Today’s news:

Success suit: W’burg parents sue charter before key school vote

The Brooklyn Paper

Charter school officials who hope to open a 200-child elementary school in Williamsburg this fall violated state law by not conducting enough outreach in neighborhood and failing to secure the support of the community, a new lawsuit alleges.

North Brooklyn parents and community leaders accused the Harlem-based Success Charter Network of denying the existence of neighborhood opposition and “failing to solicit and carefully consider community input” into the proposed charter school, which is trying to set up shop in MS 50, a struggling S. Third Street middle school.

On the eve of a city panel’s vote on the proposed charter — scheduled for Thursday — more than five dozen plaintiffs filed suit seeking to stay the decision on what they described as an “unlawfully chartered school.”

Success officials said that they gathered 1,400 signatures from North Brooklyn parents interested applying for the new school, according to court papers — but an attorney representing charter opponents said that Success staffers never sent state officials any proof.

“They described the same petition for all three schools [they plan to open in Brooklyn this year],” said Advocates for Justice’s Arthur Schwartz, who faulted state trustees for neglecting to demand better evidence. “They didn’t say where they got them. My understanding is they collected them from all over Brooklyn.

Success Charter Network CEO and former Manhattan Councilwoman Eva Moskowitz proposed a new elementary school in North Brooklyn’s District 14 last year — one of seven schools she hopes to manage in Brooklyn by 2013.

After the city proposed placing the school share space with MS 50, some Williamsburg parents and activists have mobilized against the high-performing charter group, which boasts high test scores and the backing of Mayor Bloomberg.

Critics scrawled arguments against the school’s marketing campaign on subway posters at the Bedford Avenue L station in January and blasted its organizers for allegedly targeting wealthier children in the Northside rather than English language-learners in the Southside.

Hundreds of parents demonstrated against the plan at two public hearings at MS 50 last month, clashing with supporters — some bused to the neighborhood from Success locations in Harlem.

Luis Garden Acosta, director of the neighborhood arts and culture group El Puente and a plaintiff in the suit, said opponents were forced to take to the courts because the city’s Panel for Education Policy — which has the final say on charter applications — is a “rubber stamp body with no integrity” and that the “public school system is at stake”.

“Eva Moskowitz is the kind of irresponsible public persona who would in this most segregated city, attempt to pit black parents from Harlem against Latino parents from Williamsburg,” said Garden Acosta. “I believe she will go to any length to achieve her ends, and her ends are rooted in the corporate interests that support her and her desire to become mayor of New York City.”

A Success Charter staffer called the lawsuit “shameful” and said it would get in the way of neighborhood children receiving a better education.

“We firmly believe this location is perfect for students of all demographics and backgrounds,” said Success Charter Network’s Jenny Sedlis. “The answer to this parental demand for better school options is to open more good schools to serve more children, not to file frivolous lawsuits to protect the broken status quo.”

The suit is the second that parent groups have filed against the quickly expanding charter organization.

Parents in Cobble Hill sued Success Charter Network in February, claiming the network “unlawfully circumvented” state education rules in order to open there when it was supposed to open in a different school district.

Schwartz believes that state authorities have let Success “slide in” with “generalized, unsupported assertions” about having backing from neighbors in Williamsburg, despite the law’s stringent requirements.

“In the two lawsuits growing out of this circumstance we hope not only to stop the siting of these two schools, but to force those granting the charters to enforce the rigorous community outreach, input and support requirement put into place by the legislature,” he said.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at ashort@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2547.

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Grateful Parent from Williamsburg says:
Why doesn't no one ever mention Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School in this conversation? They been around since 2005 and serving our kids and communuty exceptionally well
March 1, 2012, 8:22 am
Steven Rosenberg from Park Slope says:
This is the face of liberal/leftist depravity: I refuse to let you have the possibility of a better education because that would be UNEQUAL and "unfair.

We are screwed if you can successfully sue to prevent your kids from having a better education. S-C-R-E-W-E-D.
March 1, 2012, 9:22 am
Williamsburgmom from Williamsburg says:
Steven,

The law for approving charter schools for particular districts states that the charter school has to do "rigorous" community outreach in advance of approval. This has not been the case with Success Academy. The community at large had not been informed of this proposed school until long after approval had been promised and co-location imminent.

