Tuesday, April 29, 2008

URGENT! DOE Meeting on May 7 at 5:30 re: siting of PAVE Academy at PS15

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While checking my email this morning, I found this message from another parent whose child attends PS15:

When I was dropping off my daughter at PS 15, Ms. LaBoy (the parent
coordinator) informed me that DOE is holding a public meeting on the
siting of PAVE Academy at PS 15 next Wednesday, May 7 at 5:30 PM.
While DOE claims that this meeting is akin to the legally mandated public
hearing, it's unclear whether PS 15 parents and staff will be allowed to
testified. Moreover, the families awarded seats at PAVE via of
the lottery have already received notice that the school will be located PS
15 - weeks before the so-called public hearing. Sadly, the PAVE
families are being coached to raise a ruckus at the May 7 meeting to show
support for the charter school - clearly a sick and divisive tactic on
Spencer Robertson's part.

I'm glad she passed this information on - but it's warped that I made direct contact with the DOE offices in charge of charter schools on numerous occasions, and they claimed ignorance of when this meeting would be scheduled or even WHO was responsible for scheduling this.

Are we being intentionally deceived because the DOE has already made a decision about the siting of the charter school? I think it's very likely. I think it's also warped that Mr. Robertson also feels a need to resort to tactics like this to ensure that he has a location for his charter school; how does this serve the Red Hook community in any positive way? Is this someone we want to be stuck trying to negotiate with over two or more years? Does anyone else reading this blog think that this may be more about Mr. Roberston protecting his business interests rather than genuinely trying to help Red Hook's children? He makes a lot of noise about the importance of choice in education... I think we need to show him that true choice is a two way street.

I'll be contacting the school this morning to get more information about this, as well as the DOE.

If you support PS15, please make a point of attending this meeting and speak out. Email me at emilyholiday@gmail.com or phone me at 917-325-1348 if you want to discuss more details.

Emily

Monday, April 28, 2008

Meeting re: Charter Schools Tonight

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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

www.cec15.org









SPECIAL CHARTER SCHOOL HEARING




Date: April 28, 2008
Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Location: P.S. 146




AGENDA




1) Call to order




2) Introduction of members of the council – Ms. Jennifer Stringfellow




3) President’s Comments – Ms. Jennifer Stringfellow

4) Superintendent Rosemary Stuart - Introduction of Daniel Kikuji Rubenstein, Founder/Executive Director - Brooklyn Prospect Charter School www.brooklynprospect.org

5) Questions & Answers




6) Adjournment







Thank you for your active participation in your child(ren)’s education!







Next Calendar Meeting: Thursday, May 22nd, 2008 7:00pm - 9:00pm



Community District Education Council aka CEC, is a legislated body [See - Education Law, Title II. School District Organization, Article 52-A. New York City Community School District System NY CLS Educ.- 2590-c].

The Councils replaced the community school boards when the Mayor gained control of the school system, and are charged with representing parents’ perspective/issues/voices.

Fwd: Special Charter School Hearing Agenda

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: CEC15 D15 <CEC15@schools.nyc.gov>
Date: Mon, Apr 28, 2008 at 3:14 PM
Subject: Special Charter School Hearing Agenda
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 <mailto:CEC15@schools.nyc.gov>

www.cec15.org



SPECIAL CHARTER SCHOOL HEARING




Date:  April 28, 2008


                                                Time:  6:30pm - 8:00pm

             Location:  P.S. 146



AGENDA



1)   Call to order



2)   Introduction of members of the council - Ms. Jennifer Stringfellow



3)   President's Comments - Ms. Jennifer Stringfellow

4)  Superintendent Rosemary Stuart - Introduction of Daniel Kikuji Rubenstein,     Founder/Executive Director - Brooklyn Prospect Charter School    www.brooklynprospect.org <http://www.brooklynprospect.org/>

5)   Questions & Answers



6)   Adjournment





Thank you for your active participation in your child(ren)'s education!





Next Calendar Meeting:      Thursday, May 22nd, 2008 7:00pm - 9:00pm



Community District Education Council aka CEC, is a legislated body [See - Education Law, Title II. School District Organization, Article 52-A. New York City Community School District System  NY CLS Educ.- 2590-c].

