Monday, March 31, 2008

General Question for Readers

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Has anyone reading this blog participated in - or heard about - public schools successfully fighting (as in, winning a fight) with the DOE about having a charter school placed in their local public school? Would you care to share your insights and experiences? I was dismayed to see that some school buildings house more than two schools.

Please post responses!

Web Visitors

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I'm glad we've got the web counter installed; on Friday, there were only 300 hits, and today there are over 360 hits. People have been busy - we're getting lots of visits. NOW I wish people would comment on what we've got posted. It would be great to hear what other people think of the issues and posts so far.

If this is your first visit to this blog...

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Please make sure to scroll all the way down and also visit the archives for February for full background on the whole issue. There are a lot of layers to the story, and both the DOE and Spencer Robertson's plans don't seem to be as completely transparent as they should be, and some people have commented that there may be questions about the legalities regarding how the DOE is proceeding with their plans (especially in NOT having a community meeting to present what the plan IS before it was decided on).

More helpful advice from a parent

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Emily,The only information I can share with you is that my son is at MS 447 where they placed the Khalil Gibran school. There are now 3 schools in that buiding. There was plenty of space for Gibran. Many school buildings have 2 or more schools and they seem to be working. In your negotiations around this, if the DOE makes any promises (e.g., we'll renovate your auditorium or your cafeteria in exchange for this...) get it in writing! and stay on top of them.Good luck Beth G. Kneller Deputy Director The CUNY Baccalaureate Degree for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies 365 Fifth Avenue, suite 6412 New York, NY 10016 212-817-8238 FAX: 212-817-1512 bkneller@gc.cuny.edu www.cunyba.cuny.edu http://cunyba.gc.cuny.edu/ (Blog)

Helpful feedback from Class Size Matters

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Leonie Haimson to me show details 11:44 AM (12 minutes ago) Reply
Emily: are the class sizes expected to swell at PS 15 as a result of the charter’s placement in the building? If so, to what levels? Are you expected to lose cluster rooms etc. as a result? It would be helpful to have more detailed info about the likely impact of this move. I’ve forwarded your message to the NYC education news list serv. FYI, DOE pledged not to put new schools into existing buildings where it would force class sizes up above the levels principals planned or wanted for their schools. Let me know how I can help. Thanks, Leonie HaimsonExecutive DirectorClass Size Matters124 Waverly Pl.New York, NY 10011212-674-7320leonie@att.netwww.classsizematters.orghttp://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/ Please make a tax-deductible contribution to Class Size Matters now!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Fwd:

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: CEC15 D15 <CEC15@schools.nyc.gov>
Date: Fri, Mar 28, 2008 at 1:09 PM
Subject:
To:




Good Afternoon To All,

Please seve The Date for CEC15's next calendar public meeting April 17th, 2008.

Thank you,
Community Education Council
District 15

PLEASE POST DISTRIBUTE

ALSO PLEASE ENCOURAGE PARENTS TO ATTEND




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You can also reach me by phone at 917-720-7335.

Check out my digital photography at http://picasaweb.google.com/emilyholiday/EmilyBrown; I also have a short slideshow video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4527071836788208173

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Questions and observations

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In March, I was able to meet Spencer Robertson at a meeting held at PS15; Ms. Wyns-Madison, several PTA and School Leadership Committee members, PS15 staff members and a representative from the Department of Education were also present - and I'll go into more detail on this meeting in a separate post.

Mr. Robertson seems like a personable enough fellow, but he doesn't really seem to be all that familiar with Red Hook as a community - and I am willing to bet that the other participants in this meeting were even more sensitive to this than I am because they actually live and work in the neighborhood - I've only been visiting for the past decade (my husband lived there for a while when I first met him; I've been over to the neighborhood frequently for events at BWAC, and of course my son has been attending school there for the past 5 years). I didn't get the gut feeling that he has a real commitment to Red Hook itself - I got the sense that his commitment is primarily to promoting his charter school - but I also wonder how much experience he has running a private business (he seemed to be extremely offended when I pointed out that I was surprised that he was given approval to start up the PAVE Academy without having secured a definite location to run his business from; he seemed to have an issue with calling a non-profit (501(c)3 organization) a business - but it IS a business! Either he's incredibly naive, or his reaction was a pretense; either way, the reaction was completely weird.