Our district simply does not have enough children for the kinds of "free market" approach to education - even if that approach worked which studies show it doesn't.

Our district boasts 2 extraordinarily high performing schools, two of which outperform Success Academies (if test scores are considered the measure of success), and both of those schools have space for children.

We have ANOTHER Success Academy opening in this fall.

Success Academy and the DoE has been trying the frame this issue in terms of "choice" and "better education," even "demand," but they lose on all of those fronts. Our district has plenty of choices, we have great schools, and there is not enough demand to fill the available choices.
March 1, 2012, 9:49 am
Williamsburgmom from Williamsburg says:
Grateful,

Williamsburg Collegiate is a middle school. Success Academy is targeting our elementary schools even though they want to co-locate in MS50.
March 1, 2012, 10 am
A from Greenpoint says:
WB Mom,

Greenpoint and Northside have good schools that are oversubscribed. Southside schools cannot say the same thing. I am no fan of charter schools taking over thriving schools, but MS 50 is not currently a strong school. I agree that the Success marketing program was offensive. But some parts of the charter story make sense in certain neighborhoods. Williamsburg is a gray area in this regard - up and coming but with pockets of weak schools. A close call . . .
March 1, 2012, 10:05 am
Williamsburgmom from Williamsburg says:
A,

The only schools that could be considered oversubscribed are PS132 and PS34. And there's still room at both of those schools in K-5. PS110 is quickly becoming an exciting option for many parents that would otherwise have gone to PS132 or PS34. And PS414 is a brand new progressive school that will offer parents in the PS132 catchment area a new choice.

Only PreK is oversubscribed in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. There is room for kids in K-5 at the two highest scoring schools.

There already is a another Success Academy for parents who want that choice. I'm not sure where it makes sense in the MS50 area.

It defies logic to support MS50 by bringing in an unneccessary K-5 charter school. I agree that MS50 needs support to strengthen its school, but charter elementary schools aren't offering that.
March 1, 2012, 10:32 am
Malembi from BK says:
—— all you people. I can't believe kids still have to go to school at all. Do it online.
March 1, 2012, 10:39 am
Kate Yourke from Williamsburg says:
Success Academy Williamsburg is opposed by our Congressional representative, City Council member, Community Board, Community Education Council, Churches United, and all our local Community Based Organizations, educational institutions, and public school communities.

Success Academy had to bring 4 buses of parents from Harlem to create an illusion of support here in Williamsburg.

Charter schools were designed to be flexible, unique entities created by a community to respond to a specific community need. These corporate charters are replicating rapidly and invading our public school buildings as part of a destructive attempt to privatize our public education system.

The Mayor might believe these schools are in the best interests of the City, but this community will not allow our precious resources to be handed over to outside entities to meet an agenda which does not serve our needs.

The PEP will vote tonight to ignore the volumes of opposition to Success Academy, because this is not at all a democratic process. The real stakeholders are excluded from all but the impact. When parents of public school children have a meaningful say in decisions made for our schools we will see policies that actually support public education, not private equity and real estate.
March 1, 2012, 11:19 am
Williamsburgmom from Williamsburg says:
Well put, Kate. It's important to add that in spite of the millions of dollars that Success Academy spent on their marketing campaign to the wealthier side of our district, these are not schools that will appeal to the diversity of the Williamsburg/Greenpoint community. Middle class families are not interested in Success Academy. Even the three people who have been outspoken in their support have been equally outspoken about not wanting to send their children there.

Had there been genuine community feedback, this waste of time, energy, and money would have been evident from the start.
March 1, 2012, 11:35 am
Williamsburgmom from Williamsburg says:
This comes from the NYMag article about Eva Moskowitz:

New students are initiated at “kindergarten boot camp,” where they get drilled for two weeks on how to behave in the “zero noise” corridors (straight lines, mouths shut, arms at one’s sides) and the art of active listening (legs crossed, hands folded, eyes tracking the speaker). Life at Harlem Success, the teacher says, is “very, very structured,” even the twenty-minute recess. Lunches are rushed and hushed, leaving little downtime to build social skills. Many children appear fried by two o’clock, particularly in weeks with heavy testing. “We test constantly, all grades,” the teacher says. During the TerraNova, a mini-SAT bubble test over four consecutive mornings, three students threw up. “I just don’t feel that kids have a chance to be kids,” she laments.

