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Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sat Feb 13th 2010, 11:51 PM
It's amazing how much difference there is in the view from the charter school advocates who are moving into the high school almost forcibly....and the view from the public school students who are being displaced.

It shows a mindset of entitlement that private charter advocates would gloat at moving into a public building....sending the public school students to classes in the lunchroom.

First the view from those sympathetic with the public school PS 195.

Grassroots Education Movement: How the charter end game will hurt public schools

There are several important reasons why charter schools not only harm public school children, but are a direct threat to public education as we know it. The harm is not ideological in nature, it is direct. I just attended the expansion hearing of KIPP into PS 195 in Harlen this Monday - and it is heartbreaking to hear that PS 195 students have class in the cafeteria. The teacher must ask the other students who are having lunch to quiet down, so instruction can happen. And if this isn't unbelievable enough, KIPP is expanding from its current grades of 5-8, to K-8.

More than a few PS 195 teachers got up to demand that KIPP teachers stop threatening charter school students with the admonishment,"Do you want to be like them?" The lesson hammered into these children every single day in that partitioned environment is one of segregation. The public school students are made to feel less, and the charter school children learn that personal advantage gained by harm to others is not only an entitlement of their talent, but a necessity.

But let's assume the above injustices to public school students were not happening, and charter schools obtained their own space - there is still a troubling aspect to the charter school movement - and that is its endgame. If the ultimate goal is to help the vast majority of minority students; and we can believe the sincerity of the billionaires and politicians who are steering this movement, than I'll support charter schools full heartedly.

The actions of these NYC charters however tell a much different tale than the benevolent words they speak. They are invading spaces of A rated schools (examples, ps. 15 in Redhook Brooklyn, ps 123, and ps. 195 in Harlem, etc.) If the claim is to want to help the neediest children, then why are they choosing building with A rated public schools that are successfully helping their communities. And when you see the comparisons between the two co-located schools in the same building, why is it, that the charter school has significant lower special ed and ELL students than it's counterpart - when they both seemingly draw from the same community?

"Do you want to be like them?" What a terrible question. Insulting public school students and teachers in their own building. I believe it.

KIPP prides itself on its discipline methods. These methods would not have been acceptable in a public school environment. They are tactics of humiliation.

And the blogger points out that there is more to this charter invasion than appears on the surface.

So the fight to defend public education against charter schools, is more than about space, teacher unions, or a lottery system; it is to stop the manipulation of Black and Latino communities as chess pieces in a game to benefit the elite classes in our society. While the struggling parents in impoverished areas are positioned to fight each other for the scraps of space and funding that has been allotted by our society, the privileged lay waiting in the sidelines until all the energy is sapped out - and the doorway to unregulated access to taxpayer money opens.

NOW read the blog of a charter school advocate who apparently attended the same meeting.

Amazing KIPP event

Note the tone of celebration.

As I noted in my last email ( ), at these hearings the union and the regular public school (which always thinks it owns the building) usually organize protests to create media coverage and headaches for the charter school, the DOE, Bloomberg and Klein. As expected, the union and IS 195 are opposing the DOE giving KIPP Infinity Elementary the space being vacated by the high school, so we were expecting a big protest last night and, in response, organized KIPP students, parents and staff to turn out. And did they ever turn out!

KIPP ROCKED THE HOUSE! Our students and parents packed the room to the rafters and, one after another, took the microphone and told story after story about how KIPP had changed their life (or their child's life). Many speakers choked up. It was INCREDIBLY POWERFUL! And it was a brilliant example of advocacy in action. We need to be doing a lot more of this if we're going to win this war…

My comment to blogger...actually the public owns the building. KIPP does not. They are profiting from taxpayer money.

Note to blogger: The public high school is not "vacating". They are being forced out.

They are moving into a public school building, paid for with taxpayer money. KIPP charters get money from taxpayers like us.

Yet their advocates are actually celebrating a big "win" over a public school that apparently was carrying an A grade.

Something is very wrong with that picture.

There are no winners in that battle.

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