During the conversation, it also turned out that despite what his proposal presented about serving the Red Hook community, citing statistics about the 50-50 ratio of Hispanic and African American students he felt should be enrolled in his school, it turns out that he has had the Department of Education do a mailing to parents throughout the 11231 zip code to recruit students. That zip code certainly includes Red Hook, but it also extends through several other neighborhoods with very different ethnic compositions - all the way up Court and Smith Streets to Union Street, for instance, which some people would refer to as Cobble Hill. Something isn't adding up right here, and I don't know whether it's Mr. Robertson's true intentions, or the way the DOE is "helping" him.

One parent pointed out, after he made a pronouncement about wanting to "share" for the sake of mutually helping each other, that this comment was ironic: it was like having an uninvited guest barge into their living room and start babbling about sharing. I'd been having similar thoughts before the meeting myself, and it was a relief to hear someone else actually voice that concern. He offered to help PS15 out with things like building a green roof for the school, or providing air conditioning.

Mr. Robertson, by the way, spent a lot of time at the meeting talking about how he would actually prefer to use the Miccio Center than PS15, because in some ways that building has several advantages from his point of view - including easier access to mass transit (it's closer to the Smith & 9th Street F station), which would be more appealing to the young teachers he wants to recruit to work in his school, as well as some of the families he's trying to recruit to attend the school. (Again, whatever happened to his original plan to serve student from the immediate Red Hook neighborhood?) Fine. He's got his eye on another location - but what he wants may not connect smoothly with what the DOE decides to do in the long run. He also took offense again when I pointed out that Red Hook has been cut off from the rest of Brooklyn with only bus access ever since Robert Moses built the expressway, and that despite that, PS15 has committed teachers and some families who value the school enough to make the effort to commute in from considerable distances EVEN THOUGH it's not right next to a subway station. His reaction to this was borderline hostile, and another parent attending the meeting basically told him to back off.

After he left the meeting, the DOE representative pointed out several things that PS15 may need to seriously consider: the PAVE School has more money attached to it than some other charter schools, and that with the low enrollment situation at PS15, the PAVE Academy might be one of the more positive alternatives because we might be able to negotiate more positive "sharing" options with them than some other schools with very little financial backing - for instance, an up to date science lab, rather than merely air conditioning systems which have a limited lifespan. It appears that - according to the DOE - as long as PS15 has low enrollment, it's almost inevitable that there will be pressure to place SOME charter school in its building. We may need to develop strategies to boost enrollment if we don't want another school dumped on us; we might add 6th through 8th grade to the school (which could actually be a positive move for many of the Red Hook families who may not want their kids bused out of the neighborhood for middle school). We could also include a bilingual lab, and/or a Mommy and Me program for kids who are younger than pre-K students (and this could be a feeder program for the pre-K program at the school).

Things to think about. I'll be adding more posts soon - but these issues have been on my mind for a while now.

I'd love to see some comments posted here - the webcounter is showing nearly 300 hits as of today (March 27), so I know people are looking at the blog.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Editorial Notebook; In Defense of 'Bloody' Red Hook - New York Times

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Editorial Notebook; In Defense of 'Bloody' Red Hook - New York Times

This is an old story, but reinforces the point that the staff of PS15 has worked very hard to create a safe haven in a neighborhood that outsiders have a lot of preconceived notions of. It also underscores how grating it is that the DOE wants to "reward" PS15 by parking a Charter School, run by a novice who doesn't apparently have much of a clue about Red Hook or our school, in our building.

