principals' Weekly, DOE is doubling the size of data inquiry teams. This cost does not appear in the budget.

The accountability office and the quality reviews could also be cut. Their value in relation to their cost has never been convincingly demonstrated to the public.

DOE officials are saying to parents and officials all over town that they are obliged to make draconian cuts to high performing schools because they are burdened by increasing costs. But these are costs of their own devising. Before we sacrifice successful schools, and challenge salutary influence of the CFE funds on our struggling schools, we should look to how much these expensive programs are really doing for us. And we certainly should not allow them to be disguised as necessary increases in basic operating costs.

Many thanks for your attention,
Ann Kjellberg


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"Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Read my blog, Charter Free PS15 at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/

Fwd: Important Charter School Presentation

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I saw a flyer at the Red Hook Brooklyn Public Library earlier this year about the Summit Academy, and I believe they're targeting Red Hook.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: CEC15 D15 <CEC15@schools.nyc.gov>
Date: Jun 25, 2008 4:35 PM
Subject: Important Charter School Presentation
To:

District 15 Community Education Council

"Empowering Parents to Claim Excellent Education for All Students"

131 Livingston Street, room 301B, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone: 718 935-4267   Fax: 718 935-4356

CEC15@schools.nyc.gov





July Meeting



Newly Proposed Charter Schools for District 15!

-make their presentations



Tuesday July 8th, 2008

Council working Session 6:00 - 7:00pm

Charter School Presentation 7:00pm - 8:00pm



Location:  131 Livingston Street, 6th Floor, Room 610

Brooklyn, NY 11201







·        The newly proposed "Summit Academy Charter School" and "The Sunset Park Academy" makes their presentations to the District 15 Community.



·        Take this opportunity to ask questions and make public comments.






--
"Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Read my blog, Charter Free PS15 at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

[Reminder] Last Day of School @ Thu Jun 26, 2008 (Charter-Free-PS15)

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Charter-Free-PS15, this is a reminder for

Last Day of School

Thu Jun 26, 2008
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City-wide (map)
Calendar: Charter-Free-PS15

summer vacation starts
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Re: rooms allocated to PAVE Academy at PS15

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Thank you so much for the clarification. It's always helpful to have you essentially call PTA members (one of whom spoke to you directly in the park) and staff members liars.
 
How's your progress on finding a private location for PAVE? That's the core of the issue here. I trust you're working hard on that, especially since Civic Builders and the Robertson Foundation encourage charter schools to find private locations - and provide financial and other support for exactly that purpose. With all the new construction going on in Red Hook right now, that should be top priority for you right now.
 
Thank you.
 
Emily Brown

 
On 6/20/08, Spencer Robertson <srobertson@paveacademy.org> wrote:
Hello Emily. I haven't heard from you in a while. I hope you are well. I would like to clarify a few things.

We have been allocated 4 classrooms. I will give you the numbers if you would like: Rooms 201, 239, 245, and 246. None of the other 3 rooms we have been allocated are full classrooms (but one could be considered a half-classroom). One will be used as a pull-out room for students whose IEPs indicate that they require additional services. The other 2 rooms are small administrative rooms where our non-instructional staff (myself, office manager, director of operations and finance, Dean of Students and Families,Social Worker, etc.) will work. In addition these rooms will contain a photocopier, our ATS computer, etc. It should also be noted that this allocation process was a smooth one where both sides voices (PAVE and PS 15) were taken into account. Further, both PAVE and PS 15 leadership are content with the arrangement. I hope that helps clear that up.

As for the gloating in a public park about lap-tops for every student, hmmmmmm. Sorry, can't help you there becuase it never happened and its not true. Did you see me gloating in a public park? I did attend the Red Hook Arts Festival a couple of weeks ago but I do not recall gloating or having a single discussion about computers. Just so that we are all clear on the matter, PAVE will have some lap-top computers but certainly not one per student. I think it breaks down more closely to 1 laptop per 5 students.

Thank you for your continued concern. I hope that this helps clarify the matter and that you enjoy the summer.

PAVE on!

Spencer
----- Original Message -----
From: "Emily" <emilyholiday@gmail.com>
To: RBocchi2@schools.nyc.gov, "White John" <JWhite8@schools.nyc.gov>, "Michael Duffy" <MDuffy12@schools.nyc.gov>, "Spencer Robertson" <srobertson@paveacademy.org>, JKlein@nycboe.net
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 11:17:40 AM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: rooms allocated to PAVE Academy at PS15

I'd like to know how and why 8 rooms were allocated to the PAVE Academy at
PS15, including the Science room, when we were told they would only need 4
to 5 rooms? Is there a legitimate need for not only so many rooms, but for
taking away a room our school had allocated for instruction in a key
subject?