Noguera, too, has reservations about the “punitive” approach at Harlem Success and other high-performing charter networks. He thinks it grooms conformists, and that middle-class parents would find it anathema. “What concerns me are the race/class assumptions built into this,” he says. “If you’re serious about preparing kids to be leaders, you have to realize that leaders have to think for themselves.”
March 1, 2012, 12:05 pm
Accuracy from Greenpoint says:
The article says that the school will be a 200 student school. Really, it opens with 200 students for Kindergarten and first grade. Every year 100 more. Eva Moskowitz does not believe in small class sizes.
March 1, 2012, 12:39 pm
Fred Dresser from Bushwick says:
A K-5 charter school in WB would be a parasite eating away at schools that are already improving. Its is NOT NEEDED here. Take it somewhere else, if at all.
March 1, 2012, 1:39 pm
Williamsburg Parent from Williamsburg says:
Success' argument is that they are fighting the "status quo" in Williamsburg. This neighborhood for the past 20 years has hardly been status quo. Why would people flock here from all over the world to experience more of the same? It is a well known fact that the residents of this neighborhood are a concentration of some of the most innovative and creative people (and yes, parents) in New York. What is status quo is us accepting a chain, cookie-cutter, McCharter that claims to be a one-size-fits-all education model. Sorry but we are way too creative and innovative for that!!!!!! Put your Walmart school elsewhere!!
March 1, 2012, 1:59 pm
David from Greenpoint says:
Its simply about choice. If nobody wants to attend the school, it will fail. Everybody is 'about choice' except when its against their own 'interests'. UFT spent plenty of $$$ and Ive gotten multiple anti-charter letters from 132, so they've both wasted lots of money.
March 1, 2012, 4:17 pm
Burgmama from Williamsburg says:
Yes David. I agree. I feel sorry for the parents of local schools. That they feel they need to spend all of this energy fighting the charters, when that energy could be better spent in their own school, improving and adding new programs. I don't think the "creative and innovative" types will go to Success anyway. I think what a lot of these parents are failiing to realize is that their use of class warfare is insulting and scaring away many of the newcomers they are trying to attract. Ps 84 had their own informational meetings in the condos trying to attract the more monied residents. I wonder how often they visit the head start programs and the like. I see nothing wrong with trying to raise money for your school, but don't rail against "gentrifiers" and think people won't notice the hypocrisy.
March 1, 2012, 7:23 pm
los sures supporter from Williamsburg says:
Burgmama - PS84 never did any informational reviews at condos. You are flat out lying. If not, then please list the dates when these condo presentations supposedly occurred and what PS84 administrators conducted those meetings. They do have tours at the school of course, and obviously children from all over attend PS84 including those that live in condos. And, really what public schools ever do presentations anywhere besides at the schools themselves? Unlike the Success Academy, they cannot waste money on advertising because they have to teach special needs kids and English Language Learners and spend their money on experienced teachers and specialists. Schools do tours to attract all families to their school, and anyone can come on a tour. They want children to attend, any and all children. Public schools, unlike charters, are not a business - something which apparently you don't understand. Also, there are many, many kids at PS84 from head start programs. Are you being serious?? There is not "class warfare" at PS84, actually, the PTA is functioning extremely well, and the school is very integrated and everyone supports the teachers and administration. In any case, the reaction to the Success Academy co-locating into MS50 has nothing to do with class warfare, and everything to do with fighting a horrible charter. The response from our Latino leaders isn't about class warfare either, it's about being completely left out of the discussion. And, you sound like you have a consumer mentality about choosing a school, and if so, have your child attend a private school then. Public schools build community. If you are part of the community you participate, you don't support some financially suspect chain to come into victimize the children at MS 50. That is simply wrong. Good people react when others, especially children, are harmed, if you think that that is class warfare, you lack compassion and a conscience.