The Councils replaced the community school boards when the Mayor gained control of the school system, and are charged with representing parents' perspective/issues/voices.






--
"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, April 18, 2008

DonorsChoose.org Blog: Sale on NYC Charter School Projects

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DonorsChoose.org Blog: Sale on NYC Charter School Projects Click on the link to find out more about one of the many generous ways organizations hand out money to Charter Schools.

It would be interesting to research whether similar funding is available for public schools.

Especially since I'm really irritated by certain people (ahem) complaining about how expensive it is to run a charter school (if you're going to complain about a key aspect of your job, then maybe you need to look for another occupation).

parent choice re: schools

1 comments Links to this post

It's interesting to hear that you feel that your lottery was an opportunity to celebrate parent choice. However, I do feel that I need to respond to your email addressing the issue of choice, and our apparently differing definitions of the word.
 
While I personally don't think much of charter schools, I do not dispute the right of other parents to choose to send their children to charter schools. But the real, core issue in a discussion of choice as it applies to sharing PS15's building with a charter school is this: PS15 was not offered a choice in the matter. The staff and parents were not consulted ahead of time; there was absolutely no choice - let alone an informed choice - involved. We were delivered an ultimatum by the Department of Education in February. The decision to place your charter school (or any charter school for that matter) within PS15's building has been put on hold, temporarily, but in the  meantime, the DOE has failed to respond in a definite way to requests for more information on holding  a public hearing about the issue, or about the status of their decision. This is fairly typical of how the DOE operates, and I speak from personal experience.
 
However, what I'd like to ask you is this: what other locations, other than the PAL location, have you considered as a potential location for your charter school? Red Hook is gentrifying rapidly right now; it's considerably different from what it was 10 years ago, when my husband lived right around the corner from PS15.  There's considerable new construction going on in Red Hook. Surely there are other options available within the area that would not infringe on a public school that's doing extremely well because it has small class sizes combined with a dedicated staff, as well as strong support from its parents and the community. It serves as an anchor for the community because it also houses the Beacon program that runs an after school program, a summer camp, and additional recreation and social improvement opportunities for community residents - all of which would be compromised by having a competing school which also happens to be a privately run organization sharing its space and competing for the same resources it needs. Considering the recent budget cuts to public schools, this competition would be even more unfair. It seems to me that if you are really seriously dedicated to helping the children of Red Hook, especially through offering their families real choices, you could find a way to do this without compromising the community's award winning public school.
 
I'd also like to know how much influence you have over the DOE's decision on your ultimate location? Considering the resources that appear to be available to you, I think it's safe to assume that you are in a position to bargain with the DOE fairly easily, and that if you were able to find another location for your school on your own, there would be a much stronger possibility that PS15 and the PAVE Academy could co-exist within the same community on equal and fair footing, which would obviously present a more democratic choice to the community.
 
That's my two cents on the issue, but I think you should take a look at the blog and see that other members of the community are also not interested in having a charter school imposed on PS15. For every person that has publicly posted a comment on the issue, be assured that there are at least 100 others who feel the same way. I'm genuinely interested in finding out whether you've pursued other venues, and would appreciate finding out more about this. 
 
Thank you,
 
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/

A Response and Update from Spencer Robertson

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srobertson@paveacademy.orgHi Emily- I saw your warm and supportive note on our Idealist Page and thought it merited a response. We have indeed been actively pursuing space within the PAL on Clinton Street. John McGettrich has been extremely helpful in terms of helping attempt to connect us with the right people to make a location there feasible. Unfortunately, at this juncture at least, it doesn't look like that is going to work out. We held our lottery last week. More than 60 families attended (of the 115 who sought admission for their children). It was a beautiful evening- a celebration of parent choice. I have attached several photos that I believe capture the joy and excitement of the evening. In the future, if you would like to communicate with me- please email me directly (at this address) or call me at 212 437 8332. It's far easier for me to address your queries and concerns this way. Enjoy the splendid spring weather. Toodles-- Spencer

Spencer was responding to the following comment I posted in the forum section of his Idealist listing - interestingly enough, the PAVE Academy is no longer registered with Idealist as of the end of April:

I'm sure that you're aware at this point that the Red Hook community is strongly opposed to having the PAVE Academy located within PS15 for a variety of reasons - some of which include a lack of consistent transparent communication with the Red Hook community about alternative locations, and a strong concern that co-locating would have a profoundly negative impact on PS15 by affecting the number of students using the classrooms and other facitilies in the building.
Another source of concern is the impact on financial resources for PS15 during a time when budgets are being cut dramatically, should your school be occupying their premises (rent free, I'd like to add). What benefit does PS15 get from having a charter school foisted on them?
Have you been able to locate another site yet? Are you actively looking?
Obviously, you're entitled to start up a Charter School and run it as best you can, but does it really need to be at the expense of a public school that happens to be doing an excellent job of serving the population you claim to want to help so badly - without the financial backing of a rich family or other outside sources of funding, by the way. PS15 has succeeded where others might have failed because of a very dedicated staff and seasoned, committed teachers who have spent time establishing a close rapport with the community - some of them are members of the community themselves - and they've done it on a shoestring budget.I t's a bit ironic having an outside organization show up out of the blue trying to preach to the community about what's best for them.
Just out of curiousity, how many students have you managed to sign up through your lottery so far?
Anyone who wants to know more about opposition to placing the PAVE Academy in PS15 can take a look at http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com, which is chock-full of information and has had well over 300 hits in the month the blog's been up.
Emily Brown

The Brooklyn Paper: Family Calendar

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Note that on Saturday, April 19 at 3, PS15 will be the venue for plays written by Red Hook youth. Would we be able to do this next year if space had to be shared with another school? Or would we be competing for rehearsal space and our own auditorium? The Brooklyn Paper: Family Calendar

Monday, April 14, 2008

Atlantic Free Press - Hard Truths for Hard Times - Destroying Public Education in America

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Atlantic Free Press - Hard Truths for Hard Times - Destroying Public Education in America PLEASE click on this link and read it all the way through, even if you read nothing else on my blog. This article is AMAZING!

idealist.org - Welcome to Idealist.org - Imagine. Connect. Act.

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Just some commentary left on their idealist profile... to balance the story a bit. Click this link: idealist.org - Welcome to Idealist.org - Imagine. Connect. Act.

Brooklynian.com | Brooklyn Blog and Message Boards :: View topic - Proposed Charter School at PS 15 STOP IT NOW!!!!

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Click on the following link to see what other people are saying about the PAVE Academy:
Brooklynian.com Brooklyn Blog and Message Boards :: View topic - Proposed Charter School at PS 15 STOP IT NOW!!!!

Location | PAVE Academy Charter School

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Location PAVE Academy Charter School Please read this statement from their website carefully; note that they're in discussion with the DoE, not the community, about locations....

And keep in mind that they've been offered newly built, available space outside of PS15, but that they allowed too much time to pass before making a decision on the other location and lost it, and that Spencer Robinson complained about rental and other real estate prices and the cost of running a charter school during a small informational meeting at PS15. Boo, hoo: while charter schools get less funding than public schools from governmental sources, they're allowed (and expected) to do loads more fundraising to cover their expenses - the money's out there, especially for children's educational and cultural enrichment.

Gmail - Google Alert - PAVE Academy Charter School - emilyholiday@gmail.com

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http://mail.google.com/mail/?source=navclient#inbox/1194ba95e079749c Click on the link for more internet material on the PAVE Academy

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS; Sarah Collins, Spencer Robertson - New York Times

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This is just a side note, but provides a little personal background on Spencer Robertson. He's apparently from a very well-off background... it must be nice to work for good old dad, but what about those hedge funds? How well is he really going to fit in in a place like Red Hook? Is he just "slumming", or does he have a real interest in improving education for local students, or is he just trying to compensate for having come up with plenty of advantages? WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS; Sarah Collins, Spencer Robertson - New York Times

Building Excellent Schools: Fellow-Founded Schools

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Click on the link for recent fellowship recipients.

Building Excellent Schools: Fellow-Founded Schools

Building Excellent Schools, fellowship programs

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Click on this link and you'll see the links to the fellowship programs offered by Building Excellent Schools. Spencer Robertson's getting $80,000 to start a charter school in their "home" communities.