Mr. Robertson's recent public statements in a community park about having
obtained additional funding and being able to give all of his students
laptop computers are a perfect object lesson for the children of Red Hook
about poor sportsmanship; while most of us are teaching our children about
the value of fair play, he apparently feels it's appropriate to gloat about
his ability to secure large amounts of additional funding and take resources
away from a public school, while PS15 has lost $1 million from its budget as
well as a science room. This is incredibly divisive and parasitic, and
demonstrates once again that he has no intention of working with PS15 in a
cooperative way.

I realize that the Department of Education doesn't feel that it needs to be
accountable to communities, but I do expect a reasonable response to this,
and I will continue to pursue this issue until I receive one.

Emily Brown
--
"Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to
change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret
Mead

Read my blog, Charter Free PS15 at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/



--
"Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Read my blog, Charter Free PS15 at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/

excessive arrogance and greed

0 comments Links to this post

I went to the final PTA meeting of the year at PS15 yesterday morning, and learned that instead of the 4 to 5 rooms that the PAVE Academy was originally supposed to get, they'd been given 8 and a half rooms, INCLUDING THE SCIENCE ROOM!


Meanwhile, PTA members have seen Spencer Robertson speaking in a local park to area parents about the PAVE Academy, and bragging about how much additional money he's been able to drum up for his school - while PS15 has had its budget cut by $1 million dollars and has to play host to a parasitic charter school that benefits by taking additional rooms away from our students and not having to pay a cent in rent. He's also been bragging about giving all of his students laptop computers. All this while my son (and your kid, too) has to go without a science room!

This is outrageous and inexcusable.

This is going to be an interesting summer.


--
"Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Read my blog, Charter Free PS15 at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 16, 2008

[Reminder] School Rally @ Tue Jun 17 7am – 9am (Charter-Free-PS15)

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School Rally

Tue Jun 17 7am – 9am
(Timezone: Eastern Time)
Philippa Schuyler School (I.S. 383), 1300 Greene Avenue, Bushwick (map)
Calendar: Charter-Free-PS15

The DOE has decided to co-site a charter school in I.S. 383's building, despite community objections to the plan. This rally is to support I.S. 383 in its opposition to the co-siting of the charter school,
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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fwd: [Fwd: KIDS PROTEST PROJECT - 500 New Letters from KIDS to Klein]

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Cynthia Wachtell <wachtell@yu.edu>
Date: Jun 14, 2008 9:32 AM
Subject: [Fwd: KIDS PROTEST PROJECT -  500 New Letters from KIDS to Klein]
To: emilyholiday@gmail.com

Dear Emily,

As you can see the Kids Protest Project is going strong ... but we
desperately need schools to step forward to visit Tweed this coming
Thursday and Friday.  Could PS 115 cover one of these days?

The kids could write letters, or make and sign big posters, or do some
other createive protest project.  (see: wwww.kidsprotestproject.org )

We would really appreciate your help.

Regards,

Cynthia

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: KIDS PROTEST PROJECT -  500 New Letters from KIDS to Klein
From:    "Cynthia Wachtell" <wachtell@yu.edu>
Date:    Fri, June 13, 2008 12:10 pm
To:      kennapj@hotmail.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------


**500+ KIDS' PROTEST LETTERS TO BE HAND-DELIVERED TO TWEED TODAY & MONDAY**


TODAY:  High school students from Murrow and Stuyvesant High Schools
deliver 100+ letters to Tweed at 4:00

For more information see: www.mysidewalkchalk.blogspot.com

Excerpts from Sample letters:

Amal at Stuy:
"No one wants to live in a city where kids cannot get the best education
possible, especially in a city like New York. Budget cuts will affect not
only schools but the entire state and possibly even the whole country."

From Julia at Stuy:
"The LAST thing this city needs right now is to lessen the emphasis on
quality education. It should be the frontrunner, the all important, the
vital key to the very continuation of our city. Children are the future."

MONDAY:

PS 59 students will deliver an astounding 400+ letters from their school
to Tweed at 3:45 while carrying a Huge Protest Banner.

STAY TUNED ...

Next Tuesday - PS 9 and PS 334 at Tweed.
Next Wednesday - Manhattan School for Children AND Scott Stringer at Tweed.

______

Contact:
Cynthia Wachtell
PA Board, PS 87
wachtell@yu.edu
917-392-2486

Paula Seefeldt
PA Board, PS 87
kennapj@hotmail.com
646-734-0182

www.kidsprotestproject.org



Cynthia Wachtell
Stern College
Yeshiva University
245 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10016
212-340-7702
wachtell@yu.edu




--
"Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Read my blog, Charter Free PS15 at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/

Friday, June 13, 2008

SPAM!

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Someone's been posting messages to this blog and making it look as though they're coming from me (they appear to be coming from the moderator) - it's been happening daily for the past 3 or 4 days. It should be fairly obvious which posts they are, since they're off-topic completely (more to do with techno-geeky junk than anything remotely to do with education issues). Still, it means that I have to do a bit more daily maintenance than usual, especially since I've reported this problem to Google and so far haven't received a response.