P.S. 15 Patrick F. Daly School

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P.S. 15 Patrick F. Daly School

Just some background that reiterates the importance of small class sizes at PS15

The Brooklyn Paper: Parents win: Education Department agrees not to add charter school to Red Hook’s PS 15

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The Brooklyn Paper: Parents win: Education Department agrees not to add charter school to Red Hook’s PS 15

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

501(c) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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501(c) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "private"

OK: this gets a little sticky, and Wikipedia's not the Ivy League choice of reference, but when I asked Spencer Robinson whether he didn't feel there was a conflict of interest operating a private business in a public school (and asked whether most private businesses asking for investment backing wouldn't need to secure a definite site of operation before they'd be able to convince investors that they were stable), he got all flustered and tried to make it sound like his charter school was a public business...

Charter schools are often 501(c)3 organizations - that's the designation for educational organizations - and they're also PRIVATE organizations. For all the gory details on tax exempt status, etc., click the link above.

Education Law - Google Search

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The Department of Education may be in violation of Education Law because it didn't present the charter school issue to the communitybefore making their bombshell announcement about putting the PAVE Academy in PS15 last month. Here are some resources.
Education Law - Google Search

Monday, March 17, 2008

Gotham Gazette is an excellent source of additional information...

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I've posted links to some of their articles on this blog to give readers a sample of the kind of fair and balanced reporting they present. For more, go to www.gothamgazette.org and find the "Education" tab and click on it. Then type in "charter schools" in the search box - the results are quite fascinating.

The Edison Election (Gotham Gazette, March 26, 2001)

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The Edison Election (Gotham Gazette, March 26, 2001)

History repeats itself... this article focuses on the privatization issue in connection with charter schools, and shows how parents and community groups get shut out of the decision making process. Is this really what we need in our schools? There are privacy issues involved as well, and parts of the issue also underscores the divide between families that are well off and those that aren't.

Poor Grades for a School ‘Contract’ (Gotham Gazette, July 2007)

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Poor Grades for a School ‘Contract’ (Gotham Gazette, July 2007)

If you're at all concerned about budget cuts and how money is distributed between public schools and charter schools (and you should be), make sure to read this one!

The City’s Resistance to Cutting Class Size (Gotham Gazette, April 24, 2006)

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The City’s Resistance to Cutting Class Size (Gotham Gazette, April 24, 2006)

PLEASE read this article if you're at all concerned about funding discrepancies and legal responsibilities...

Cloning A Charter School From Connecticut (Gotham Gazette, August 2004)

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Cloning A Charter School From Connecticut (Gotham Gazette, August 2004)

Charter schools are nice, but some public schools with dedicated staff are just fine, too, thanks - and if we respect our unionized teachers, should we support charter schools who don't have to use them? And the privatization issue is still very much there....

Charter Schools (Gotham Gazette, November 14, 2005)

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Charter Schools (Gotham Gazette, November 14, 2005)

This is one of several articles I'm going to post from Gotham Gazette presenting background information on charter schools in generals. Please don't miss the resource links at the end of the article.

More Media Updates

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Real Estate Brooklyn coverage Bay Ridge Eagle Brooklyn, 2007 NY information :: daily paper in Brooklyn This link title is misleading: it's actually an update about the PAVE Academy issue...

The Brooklyn Paper: Contact Us

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The Brooklyn Paper: Contact Us

If anyone wants to share aspects of the charter school invasion issue with a local paper, get in touch with The Brooklyn Paper.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A Response To The DOE's Position on "Sharing"

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Mr. Friedman states in an email to Emily Brown that the proposed co-location for the charter school PAVE is temporary while it secures a private facility. The President of PAVE, Spencer Robertson, in a meeting at PS 15 with parents last week, could not guarantee a time-line . The temporary status thus remains fuzzy because it depends upon PAVE finding another place. This can take months, years or decades. Even a few years would be too long as PAVE would be starting to crowd out PS 15.

Mr. Friedman also brings up that over 600 schools in New York City share space. There are, however, only about 60 charter schools in New York City. Are the other schools sharing space with other private non-profit enterprises or with public programs like English as a Second Language or Programs for the Gifted? It is not clear how this statement relates bringing in a Charter School at PS 15.