Thing is, I just can't see Spencer Robertson calling Red Hook home, unless he's planning to move to Red Hook soon - into one of those buildings that's selling for a million dollars. We all know what gentrification does to neighhborhoods... especially to the people who were there for years BEFORE gentrification. (Anyone who isn't sure should read some Jane Jacobs...)
Building Excellent Schools: Fellowship

Building Excellent Schools: Bio Details

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Click on the following link to see a profile of Spencer Robinson; I think it's interesting that while he has some professional experience teaching, his B.A. from Duke doesn't mention any focus on education, and obviously his Stanford M.B.A. is NOT an education degree. It's also interesting to note that his charter school, the PAVE Academy, is a project he's working on is through a Fellowship program , presumably through Building Excellent Schools. Some of the work details listed here make it sound like he may be more interested in running businesses than being on the front lines teaching. Since his most advanced degree is an M.B.A., it annoys me even more that during the meeting we had at the school last month, he challenged my questions about the legitimacy of his running a private business (the non-profit charter academy) on public school property - he tried to duck my question by questioning whether his non-profit was actually a business. He KNOWS it is, and he assumes that he's dealing with ignorant or uninformed people.

So my question today is this: is his commitment truly to educating students, or to establishing and administering education programs? I'm asking because the teachers who work at PS15 have shown their true dedication to teaching by remaining committed to working with the Red Hook population over the course of years - more years than the meager three that Mr. Robertson spent teaching in Harlem.

Anyway, have a look at the profile.
Building Excellent Schools: Bio Details

Monday, April 7, 2008

Fwd: Charter Schools being placed in existing public schools

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: DiLiberto Lisa (15K029) <LDiLiberto@schools.nyc.gov>
Date: Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 11:32 AM
Subject: RE: Charter Schools being placed in existing public schools
To: emilyholiday@gmail.com


Hi Emily,
I am not aware of the charter school you are referring to however this did occur at NEST+M 2 years ago when the chancellor wanted to place Courtney Ross's charter school in their building. Courtney Ross is the founder of The Ross Institute in East Hampton which is a private school. The parents and students at NEST, reserved 2 Jitney's and took a ride to EH in polite protest of the disruption this charter school would cause to their building and community. The parents won, but the charter wound up kicking out a school that was housed at TWEED.
The principal at NEST from that event no longer works at the school, but you may want to give the parent coordinator a call to see if that person would be willing to give you some ideas as to how they protested and won.

Good luck.


Best,
Lisa di Liberto
PS 29 Parent Coordinator
425 Henry Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
347.563.5386
ldiliberto@schools.nyc.gov
www.ps29brooklyn.org <http://www.ps29brooklyn.org/>
<http://www.nycps29pc.blogspot.com/>


________________________________

From: Emily [mailto:emilyholiday@gmail.com]
Sent: Mon 3/31/2008 11:31 AM
To: shy1995@msn.com
Subject: Charter Schools being placed in existing public schools


I'm the mother of a student at PS15 in Red Hook, and as you may have heard, the Department of Education has decided to place a new charter school in our building starting next fall. Many of the parents connected with the school - and other members of the community - are quite upset by this. Our school has received high grades, and excels in serving its existing student population - and has small classes and a "family" feel that really supports the students in many positive ways. As part of the effort to protest this decision, I've set up a blog that provides substantial background on the issue, and I'd like to ask you to take a look at  your convenience, and if you have any suggestions or feedback on how we can successfuly block having a second school arbitrarily placed on our premises, we'd be glad to hear from you.

And just for the sake of democratic argument, if you have an interesting argument pro-charter schools, feel free to speak up on that as well.

Here's the link to the blog: http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/

Thanks for your consideration -

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

Re: Charter Schools

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Thanks for your response, and for looking into the matter. My understanding of what happened at that meeting was that the plan to place the PAVE Academy Charter School in PS15's building has been temporarily put on hold. While that may be a step in the right direction, and I definitely appreciate Councilmember Gonzales's efforts to support PS15 in this matter, this is still a  a temporary resolution, and the bottom line is that we're still concerned that the DOE will put off making a definite decision until so late in June that it will be difficult for us to coordinate an appropriate response should they decide to place the charter school in our building - and when I've called the DOE on several occasions, they have given me incredibly vague responses that amount to this : they dont know when they'll make the final decision about placement of the school, they don't know when they'll schedule an official meeting with the community about this, and nobody there seems to know (or won't tell me) who's responsible for scheduling these meeting or making the decisions (this is according to Michael Duffy himself, by the way).
 