I apologize for the junk messages. I wish I could instantly make it stop. In the meantime, I'm wondering whether this is just more of the same b.s. that everyone gets, or whether someone who doesn't like what I'm saying about the negative side of co-siting charter schools within public school bulidings is trying to make me look stupid in front of lots of people.

Whatever.

I just hope that all of you can be patient while i work out a way to resolve this, and I'll keep weeding out the nonsense.

Thanks.

Emily

--
"Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Read my blog, Charter Free PS15 at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 12, 2008

[Reminder] High School Kids Express Solidarity Murrow/Stuyvesant @ Fri Jun 13 4pm – 5pm (Charter-Free-PS15)

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Google Calendar

Charter-Free-PS15, this is a reminder for

High School Kids Express Solidarity Murrow/Stuyvesant

Fri Jun 13 4pm – 5pm
(Timezone: Eastern Time)
Department of Education Headquarters 52 Chambers Street Manhattan (map)
Calendar: Charter-Free-PS15

Friday, June 13th – High School Kids Express Solidarity Murrow/Stuyvesant – 4:00
To join or find out more: contact the Kids Protest Project
More event details»

 

You are receiving this courtesy email at the account emilyholiday.charter-free-ps15@blogger.com because you are an attendee of this event.

To stop receiving future notifications for this event, decline this event. Alternatively you can sign up for a Google account at http://www.google.com/calendar/ and control your notification settings for your entire calendar.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fwd: Charter School Placement in a public

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ombud 7 <ombud7@pubadvocate.nyc.gov>
Date: Jun 10, 2008 3:22 PM
Subject: Charter School Placement in a public
To:
Emilyholiday@gmail.com

Dear Ms. Brown

I'm contacting you on be half of the office of public advocate. I reviewed your case and found that inevitably it is up to the chancellor and department of education to decide the finally results. However, in order to sway the decision it will take not just one, but many parents. If the entire schools parents participate then there will be a greater power, than only a few parents

Please if you have any questions contact me at 212-669-4678 or Ms. Robertson at 212-669-4573

Best

Sam Kleinman

I spoke to Mr. Kleinman this afternoon for several minutes; the message seems bleak, because the Public Advocate's office can only make calls to the DOE and Spencer Robertson requesting that they reconsider the placement of the PAVE Academy. They can't, for instance, go after the Chancellor or the Mayor about this. But what Mr. Kleinman recommended was that we put our position in writing and submit it to the Chancellor, and that the Chancellor is supposed to respond to this. However, I've been trying to get a response from the Chancellor's office for weeks, with no luck. And my understanding is that several PS15 parents put together a petition and got signatures, and sent it on to the Chancellor's office quite a while ago. I need to follow up on this because if the petition was actually submitted, but got no response, then perhaps we need to resubmit it, and then follow up on that. Mr. Kleinman advised that chances are slim or nil of getting a lawyer to handle this for very little money or on a pro-bono basis.

--
"Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Read my blog, Charter Free PS15 at
http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/

Fwd: New Voicemail

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This is from the coordinator of the Kids'Protest Project, inviting PS15 students to participate in budget cut protests.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: GrandCentral <voicemail@grandcentral.com>
Date: 11 Jun 08 07:32:50 -0700
Subject: New Voicemail
To: emilyholiday@gmail.com

GrandCentral : You have new voicemail

Hello Emily,

You've just received a voicemail on your GrandCentral account at (917) 720-7335. You can click the play button below or log into your account to listen to it online.

Play Message From : Private

Message length : 0:24
Wed Jun 11 2008, 10:32AM
If you are unable to play your message from this page, copy and paste this link into your browser:
http://www.grandcentral.com/forwarded_messages/?unique_key=388ef8e775ec7d19f36b89b9df042c6e&mhash=d65c83357a1e54f49c8b600a45bfc093


--
"Never underestimate the power of a small, dedicated group of people to change the world; indeed, that is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Read my blog, Charter Free PS15 at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 9, 2008

[Reminder] Tuesday, June 10th – Central Park East II –10:00 @ Tue Jun 10 10am – 11am (Charter-Free-PS15)

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Google Calendar

Charter-Free-PS15, this is a reminder for

Tuesday, June 10th – Central Park East II –10:00

Tue Jun 10 10am – 11am
(Timezone: Eastern Time)
Department of Education Headquarters, 52 Chambers Street, Manhattan (map)
Calendar: Charter-Free-PS15

Public school kids will protest at Tweed every day in June to protest the budget cuts.
More event details»

 

You are receiving this courtesy email at the account emilyholiday.charter-free-ps15@blogger.com because you are an attendee of this event.