With the phrase"Giving the realities of space in New York City,... " Mr. Friedman seems to express the Bloomberg administration's sensitivety to real estate, and viewing most public schools as expensive or wasted real estate.

He follows up with"... each school having its own facility is not feasible if we are to ensure that there is an appropriate range of high quality school options throughout the city." This view is based on the belief that the schools need to be packed with many more students and services. This view is challenged by the fact that PS 15 is in control of the facilities, makes use of the space creatively through allocating class room space to art, music science and social history classes, and that the school was on the Mayors own list of most improved schools.

The solution for better schools might be right under the Chancellor's nose. Don't pack the schools, allow for class room space (in elementary) for art, music,social science and science, and keep the school population small.

Paul van Linden Tol

DOE Meeting with Red Hook Community re: PAVE Academy co-placement in PS15

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I'm a parent of a third-grader at PS15 who opposes the co-placement of the PAVE Academy (or any charter school, for that matter) in my son's school.  I understand that this decision has been put on hold temporarily, but I and many other parents are still extremely concerned about this issue. If you'd like to see WHY we oppose having a charter school placed in PS15, please see http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com.
 
Thank you for your consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
Emily Brown

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You can also reach me by phone at 917-720-7335.l.

Friday, March 14, 2008

P.S.15 PTA Update

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On March 3, 2008 Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez held an informational meeting regarding PAVE Academy coming to PS15. Invited by Ms. Gonzalez were Ms. Madison, and a representative from the following: PTA, School Leadership, UFT, The Justice Center, PAVE Academy, Department of Charter Schools, Department of Portfolio Development, and the Red Hook Civic Association.

John White, from the Department of Education's Portfolio Development apologized for the way the decision was made, but stuck to his statement that PS15 is the "mos underutilized school in District 15, making it the best choice for PAVE Academy". Mr. White promised that the Department of Education is committed to providing choice to parents, and that PAVE Academy would not encroach on PS15. MANY comments were made regarding the lack of notification of parents, school staff, and community members in this decision. Mr. White stated that a study was done of PS15 and the number of "underutilized" classrooms exceeded the number of utilized. Even with the majority of all of our classrooms used for programs like Creative Arts Tean, the Science Lab, Social Studies, Art, etc., Mr. White stated that the DOE follows a formula. Mr. White prmised to send Ms. Gonzalez his reports on that decision, and Ms. Gonzalez would be able to share information at her discretion. We have not heard from her.

Later that week, Jon McGettrick of the Red Hook Civic Assocation gave Spencer Robertson from PAVE Academy a tour of alternative sites in Red Hook. Seems Mr. Robertson really like the PAL Miccio located at 110 9th Street. Regardless of Mr. Robertson's feelings about sites, the decision is ultimately up to the DOE.

Member of the Assembly Felix Ortiz wrote a letter to Chancellor Klein voicing his concern about the placement of PAVE in P.S.15. He applauded the decision to put the proposal on hold and urged the Chancellor to "Search for an alternative site for PAVE. No further steps should be taken to implement the controversial placement of PAVE in PS15 until the plan has been thoroughly examined, and the parents, teachers, school officials, and residents of the Red Hook Community have had a voice in the process." Senator Velmanette Montgomery also wrote Chancellor Klein in opposition of siting PAVE at P.S.15, and of leaving the community out of the decision process.

The DOE has only delayed the decision to site the PAVE Academy at P.S.16. They didn't kill it. Until we see something in writing from DOE that the charter school will not be housed at P.S.15, we should continue to organize an opposition. ANY school coming to P.S.15 would pose a threat to our growth and progress. We are actively looking for ways to increase our enrollment. Please contact the PTA leadership if you have any ideas on how we can attract more families/students to P.S.15. We want our school filled with our community's children.

