Monday, May 19, 2008

Delay in decision about siting PAVE Academy

I got a response from John White via email this morning regarding my question about siting the PAVE Academy, and it's posted below. It's a bit frustrating, though:

  1. The DOE is making great efforts to back charter schools and promote them, while "traditional" public schools don't seem to be getting the same level of attention
  2. Staff members of the DOE who are working most closely with representatives of charter schools aren't being informed of government aid made available to boost private sites for charter schools despite the fact that Joel Klein is fully aware of what's available
  3. The DOE talks about the efforts made by Mr. Robertson "for the sake of children" - some select children ennrolled in a charter school that doesn't even have a secure location for its operations yet, but what about the children who attend PS15?

Mr. Robertson responded to my question via email over the weekend with a non-response, inviting me to get coffee with him again. He hasn't answered the question at all, and I'm not particularly interested in having to carve time out of my schedule to fraternize with him. I just want him to answer the question - it's pretty basic. Here is Mr. White's response:

No announcement has been made yet.

Emily, nowhere have I read anything on this grant regarding the aim to "eliminate the need to share space with public schools." If you could send me where you read this, I'd appreciate it.

Instead, the material the Federal government released states, "Despite the popularity of charter schools with parents, teachers and the public, these distinctive public schools often face barriers. A high percentage of new charter schools point out that inadequate facilities have impeded the implementation of their charters."

Mr. Robertson is working to secure long-term space for the sake of his children. Irrespective of whether this includes Civic Builders, this process will take some time. For the sake of children, we should focus on locating an immediate home. If present efforts to do this outside P.S. 15 -- in conjunction with community and elected leaders -- are unsuccessful, we must consider an interim home in DOE facilities.

We will be in touch when this issue has been settled.

John White

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