To stop receiving future notifications for this event, decline this event. Alternatively you can sign up for a Google account at http://www.google.com/calendar/ and control your notification settings for your entire calendar.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

[Reminder] PS 75M students arrive at Tweed Courthouse @ Mon Jun 9 12:30pm – 1:30pm (Charter-Free-PS15)

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Google Calendar

Charter-Free-PS15, this is a reminder for

PS 75M students arrive at Tweed Courthouse

Mon Jun 9 12:30pm – 1:30pm
(Timezone: Eastern Time)
Department of Education Headquarters, 52 Chambers Street, Manhattan (map)
Calendar: Charter-Free-PS15

Public school kids will protest at Tweed every day in June to protest the budget cuts.
More event details»

 

You are receiving this courtesy email at the account emilyholiday.charter-free-ps15@blogger.com because you are an attendee of this event.

To stop receiving future notifications for this event, decline this event. Alternatively you can sign up for a Google account at http://www.google.com/calendar/ and control your notification settings for your entire calendar.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Student Protests of Budget Cuts

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I've added the student protests to the calendar and have posted invitations to the blog because I feel that budget cuts are part of the problem with the charter school issue. It offends me charter schools whine about getting less money than "traditional" public schools do; it offends me even more that they get any money at all, when the public schools are often failing because they've essentially been abandoned by the very agency mandated to operate them - the DOE - which is the same agency that's managed to waste huge amounts of money in the past several years and isn't even liable for replacing the money.

[Invitation] High School Kids Express Solidarity Murrow/Stuyvesant @ Fri Jun 13 4pm – 5pm (Charter-Free-PS15)

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Google Calendar

Charter-Free-PS15, you are invited to

High School Kids Express Solidarity Murrow/Stuyvesant

Fri Jun 13 4pm – 5pm
(Timezone: Eastern Time)
Department of Education Headquarters 52 Chambers Street Manhattan (map)
Calendar: Charter-Free-PS15

Friday, June 13th – High School Kids Express Solidarity Murrow/Stuyvesant – 4:00
To join or find out more: contact the Kids Protest Project
More event details»

Will you attend?

 

You are receiving this courtesy email at the account emilyholiday.charter-free-ps15@blogger.com because you are an attendee of this event.

To stop receiving future notifications for this event, decline this event. Alternatively you can sign up for a Google account at http://www.google.com/calendar/ and control your notification settings for your entire calendar.

[Invitation] Public school kids will protest at Tweed @ Thu Jun 12 12:30pm – 1:30pm (Charter-Free-PS15)

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Google Calendar

Charter-Free-PS15, you are invited to

Public school kids will protest at Tweed

Thu Jun 12 12:30pm – 1:30pm
(Timezone: Eastern Time)
Department of Education Headquarters, 52 Chambers Street, Manhattan (map)
Calendar: Charter-Free-PS15

Public school kids will protest at Tweed every day in June to protest the budget cuts. Thursday, June 12th – Six Schools from District 2 – 12:30
More event details»

Will you attend?

 

You are receiving this courtesy email at the account emilyholiday.charter-free-ps15@blogger.com because you are an attendee of this event.

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[Invitation] Tuesday, June 10th – Central Park East II –10:00 @ Tue Jun 10 10am – 11am (Charter-Free-PS15)

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Google Calendar

Charter-Free-PS15, you are invited to

Tuesday, June 10th – Central Park East II –10:00

Tue Jun 10 10am – 11am
(Timezone: Eastern Time)
Department of Education Headquarters, 52 Chambers Street, Manhattan (map)
Calendar: Charter-Free-PS15

Public school kids will protest at Tweed every day in June to protest the budget cuts.
More event details»

Will you attend?

 

You are receiving this courtesy email at the account emilyholiday.charter-free-ps15@blogger.com because you are an attendee of this event.

To stop receiving future notifications for this event, decline this event. Alternatively you can sign up for a Google account at http://www.google.com/calendar/ and control your notification settings for your entire calendar.

[Invitation] PS 75M students arrive at Tweed Courthouse @ Mon Jun 9 12:30pm – 1:30pm (Charter-Free-PS15)

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Google Calendar

Charter-Free-PS15, you are invited to

PS 75M students arrive at Tweed Courthouse

Mon Jun 9 12:30pm – 1:30pm
(Timezone: Eastern Time)
Department of Education Headquarters, 52 Chambers Street, Manhattan (map)
Calendar: Charter-Free-PS15

Public school kids will protest at Tweed every day in June to protest the budget cuts.
More event details»

Will you attend?

 

You are receiving this courtesy email at the account emilyholiday.charter-free-ps15@blogger.com because you are an attendee of this event.

To stop receiving future notifications for this event, decline this event. Alternatively you can sign up for a Google account at http://www.google.com/calendar/ and control your notification settings for your entire calendar.