Please continue to contact Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez, Senator Velmonette Montgomery, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, Chancellor Joel Klein, and Mr. John White from the Office of Portfolio Development (the decision maker here) with your concerns and questions regarding P.S.15's future. We deserve not to be kept in the dark again. We deserve to be part of the process, whatever it may be.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Re: Message to the Mayor

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Dear Mr. Friedman,
 
I appreciate your taking the time to respond. However, there is one pressing question I need to ask on behalf of all the concerned parents of PS15 students: in light of the fact that the proposed co-location has been put on hold - at least temporarily - pending a community meeting with the Department of Education, when and where will this meeting take place? 
 
Thank you for your consideration.
 
Sincerely,
 
Emily Brown

On Tue, Mar 11, 2008 at 3:57 PM, Friedman Peter <PFriedman3@schools.nyc.gov> wrote:
Ms. Brown:
 
Thank you for writing to Mayor Bloomberg regarding the space sharing of PS 15. Your correspondence has been forwarded to the Department of Education (DOE) so that we may respond accordingly.
 
Your input in the matter is greatly appreciated. Please be advised that the proposed co-location is temporary while PAVE secures a private facility. However, in the interm, the DOE is confident that the co-location will not harm the educational program of PS 15. Also, the utilization of the building and the proposed co-location will not cause increased class size at PS 15.   
 
Over 600 schools in New York City share space. Given realities of space in the New York, each school having its own facility is not feasible if we are to ensure that there is an appropriate range of high quality school options throughout the city.
 
I hope this information is helpful. Thank you again for taking the time to write the Mayor.
 
Peter Friedman
Associate
Chancellor's Strategic Response Group
NYC Department of Education
52 Chambers Street
New York, NY 10007
 



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You can also reach me by phone at 917-720-7335.

Check out my digital photography at http://picasaweb.google.com/emilyholiday/EmilyBrown; I also have a short slideshow video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4527071836788208173

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fwd: CEC 15 MEETING ON MARCH 19TH, 2008

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: CEC15 D15 <CEC15@schools.nyc.gov>
Date: Tue, Mar 11, 2008 at 12:39 PM
Subject: CEC 15 MEETING ON MARCH 19TH, 2008
To:


PLEASE POST AND DISTRIBUTE








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



After the Rally at City Hall



. . . Let's continue the conversation



Budget Cuts - $1.7 million in District 15 Alone



Wednesday March 19th, 2008

7:00pm to 9:00pm






P.S. 32 - Samuels Mills Sprole

317 Hoyt Street (Between Union and President Streets)

Subway:  F, G to Carroll Street

Bus:  B71, and B75






--
You can also reach me by phone at 917-720-7335.

Check out my digital photography at http://picasaweb.google.com/emilyholiday/EmilyBrown; I also have a short slideshow video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4527071836788208173

Fwd: Budget Cuts - and protest/actions coming up soon!

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: CEC15 D15 <CEC15@schools.nyc.gov>
Date: Tue, Mar 11, 2008 at 12:47 PM
Subject:
To:


PLEASE POST AND DISTRIBUTE


THANK YOU
FROM CEC 15



--
You can also reach me by phone at 917-720-7335.

Check out my digital photography at http://picasaweb.google.com/emilyholiday/EmilyBrown; I also have a short slideshow video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4527071836788208173

PAVE Academy

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I'd like to know when the public meeting to discuss the PAVE Academy's proposed placement in PS15 is scheduled to take place. I'm a parent of a PS15 student, and like most of the other parents at the school, I am very strongly opposed to having this happen; I've been researching the issue and have compiled and organized a blog dealing with the issue, which you're welcome to look at at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com - it makes it manifestly clear why this decision will have a profoundly negative impact on an excellent and high achieving public school. Please contact me at emilyholiday@gmail.com or at 917-325-1348. It's of the utmost importance that this meeting take place in order to have a true dialogue between the community and the Department of Education; our childrens' educations are at stake.
 
Thank you.
 
Sincerely,
 
Emily Brown

--
You can also reach me by phone at 917-720-7335.

