Friday, April 18, 2008

A Response and Update from Spencer Robertson

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, which is chock-full of information and has had well over 300 hits in the month the blog's been up.
Emily Brown

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