March 1, 2012, 8:35 pm
To Los Sures says:
Stephanie Anderson did a private tour for Northside Piers Residents and she asked for a lot of money. Just ask her. This is a fact.
March 1, 2012, 8:45 pm
Williamsburg says:
Burgmama - a tour is not a meeting at a condo building which was your claim. So, you do admit to lying!! All students are welcome at PS84 including those who live at Northside Piers. How is that class warfare again? Obviously, all schools fund raise. I'm currently supporting the gala that PS 132 is throwing. Is that class warfare too?
March 1, 2012, 8:55 pm
Farrah from Bushwick says:
Burgmama, you're making an awful lot of accusations about class warfare when by all accounts people seem to be coming together on this issue against Success Academy.
March 1, 2012, 9:14 pm
Class Warfare says:
Stephanie Anderson cant ask us for 10k and then attack all
the wall street people for being behind charters.
March 1, 2012, 9:24 pm
burgmama from williamsburg says:
I said informational tour. I see absolutely nothing wrong with it actually. And I don't think there is a class war in the school. For those of us with young kids checking out schools we can only go by what we see on tours and hear from parents. If the wagpops and other opponents are positioning themselves as representing the schools it gives people pause when they come across some of the language used in most of the opposition mailings, fliers, webpages... bankers, lawyers, hedgefunders and anyone who is employed by a large corporation are the devil (that sort of thing). I, like most, am appalled by what some in the banking industry have done to our country, but I'm not about to assume that everyone who works for a bank or a law firm or even walmart is the anti-christ. Do you not realize that the community includes these people? While I don't know Stephanie Anderson, I have read a lot of her posts about PS 84 on local blogs and I found her passion for the school wonderful. I think she has done an amazing job of garnering strong support for the school. But I don't see any of that anymore. Her positive voice has been drowned out by another element.
March 1, 2012, 9:32 pm
burgmama from williamsburg says:
Wow, you are a cynical bunch. I'm not the other two. I was paying Stephanie Anderson a genuine compliment. She has clearly done a lot for the school and she deserves a lot of credit and praise. I just think that many local parents would be more interested in your cause if you returned to a more positive message about what's great about the existing schools. Instead, it's been hijacked by a group who is more interested in name calling and bullying.
March 1, 2012, 9:55 pm
a grown-up from williamsburg says:
A bunch of "mean girls" the lot of you. I'll be home-schooling.
Thanks!
March 1, 2012, 10:02 pm
SL Resident from Williamsburg says:
There was a sign up sheet in my building for an info session to be held in our building about the programs at PS 84. I think it was in the fall. I don't know if they had the meeting. Sorry, it's true.
March 1, 2012, 10:21 pm
Net Result says:
Success approved. Steph Anderson
discredit more cbarters coming
anyonr working in finance law real estate
avoids ps 84
only happy person is Kate Yourke
March 1, 2012, 10:21 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Charter schools reaching out to their surrounding community is just a joke. If that was really true, then I would believe Ratner everytime he said he was for the community when he never really was. For the most part, the majority of the students that go to charter schools are NOT from the area. I betcha if evaluations just like the one recently done on public school teachers would find them no different than that of public school teachers. Then again, they only supported the evaluations because it wasn't touching them.
March 1, 2012, 11:06 pm
KondoKing from neighborhood says:
hey Net Result,