Anyway, what can parents at PS15 do to make the DOE schedule an official meeting, get them to answer our questions honestly, and how can we best make it clear that we don't want the DOE to place a private business (which is what this charter school is) on the premises of a public school that deserves their full support - especially since PS15 has received honors in the past few years for fully supporting the educational needs of children in a neighborhood that has remarkably few other resources? The combination of both PS15 and the Beacon program that's housed in the school make the place an anchor for the community, and a valuable resource will have to struggle much harder in the face of budget cuts if an additional and  competing institution is co-housed in the same building - this would be completely wrong, and can't be allowed to happen.
 
Thanks
 
Emily Brown 

On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 3:14 PM, Sarah Figuereo <sarah.figuereo@gmail.com> wrote:
Hello Emily,
 
I am Sarah and I work for Councilmember Bill de Blasio. I spoke to Mark Schwienzberg at Councilmember Gonzales office and they said they held a meeting with the community, school, parents, and DOE.
 
I am trying to get more information on what the outcomes was of those meetings. I will inform you as I get the information. Thank you for alerting us.

--
Sarah Figuereo
Councilmember Bill de Blasio
2907 Ft. Hamilton Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11218
(O) 718-854-9791
(F) 718-854-1146
(C) 347-277-9972
This message and any attachments is intended for the named addressee(s)
only and may contain information that is privileged and/or confidential.
If you receive this message in error, please delete it and immediately
notify the Office of New York City Councilmember Bil de Blasio. Any copying,
dissemination or disclosure, either whole or partial, by a person who is
not the named addressee is prohibited.



--
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

Friday, April 4, 2008

Insideschools.org - Where to get help outside the school system

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Insideschools.org - Where to get help outside the school system Click on this link for lists of organizations that may be able to help should we continue to fight the charter school placement at our school

Charters Go to New Recruitment Lengths | The New York Sun

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Click on the following link to find out what depths charter schools sink to in order to boost enrollment. Pay special attention to the part where the article discusses how the DOE helps charters recruit by making mailing lists available through a mailing house. Where do you think the DOE really stands on supporting public schools vs. charter schools? Charters Go to New Recruitment Lengths The New York Sun

Battle Over School Space Will Heat Up Today | The New York Sun

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More coverage of another public school's current fight against a charter school co-location - click on the link below:
Battle Over School Space Will Heat Up Today The New York Sun

News Copy, New York: Charter Schools

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News Copy, New York: Charter Schools: "charter schools"
This is a blog with some odd analyses of the charter school situation, and it also has a batch of links to mainstream news outlet blogs that may be useful for additional research.

As Bid to Privatize Schools Ends, Supporters Second-Guess Effort - New York Times

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This is somewhat deep history on the opposition to privatization issue, but is relevant because there appears to be an ongoing pattern of the DOE giving less support to public schools in less affluent neighborhoods - and possibly neighborhoods where they feel there isn't going to be much organized resistance.

As Bid to Privatize Schools Ends, Supporters Second-Guess Effort - New York Times

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Public Advocate for the City of New York – How We Help

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Public Advocate for the City of New York – How We Help
Click on this link to find out more about how the Public Advocate (Betsy Gotbaum)'s office can help with education issues.