Check out my digital photography at http://picasaweb.google.com/emilyholiday/EmilyBrown; I also have a short slideshow video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4527071836788208173

Monday, March 10, 2008

- Contact Us: Helping Hand

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- Contact Us: Helping Hand

Here are some contacts that may be helpful

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Welcome - A Note from the Founder | PAVE Academy Charter School

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Welcome - A Note from the Founder PAVE Academy Charter School

This is the Welcome message from Spencer Robertson, who talks about "accountability" in his message:

When we got the green light to open the school from New York State on January
16, 2008, PAVE Academy immediately became accountable to a number of entities
throughout the state and city governments.


What he DOESN'T mention, however, is how he will be accountable to the Red Hook community in general. Does it sound like he feels he's only accountable to governmental agencies? He has to be accountable to them if he's going to operate a school under their auspices.

By the way, it wasn't easy finding this website - it's not even registered with any of the popular search engines yet. There's not a lot of depth on the site yet, either. Does this inspire confidence in prospective parents? Take a look at the credentials of the people involved in the organization so far - they have fine academic credentials, but it doesn't sound like they have very much hands-on experience yet.

Location | PAVE Academy Charter School

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Location PAVE Academy Charter School

Click the link above to see the Academy's public statement about their plans (or lack thereof) for a location for their school. This issue has been bothering me for a while for several reasons. Initially, I felt that the Department of Education deserved most of the blame for wanting to insert a charter school into an existing public school, but the more I've thought about it, the charter school itself should share responsibility for poor planning on this particular topic. What business (and make no mistake, this IS a business, and a private one) in any other sector would be taken seriously if it made plans to start operating by a specific projected date without having a definite location secured IN ADVANCE? Please. This is what any business person with any common sense would call POOR PLANNING.

The Brooklyn Paper: Parents win: Education Department agrees not to add charter school to Red Hook’s PS 15

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Another press clipping about the situation

The Brooklyn Paper: Parents win: Education Department agrees not to add charter school to Red Hook’s PS 15

Founding Teacher PAVE Academy Charter School

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Here's the job posting recruiting teachers for the PAVE Academy.

Founding Teacher PAVE Academy Charter School

Why Charter Schools and Privatization Are Un-Democratic and Do Not Serve the Public's Best Interest

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I'm posting this on behalf of Paul van Linden Tol, a Brooklyn Public Library librarian who worked for many years at the Red Hook branch and helped initiate several programs including one which brought books from the BPL system to PS15; he is a parent of a PS15 student. - The Moderator

I lived in Red Hook, worked in Red Hook and my Son is in third Grade school and has been at PS 15 since pre-K. We were Lucky! because Max's first teacher in Pre K was Ms. Perry. Ms. Perry, now retired , was a great teacher, storyteller, philosopher and a keen psychologist who understood the soul of children. She worked for the public schools all her life and was committed to Red Hook and PS 15. (Moderator's note: Ms. Flanagan was the other teacher in Max's pre-K, and she was also wonderful!) We discovered since then that PS 15 is rich in teachers like her.

PS 15 is not a failing school. PS 15 an example of what a good public school can do. The school was on the Mayor's list of most improved schools. The last and the current principals both were /are pro-active. The combination of a dedicated staff, a strong PTA and an involved community, has made the school a good example of how, without any gimmicks, a good public school can work.

The Board of Education had arbitrarily decided to house the Charter School PAVE at PS 15. The Charter School would capitalize on the good foundation that had been laid by the teachers, principals, PTA , the community and the parents. They would skim of the cream of the students and force the school to have larger classes per teacher

The Board of Education is only partly to blame. Although charter schools existed in the 60's, they have now become an hallmark of republican administrations in an overall effort to privatize the public institutions including the schools as much as possible. Both former mayor Giuliani and the current mayor Bloomberg adhere to this * "market fundamentalist" credo. It boils down to "privatize as much as possible-;2. de-professionalize as much as possible; de-fund as much as possible. They thereby hand over the public ( and democratic) domain over to private enterprise. If left unchecked they would privatize the water supply (which already happened in some townships in Maine). This un-democratic attitude was expressed in Red Hook by the disdain the Board of Education and Chancellor Klein showed in deciding to go ahead with the Charter School at PS 15 without input from the community.