How did you manage to step away from Grand theft auto online multi-gaming? And why are there illiterate 15 year olds on Brooklyn Paper?
March 1, 2012, 11:07 pm
PS132 from Williamsburg says:
Burgmama,
What becomes increasingly evident the more you post is that you don't have a school age. You refer to a single parent (regardless of what you infer about her) as though she had anything to do with the running of the school. This isn't the case at ANY school. You'll also find, to your possible dismay, that all public school parents are against charter schools co-locating in their schools. But more importantly, people get upset when they witness what they thought would be a democratic process take the shape of a dictatorship. This is decidedly not about "choice.". This is an issue of redistribution of public funds. The hedge fund language appropiriately being used to describe the restructuring of public education into a market is not about individual bankers. I don't have any beef with any Williamsburg hedge funders or people in finance. Many bankers who know a thing or to about education disagree with charter schools as well. And, let's not kid ourselves here, not a single finance family will place their child in Success Academy Williamsburg.

I am loathe to continue conversations that finger point at any individual. It's unnecessary. The arguments against Success Academy are strong enough.
March 1, 2012, 11:09 pm
PS132 from Williamsburg says:
I meant school age child.
March 1, 2012, 11:11 pm
To ps 132 says:
Bloomberg, Cuomo, Obama:

All democratically elected, and guess what, they love charter schools. No one cares about the CEC or some minor elected official.

The school reform movement has just began. Look at what is happening here. Success was just approved and soon COTW will be approved.

If you are not happy with this then don't vote for Obama in November, and in Nov 2013 pick a mayor who hates charter schools.

That is democracy.
March 1, 2012, 11:19 pm
Publius from Brooklyn says:
I work on Wall Street - in the hedge fund industry in fact - and I'm married to one of the wagpops moms, and I help proof and read their stuff all the time. Your description of "language used in most of the opposition mailings, fliers, webpages... bankers, lawyers, hedgefunders and anyone who is employed by a large corporation are the devil (that sort of thing)" is a flat-out lie and falsification. They are specifically referring to the inappropriateness of hedge fund managers and other financial market actors (who (1) have no expertise in the field of education and (2) may have financial incentives to affect the flow of public dollars available to charter schools in ways not best for the public good) serving on the boards of schools funded with public dollars. They do not malign people in financial services, nor are they engaging in class warfare. They are, in the classic sense, "speaking truth to power". You are lieing in a transparent attempt to thwart their message and I assume you are doing so because you have something personal to gain from it.


For everyone else, the underlying point is this - Why would you want your child attending a school (like Success Academy and many charters) that is governed by people who, despite being very smart in other ways, know nothing about education (I work with these people, they do not have education backgrounds or experience, other than earning their own degrees) and may have a vested interest in pushing the school in a direction that is not in the best interest of your child or the community? Would you want hedge fund managers on the governing bodies of the police or fire departments? No - you want experienced law enforcement people and fire safety people who KNOW what they are doing. Same goes with education. Get a hedge fund manager for managing your money - they can be good at that - but don't put your child's education under one's control.
March 1, 2012, 11:21 pm
Publius from Brooklyn says:
Sorry readers, forgot to indicate that the point above addressed to the post by "burgmama"
March 1, 2012, 11:26 pm
To Publius says:
Why don't you email all your friends and associates in the "hedge fund industry" and show them the stuff that is on wagpops.

You have alligned yourself with occupy wall street, and they don't like anyone in the hedge fund business unless you are George Soros. You would be laughed at by everyone you know.

Please explain how people from Hedge funds are making money off charter schools? No new for Profit charter schools are allowed to operate in NY. Board members are not allowed to be paid.

Not one credible news organization has written any article saying how hedge funds are making money off of charter schools, so please enlighten the group.
March 2, 2012, 7:08 am
it is i from brooklyn says:
To those "free market" posters who say that it's no big deal for Eva's chain to give it a go with the rationale that if the people don't want it, it will fail, you need to think about cause and effect. Charter schools are authorized for 5 years. If the charter school screws up, fails, it is a big deal. The students, in both the public and charter schools suffer. It is simply irresponsible, for the powers that be, to continue authorizing charters, when there are so many unresolved issues pertaining to charters. As for choice, charters actually thwart choice. When they come into a building and encroach on public school space, this is harmful to the public schools, it undermines public school communities.
March 2, 2012, 8:44 am
Publius from Brooklyn says:
Everyone,

