Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A new article from The Daily News

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