An Opposing Viewpoint

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Hi Emily: I do have had extensive experience with charter schools & space issues in NYC. Think about it. Schools are large, fixed spaces. Communities that serve these schools fluctuate in size. This means that over time some buildings become very overcrowded and other buildings become very underutilized. The DOE places multiple schools into underutilized buildings to minimize the overcrowding in other schools. . The DOE has moved past the idea one building, one school; it just doesn’t work anymore. I was at a school building recently that had 3 schools (a K-8 DOE school, a DOE 75 special ed school & a new charter school). The school building was still dramatically under-utilized. Its capacity was 1400 and it only had 800 students. The charter school was leaving, and the DOE was intending to place a large second elementary school in the newly freed up space. I just checked & your school building is one of the most under-utilized elementary school buildings in Brooklyn. . It has space for 762 students and as of 06-07 had only 409 students enrolled. You are at 53% capacity. (http://source.nycsca.org/pdf/bluebook/classic_report_final.pdf) If you can fight off this particular charter school, that doesn’t mean that the DOE won’t turn around and fill your school with something else, like overflow from another school or a 75 special ed school. By the way, the ones that suffer most from this arrangement are the charter school, not the existing school. The existing principal has the upper hand in deciding whether or not the new school gets to use the gym or the auditorium or the play space. So why don’t charter schools get their own facilities? Well, they are public schools, but they only get 70 cents on the dollar for educating each child. The missing 30 cents is the money that the district spends on facilities. So they have no choice but to go into DOE schools. Your school does have good reviews, but that doesn’t mean that it works for every parent in your neighborhood. There are parents on the charter school side who would like a choice besides PS 15. In my experience, a strong and positive school culture comes from parents, teachers and the leadership at the school. There is no correlation between a school being isolated in a building and its having a family and friendly feeling. Hope this helps answer your question, - Elena

a blurb from Class Size Matters (sorry it's after the fact)

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Leonie Haimson to nyceducationne


A total of 15 new charter schools are being established next year – a record for NYC.
 
 See message below from mom at PS 15 in Red Hook in D15 in Brooklyn – which is being forced to accept a charter school in its building against the wishes of parents and staff at the school.  She has posted a blog at : http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/  that you should check out and post comments on.
 
There is also a meeting tomorrow night at P.S. 123 about a new charter school, Harlem Success Academy, one in Eva Moskowitz' chain of charter schools, that is being placed in their building against the will of the CEC in D5 and parents at the school.
 
TIME: 5:30 PM
SPEAKER'S LIST:  5:30- 6:15 PM
DAY:  Tuesday
DATE:  April 1, 2008
LOCATION:  301 W. 140th Street| Village of Harlem
 
 
Meanwhile, see article in NY Sun here about the recruiting efforts of these schools, that are apparently being given access to public school parents names and addresses through the DOE mail house. http://www.nysun.com/news/new-york/charters-go-new-recruitment-lengths
 
 
Leonie Haimson
Executive Director
Class Size Matters
124 Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10011
212-674-7320
leonie@att.net
www.classsizematters.org
http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/
 
Please make a tax-deductible contribution to Class Size Matters now!

feedback from another school

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Hello
This is my two cents:
My school, PS 295, shares space with MS 443. We were in this building first. Sharing works out just fine.

Shari Pulido
Parent Coordinator
PS 295
718-965-0390  x4105
347-563-5367  cell

Here's a real downer...

0 comments Links to this post

I got this message recently, and it's depressing:

DOE has made several decisions with or without parental consent or
concerns, and they will continue to do so. Please keep in mind the NYC
School System is run by the Mayor??
The decisions are done deals.
CEC
District 181106 East 95th Street, Rm. 112Brooklyn, NY 11236Phone:
718-566-6037Fax: 718-649-7074cec18@schools.nyc.gov

Advice From The Trenches - URGENT! PLEASE READ THIS!

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I'd like to share something that another parent affiliated with another school emailed me yesterday. I think it's very important to pay attention to the experiences of others who have been in the trenches over this (and related) issues.

John White is an arrogant man with a corporate mentality who has no sense
of what it is to be a child or a parent in the public school system -- nor does
he have the intention or interest in learning. He makes changes that
affect 1000s of children based on superficial numbers that he has in a piece of
paper. Another thing that we've learned through this process is that no
one in the DOE is trustworthy. The way to battle them is to move quickly,
because the more time passes the more difficult it is for them to
retreat. We were able to mobilize more than 350 parents in 3 days, had an
emergency PTA meeting with the Superintendent where the voices of the parents
were unified. We planned a press conference for the following week and let
them know that we were going to have the press conference. After the press
release went out and they read it, they called an emergency meeting two days
before the scheduled press conference. The other issue that you need
to consider is that the new Charter school will affect your school even more now
with the anticipated average $100,000 cut per school through the State and City
budget cuts. The Charter School will represent additional cuts on top of
those Citywide losses. Is the Charter School planned for the same
grades/services currently provided by PS 15? We can't stress enough
the importance of becoming organized and unified as a school community.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The DOE is stalling...