The development of charter schools started in New York in big way during Mayor Giuliani's tenure with such companies like Edison Schools Incorporated. The idea was that these schools were to be more innovative and unencumbered by the restrains of the public schools. They could hire non- union teachers and could be exclusionary in regards to students.

However, in California where they are ahead from us in their experience with Charter Schools,
University studies from the University of California failed to show any significant improvement.
They strongly suggest that there is no magic bullet about improving the schools.
Also in California, sixty charter schools had to close recently because of a 113 indictment of its Director. The charges included siphoning 5 million dollar from the schools to the management section of the company.

A similar situation happened in Milwaukee's New Hope School when its director was indicted for embezzling $300.00 dollars

In general Charter Schools
1. Drain funds from the public school budget to private companies
2. They are not truly accountable to the public and not really that different.
3. They are selective and often cream off the best students.
4. There is also an indication that most of the Charter Schools are actually under-funded and
receive only four fifth of the dollar per student.
5. Chancellor Klein has given a positive performance rating of the charters schools they monitor.
What is unconvincing is that the report only rated 13 of the 60 charters school in New York.

Because of the above and as a parent I am opposed to housing a charter school at PS 15
It will marginalize PS 15 because of larger class size, less special programs, less students and less money.

Thanks,
Paul van Linden Tol

* A Market Fundamentalist believes that "private enterprise "can solve all problems in the world no matter how complex.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

MEETING TO DISCUSS PLANS FOR PAVE ACADEMY

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I noticed a sign in Spanish posted in the 77 bus stop shelter this evening that read

PAVE Academy Charter School
Reunion para informacion
Hora: 6:30 - 7:30
pm
Fecha: Tues., March 11th
Lugar: Red Hook - 7 Wolcott
Street
Telefono: (212)437-8332


As soon as I saw the sign, I took one of the tear-off tags hanging from it and checked my son's knapsack to see if there was a similar announcement from the school inside. There wasn't. There are several things about this sign that are interesting to me; first, obviously, that there wasn't a similar notice from P.S. 15, which makes me wonder whether the organizers of the meeting had bothered to tell the school yet. Second, why is the sign only in Spanish, at least at the particular bus stop where I found it? It's obvious even to a non-Spanish speaker like me what the sign means, but still. Also, the sign was printed up on totally plain paper - no letterhead, not even a logo or any other distinguishing marking.

When I got home, I called the phone number listed on the sign, and got a recording telling me that it was the PAVE Academy's phone number and that I could leave a message for Spencer Robertson and Timothy Burke, and that I could also reach Spencer Robertson after hours at 347-218-2684. By the way, this is the first time I've been able to get any contact information for either the PAVE Academy or Mr. Robertson - and I've checked all over the internet already. The level of secrecy up to this point puzzles me - I don't know why someone starting a new school would make it difficult for others to find ways to reach them. I'll be calling back in the morning because I want to know what their plans are now that the original plan to locate the school at PS15 is on hold.

7 Wolcott Street happens to be the address for the local Brooklyn Public Library.

I'll update the blog when I find out more... maybe I'm making too much of a mystery out of a little piece of paper hung in a bus stop, but a few things just seem a little off.

Fwd: PAVE Charter School to be placed in PS15, Red Hook

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: James Devor <jimdevor@yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 1:34 PM
Subject: Re: PAVE Charter School to be placed in PS15, Red Hook
To: emilyholiday@gmail.com,

As of Tuesday evening, it is our understanding that the plan to place PAVE inside of PS 15 is "on hold"

To be clear, notwithstanding its clear obligation under the Education Law, at no time did the central Department of Education "consult" with the local Community Education Council regarding our opinions as to where PAVE should be located or even as to whether or not the Charter School in question was a good idea. Indeed, none of us were told of the planned placement of PAVE inside of PS 15 until a few days before the parents were.