In response to the request from "To Publius" that I "enlighten the group", here are 2 quick examples about how it can be profitable for a hedge fund manager (HFM) to serve on the Board of a non-profit charter school. Example 1: As a member of the Board, the HFM participates in / influences decisions on how to appropriate the school's budget, which is mostly or entirely funded by public money diverted from local school budgets. Almost every charter school hires a Charter Management Organization (CMO) - which are for-profit companies generally and can pay their employees whatever they want - to handle all the non-teaching operations of the schools, which is where most of the budget goes (everything but teachers' salaries). Here's a simple scenario: the HFM can communicate to wealthy individuals that he/she has or wants as investors and tell them, "Invest in / buy / start-up this CMO" and then can affect the school to give a no-bid, generous contract to the CMO to handle the operations of the school for several years. It's a "You scratch my back and I'll scratch your back" activity, all perfectly legal under current law, and all done without public visibility because there is little to no public accountability and oversight of how charter schools spend your tax dollars. In the case of NY state, where charter schools are not evaluated for 5 years, this kind of arrangement can be very profitable for the people working for/investing in the CMO for several years even if the charter school is doing a poor job of educating your child. All this gets done outside the public view and the major media sources that have the resources to sniff it out are choosing not to (e.g. Rupert Murdoch owns a company selling testing services to the DOE)

Example 2: Congress created this thing called the New Market Tax Credit (NMTC), which many charter schools use to fund their operations and facilities (e.g. see http://www.occ.gov/static/community-affairs/community-developments-investments/spring11/articles/financing/cde11spring06.htm ) and there are lots of investment funds structuring deals around the NMTC (e.g. see http://www.trfund.com/ ), some of which are sincere in their goals and others which are just structured to take advantage of the NMTC for investors. In a nutshell, the NMTC guarantees an investor a average 5% annual return on a loan for 7 years that is above whatever interest rate the charter school pays (which again is not subject to public oversight and be whatever the board and investor agree to). Say the rate on the loan is only 3-4% - then the investor is getting 8-9% annually on a very low risk loan (funded by your tax dollars) when comparable loans out in the market are paying about 2%. Again, the law and the media do not prevent a HFM from directing friends/investors to go invest in the NMTC loans, which they can help to approve, to the school, and the law is grey enough, and the people doing the financial engineering smart enough, to even allow the HFM to ultimately benefit personally from the NMTC loans to the charter school on which he/she is a Board member, if some want to take that risk.

Also, since the subject was raised, Occupy Wall Street has two working groups addressing financial issues, developing alternative banking and financial services models, and interacting with government and industry financial officials. There are many people with Wall Street experience participating in these working groups, including other people like me working in the hedge fund industry. Just like the rest of the country, opinions are divided on these things among Wall Street people; there are some people who think the status quo is great, and others trying to change it from within. "To Publius" (Hi John) knows this, or could know it, but from the way he or she writes, they have a lot of arrogance and ego and don't seem interested in facts that challenge their ideology.
March 2, 2012, 11:09 am
Answer To Publius says:
This is the law in NY.

The bill includes several measures dear to charter school critics. It bans for-profit charter operators from managing schools, allows the state controller to audit the schools, and creates new regulations around how the schools serve special education students and English language learners. And the bill sets up new rules that govern how New York City charters share building space with district schools.

Regarding the 2nd point please give an article written by a major publication that says Hedge Funds/ Wall Street is using the New Market Tax Credit (NMT in a way that hurts schools? Give us one article from a normal newspaper, news organization.
March 2, 2012, 11:35 am
it is i from brooklyn says:
11:35
The bill does not include enough measures to ensure that the abuses that have been occurring, do not continue to occur. One of the premises for the existence of charters is that they are able to operate independently. If they are to be independent, then why are they dependent on co-locations? Because, charters are not sustainable. I realize you were addressing Publius, but I am curious as to what you mean by a "normal" newspaper or news organization.
March 2, 2012, 12:12 pm
Lorna Feeney from Williamsburg says:
Juan Gonzales wrote an article in the NY Daily News that explains how "not-for-profit" organizations are making big bucks off charter schools in NYS.

In an interview about the article, he said:

"One of the things I’ve been trying now for a couple of years is to try to figure out why is it that so many hedge fund managers, wealthy Americans, and big banks, Wall Street banks, executives of Wall Street banks, have all lined-up supporting and getting involved in the development of charter schools. I think I may have come across one of the reasons. There’s a lot of money to be made in charter schools, and I’m not talking just about the for-profit management companies that run a lot of these charter schools.It turns out that at the tail end of the Clinton administration in 2000, Congress passed a new kind of tax credit called a New Markets tax credit. What this allows is it gives enormous federal tax credit to banks and equity funds that invest in community projects in under-served communities and it’s been used heavily now for the last several years for charter schools."