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I may have mentioned that I spoke to Michael Duffy yesterday, asking when a meeting would be scheduled to present the charter school issue to the Red Hook community, and he couldn't tell me when it would be - he mentioned that a colleague of his was the one that would be making that decision. He took my email address and said they'd be in touch. (Please, someone get me an oxygen tank in case I pass out from holding my breath!)
 
Today, I got an interesting voice mail from a very reputable source who I can't name at the moment, telling me that often the DOE doesn't schedule these meetings until they've already made a decision  - and the meetings are to present what's essentially a fait accompli, and warning me that we shouldn't be lulled into a false sense of security just because the placement of the charter school has been temporarily put on hold. At the very moment I was listening to the message, my cell phone rang, and it was a fellow named Chris calling from the Office of Charter Schools. I asked him point blank when the DOE planned to schedule a meeting, because the DOE is in violation of education law if it insists on placing the charter school in our public school without holding the community meeting first. He told me he didn't know; I asked him if he could find out who was in charge of making that decision, and how I could arrange to be notified - and he claimed not to know who handles these decisions. I told him I found that incredibly difficult to believe; I also let him know that we needed to have the meeting scheduled before June, because the community was entitled to have their voices heard on this issue, have a dialogue, and be included in the decision making process - and asked again whether he could find out who was in charge of booking the meetings and when it would be, and get back to me. He continued to be vague and unhelpful, which made me wonder why he'd bothered to call me in the first place. He said that the principal would be getting notification as soon as the DOE had scheduled the meeting, and that it would probably be scheduled before June. It's obnoxious that he called to essentially tell me NOTHING... and at the end of the conversation, I let him know that I'd be calling on a regular basis to follow up on this because it's critically important.
 
By the way, I've heard from various sources that the DOE often assumes that it can place charter schools in public schools where there won't be much resistance because they assume (often wrongly) that the PTA is not very strong or well organized or involved in the school's development and day-to-day operations. Let's show them that they've made a mistake about Red Hook!

Gmail - CEC 15 March Updates

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Our situation is mentioned in this newsletter, and CEC 15 appears to be supportive of our side. http://mail.google.com/mail/?source=navclient#inbox/1190cb5db687dd68

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Public School 123 space spat pits Eva Moskowitz against Harlem parents

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Public School 123 space spat pits Eva Moskowitz against Harlem parents

Click the link above for a VERY interesting read, and see if you see some parallels. We're hardly alone in the fight between public and charter schools. This is an unusual story, though, because the apparently well-connected (or very much deluded about the extent of her power) head of THIS charter school brags that she'll fight back by bringing "hundreds" of parents supporting her school to a public meeting... can we all say CATFIGHT? Meow, meow.

DOE Lack of Response on when a community meeting will be scheduled...

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I called Michael Duffy's office this afternoon to find out when the DOE was planning to schedule a meeting with the community and PS15 to discuss placing the PAVE Academy in PS15; he told me he didn't know, but would check with a colleague and email me an answer.

Hmmm.

I wonder whether having more people call in on a regular basis would prompt him to find out and let us know sooner. Here's the phone number: 212-374-5419; you'll reach an automated voice system - choose 5 for Mr. Duffy.

GrandCentral: The New Way to Use Your Phones

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Apparently the NY Post is also interested in being kept in the loop on this issue.

GrandCentral: The New Way to Use Your Phones

At Charter School, Higher Teacher Pay - New York Times

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Here's a very controversial charter school model....
At Charter School, Higher Teacher Pay - New York Times

Public vs. Charter Schools: A New Debate - New York Times

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This is a somewhat old article, but shows that other schools have been in the same position as PS1, and that some of the official players are still the same...
Public vs. Charter Schools: A New Debate - New York Times

NEST M - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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For an interesting story on what can happen when a school protests a proposed school sharing arrangement, check THIS out... some of you may remember hearing about this in the news a while back, but it's an interesting read.
NEST M - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Strength in Numbers? Another strategy...