This cavalier disrespect for our Council (and Community) was especially grating since we had recently gone through the turmoil over the placement of the Kahil Gibran Academy last spring. We took great pride in our role in amicably resolving that problem and were promised by the Department that we would not again be similarly taken by surprise in the future. That pledge like so many others by the Department of Education was shamelessly broken.

As I was quoted in the Courier, PS 15 may (or may not) be the best interim location for a Charter School serving Red Hook, but that first requires a conversation between the community, the CEC and the DOE. Personally, I still insist that conversation must be held BEFORE any such decision is finally made.
____________________________________________
Jim Devor (1st VP, Community Education Council 15) jimdevor@yahoo.com


Gotham Gazette: City Government

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Gotham Gazette: City Government

Here's some more information about District 38 and Representative Sarah M. Gonzalez, and how to contact her.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Google Search Results

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Google Search Results

It's interesting to note that while searching the DOE website for "charter schools", you get literally hundreds of hits, but if you type in "opposition to charter schools", you only get two results, and they're the kind of self-congratulatory stuff that's mildly interesting, but not really very "meaty" in the long run.

Google Search Results

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The NYC DOE's official statements and policies regarding Charter Schools are presented here



Google Search Results

The New York City Department of Education

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The New York City Department of Education

The New York City Department of Education

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The New York City Department of Education

Feedback Form

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Feedback Form

Monday, March 3, 2008

Insideschools.org Blog: Search results for Patrick Daly

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Insideschools.org Blog: Search results for Patrick Daly

City charter school plan for PS 15 is put on hold

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City charter school plan for PS 15 is put on hold

Advocates for Children Sums It Up...

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Tuesday, February 19
Seeking space for new schools, DOE comes up against into angry parents

Posted by Philissa at 11:04 AM


If it's February, it must mean that the DOE is scurrying to find spaces for all of the new schools it plans to open in September. In addition to the 27 high schools and transfer schools opening in the fall, some number of elementary, middle, and charter schools will also open, and they all need space. Many of the city's schools are officially under capacity, but those schools have been able to make headway in reducing class size and improving performance, and they don't want to compromise their gains. (Official school capacities assume that classes will have the largest legally permitted number of students.)

This year, in response to complaints in the past, the DOE is giving school communities greater warning before placing new schools inside them. As a result, parents afraid of age-mixing, overcrowding, and other tensions have more information earlier — and they're just as angry as they were last year. I don't envy the DOE's Office of Portfolio Development right now.

Here are a few space-sharing issues I've come across this year. I'm sure I'm leaving some out — have you heard of more?


When the DOE announced that it was planning to place a new high school devoted to the film industry in Long Island City's IS 204, parents and students there protested. It's still not clear where the school will be located.

In Red Hook, Brooklyn, the DOE would like to house a new charter school in PS 15. The widow of Patrick Daly, the PS 15 principal who was killed in 1993 in gang crossfire while searching for a truant student, says he would have opposed the charter school.
Without any available space in the North Bronx, where it has been open — and housed in trailers — for the last two years, the Young Women's Leadership School is being moved into IS 162 in the South Bronx.
Kingsborough Early College School, previously located on the community college's campus, which lacked many amenities, will be moving to the Lafayette building; according to the Daily News, some parents won't be allowing their kids to move along with the school.
When the principal of PS 21 in Queens received a letter that said the DOE was considering putting another school in the building, parents were angry, saying that sharing space would diminish the quality of their excellent school.
At PS 84 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where last year middle-class parents reported being made to feel unwelcome when they asked for new programs, the DOE proposed creating a new elementary school. Hispanic parents protested, saying the DOE was trying to create a system of "separate but equal" schools in the building. The DOE now says no new school will open in PS 84 this fall.






1 comments:
Anonymous said...
PS 15 is a good school in a tough neighborhood. It's on the verge of becoming a top-performing and truly integrated school for the first time in its forty year history. Placing a charter school in PS 15 would lead to crowded classes and drain vital resources. There are no other charter schools sited within public schools in District 15. We want the same consideration.

Mary O'Neill

February 19, 2008 10:00 PM
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