From: "Berman, John" To: "jimdevor@..." <jimdevor@...> Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 9:48 AM Subject: FW: [nyceducationnews] Proposed High School Angers Parents at Gifted and Talented School
What did you say to Sternberg? Sorry I missed it
Suffice it to say, I will NOT be invited to Sternberg's next "Happy Hour."
For that matter, I don't think Walcott (who was kinda hiding in the back) will ever let me question him in a public venue.
Contrary to Leonie's assumptions, my questioning was designed to buttress our litigation position. For example, Sternberg dispelled Eva's latest lie that it was the DOE that initiated the move into D15. Further, he was outright adamant that it was the "CMO" (i.e. Success Charter) that determined where the Charter would be located (presumably with the DOE's consent - but who knows?).
He was also forced to stipulate that the Charter was only for K-5 and that the building could only hold to K-4. Thus, I rhetorically asked, would the fifth grade of Eva's school be consigned to the status of a "lost tribe" wandering in the wilderness of Cobble Hill looking for classrooms?
He also conceded that the DOE actively promoted Eva's application (which, he acknowledged was for D13 & D14). More importantly, he also admitted that the Charter application Walcott had personally endorsed was tailored to meet ELL and high needs students otherwise zoned for "failing schools". Meanwhile simultaneously, as I showed, via a March email and an article written in early May by a reporter now writing for the New York Times, the actual plan had always been to target middle class Cobble Hill families who were not zoned for "failing schools".
Sternberg then went on to say that there would be a preference for D15 families. I interrupted him by pointing out that only applied to ELL children and those zoned for "failing schools" none of which were located in Brownstone Brooklyn or Gowanus. Furthermore, AFAIK there are only three such schools in all of D15 (he said four but could not identify the one I "missed"). In addition, based on our experience in D15, I said it would be very unlikely that the parents whose children were zoned for those schools would WANT there children in Success Academy (even if Eva really desired them). Likewise, I also observed that the ELL population in PS 29 was under four percent and for PS 58 (the schools he referenced in the original "Schoolbook" article) it was approximately seven percent.
After that, I noted, according to the lottery protocol currently in effect, ELL and children zoned for failing schools OUTSIDE OF D15 would get preference. Only after that group was "exhausted" would the remainder of D15 children be given access to Brooklyn Success Academy. He replied that Success Charter was seeking a "modification" of the proposed lottery protocol. I responded that such an application was NOT a "sure thing" and that in fact, as recently as last March, the CSI had rejected the identical request for a change in the case of Upper West Success.
There was more but I won't bore you with it. The "public hearing" was recorded and is supposed to be transcribed.
I will say, though, that for me, the "revelations" of the hearing were Brad Lander's outstanding speech and Noah Gotbaum's AMAZING presentation on the havoc wrought on everyone in the Brandeis HS building by the incursion of Upper West Success. Leonie also gave a very good speech touching on a legal issue I had presented, at greater length the night before, to the interim Executive Director of the Charter School Institute
I'm glad Leonie found me "moderately entertaining" - I must have been funnier than I thought
Jim Devor; President, CEC-15 Follow me on Twitter @JimDevor jimdevor@...
Lots of angry passionate articulate speakers; great students, terrific teachers and wonderful parents. Many of them spoke on the importance of small class size at the existing schools and how all that would be ruined if the charter came in. The principal of Global and the chapter chair of International Studies were both fantastic.
Jim Devor put the screws on Sternberg which was moderately entertaining; only a handful of people spoke for the charter.
Walcott sat quietly in the back for much of it, unnoticed by most.
Millman, Brennan, Levin and Lander all spoke against.
Hopefully there will be video.
Most interesting thing: a guy named Mark something was there from SUNY Charter Institute busily taking notes; I’d never seen that before, has anyone else? He said he was there to receive comments on the location and that SUNY would make its “own determination” as to the appropriateness of the space. Also that written comments should go to the charters@...
He really got an earful. When I spoke, I directed my comments to him and indicated that SUNy would be sued if they let this go forward (which I think is likely.)
Class Size Matters
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