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Narger@aol.com Dear Emily, As a parent of two public school students, I am extremely sympathetic to your concerns. I just learned that IS 88, a middle school in Park Slope that just came off the "at risk list" two years ago is scheduled to have a Charter School placed in its building next year as well. It seems counter-ntuitive. The DOE should be looking for ways to improve its failing or non-erforming schools rather than saturating its successful schools and their facilities with additional students. I haven't had an opportunity to visit your blog, but I wanted to suggest, if you haven't consideredt already, that you work together with other schools that are expecting new Charter Schools next and that have received high grades and address this problem systemically, rather than trying to preserve the small school feel of only PS 15. The DOE knows there is strength in numbers and many successful schools will be seeing their student populations increase significantly next year. Have you considered contacting the Head of Parent Outreach? askmartine@schools.nyc.gov I hope this information is useful. Sincerely, Rachel Gertzog

Fwd: [Charter-Free PS15] New comment on Web Visitors.

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I'm re-posting this more prominently so it's more visible to all ... and I appreciate the comment.
 
Now, of course, the question is WHEN this hearing will be scheduled? I've been trying to get the DOE to pin down a date and time, but I keep getting snarky responses from them, and based on my own prior experience in dealing with the DOE, they take their time and do things at THEIR convenience (rather than anyone else's) - and I'd hate to see this meeting take place in JUNE when there's no time for follow up if we don't get the results we want and need.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Anonymous <noreply-comment@blogger.com>
Date: Mon, Mar 31, 2008 at 5:02 PM
Subject: [Charter-Free PS15] New comment on Web Visitors.
To: emilyholiday@gmail.com


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Web Visitors":

NYS Charter School law states that there must be a public hearing prior to siting a charter school in an existing public school: http://www.newyorkcharters.org/documents/NYSCharterSchoolsActof1998.doc#S2853



Posted by Anonymous to Charter-Free PS15 at March 31, 2008 5:02 PM



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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

Fwd: [Charter-Free PS15] New comment on General Question for Readers.

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: involved parent <noreply-comment@blogger.com>
Date: Mon, Mar 31, 2008 at 10:55 PM
Subject: [Charter-Free PS15] New comment on General Question for Readers.
To: emilyholiday@gmail.com


involved parent has left a new comment on your post "General Question for Readers":

It may not be considered a "charter" school but we are in the same boat as you. We had one high school imposed on us and now they are leaving. DOE wants to place yet another high school on us and we are fighting them tooth and nail on it. To read our story click on my name above.



Posted by involved parent to Charter-Free PS15 at March 31, 2008 10:55 PM



--
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: Charter Schools being placed in existing public schools

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: CEC19 D19 <CEC19@schools.nyc.gov>
Date: Mon, Mar 31, 2008 at 1:29 PM
Subject: RE: Charter Schools being placed in existing public schools
To: emilyholiday@gmail.com


I'm sorry to hear that but if there wasn't a forum about it you can protest the whole thing.

Community Education Council 19
557 Pennsylvania Avenue Rm. 315
Brooklyn, New York 11207
(718) 272-8033

________________________________

From: Emily [mailto:emilyholiday@gmail.com]
Sent: Mon 3/31/2008 11:31 AM
To: shy1995@msn.com
Subject: Charter Schools being placed in existing public schools


I'm the mother of a student at PS15 in Red Hook, and as you may have heard, the Department of Education has decided to place a new charter school in our building starting next fall. Many of the parents connected with the school - and other members of the community - are quite upset by this. Our school has received high grades, and excels in serving its existing student population - and has small classes and a "family" feel that really supports the students in many positive ways. As part of the effort to protest this decision, I've set up a blog that provides substantial background on the issue, and I'd like to ask you to take a look at  your convenience, and if you have any suggestions or feedback on how we can successfuly block having a second school arbitrarily placed on our premises, we'd be glad to hear from you.

And just for the sake of democratic argument, if you have an interesting argument pro-charter schools, feel free to speak up on that as well.

Here's the link to the blog: http://charter-free-ps15.blogspot.com/

Thanks for your consideration -

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