In the full article, he goes on to explain how this financial structure, rife with cronyism, has caused serious problems for charter schools in Albany:

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-05-07/local/29438011_1_charter-law-albany-charter-state-aid

It's unfortunate that journals like the NYT haven't covered this issue. But, considering that Success Academy founder Joel Greenblatt is one of the paper's top shareholders, it's not surprising.
March 2, 2012, 12:57 pm
Stephanie Anderson from Williamsburg says:
Since I was personally addressed, I figured that I would at least clear up a couple of things.

I am a PTA volunteer parent at PS 84. I help out with tours and communicating information to prospective parents along with donating time for fund raising and school projects. Because of helping with the tours, and answering questions about PS 84 on list servs, many people associate me with the school, but I'm just one out of many parent volunteers who help with the tours and do community outreach and work on our website.

Last school year, the school administration was asked to do a tour for a group of parents from the Schaefer Landing condo, and this year there was a tour for a group from the Northside Piers condo. Recently, another group of neighbors asked for the same, and while it hasn't occurred yet, the school would probably accommodate them as well. It seems to make some sense to provide information to any group that takes the time to bring people to the school. If any larger group wanted to meet with the administration from anywhere, they'd simply have to ask the school to see if it's possible. I am not in charge of picking dates for the tours, or organizing them, but I'm happy to help out prospective parents. I don't recall asking anyone for $10,000, but if they'd like to donate, the PTA will happily accept!

There have been no presentations at any building sites although I could arrange for a group of parents to speak to folks if someone requested it. I personally think a tour of the school is better, so that parents can see the facilities and the teachers and ask questions.

Informally, some parents have gone to the daycares and preschools where their kids went when they were little to answer questions about the school.

I do want to say that I have not witnessed bias against any parents at PS 84. In fact, the school goes to great lengths to make all families feel welcome, and the extraordinary access that parents have to the school on a daily basis is proof of that. In the last 5 or 6 years, parents have elected two different attorneys to be the PTA president, so I really doubt that there's any ill will toward lawyers! In fact, there are many parents of PS 84 students that work in finance or real estate or for large corporations including my husband, and our family feels completely at home at PS 84.

Sincerely,
Stephanie Anderson
March 5, 2012, 9:48 pm
Stephanie Anderson from Williamsburg says:
Since I was personally addressed, I figured that I would at least clear up a couple of things.

I am a PTA volunteer parent at PS 84. I help out with tours and communicating information to prospective parents along with donating time for fund raising and school projects. Because of helping with the tours, and answering questions about PS 84 on list servs, many people associate me with the school, but I'm just one out of many parent volunteers who help with the tours and do community outreach and work on our website.

Last school year, the school administration was asked to do a tour for a group of parents from the Schaefer Landing condo, and this year there was a tour for a group from the Northside Piers condo. Recently, another group of neighbors asked for the same, and while it hasn't occurred yet, the school would probably accommodate them as well. It seems to make some sense to provide information to any group that takes the time to bring people to the school. If any larger group wanted to meet with the administration from anywhere, they'd simply have to ask the school to see if it's possible. I am not in charge of picking dates for the tours, or organizing them, but I'm happy to help out prospective parents. I don't recall asking anyone for $10,000, but if they'd like to donate, the PTA will happily accept!

There have been no presentations at any building sites although I could arrange for a group of parents to speak to folks if someone requested it. I personally think a tour of the school is better, so that parents can see the facilities and the teachers and ask questions.

Informally, some parents have gone to the daycares and preschools where their kids went when they were little to answer questions about the school.

I do want to say that I have not witnessed bias against any parents at PS 84. In fact, the school goes to great lengths to make all families feel welcome, and the extraordinary access that parents have to the school on a daily basis is proof of that. In the last 5 or 6 years, parents have elected two different attorneys to be the PTA president, so I really doubt that there's any ill will toward lawyers! In fact, there are many parents of PS 84 students that work in finance or real estate or for large corporations including my husband, and our family feels completely at home at PS 84.

Sincerely,
Stephanie Anderson
March 5, 2012, 9:48 pm

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