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Proposed High School Angers Parents at Gifted and Talented School

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  • Deborah Meier
    Hi, Jim. I love to read these exchanges. Deb ... Hi, Jim. I love to read these exchanges. Deb ----- On Nov 30, 2011, at 7:56 PM, Jim Devor wrote: From:
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 1 4:39 PM
      Hi, Jim.  I love to read these exchanges.

      Deb
      -----







      On Nov 30, 2011, at 7:56 PM, Jim Devor wrote:

       

      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@...


       
      From: nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com [mailto:nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Leonie Haimson
      Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 11:30 PM
      To: nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [nyceducationnews] Proposed High School Angers Parents at Gifted and Talented School
       
       
      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.) 
       
      Leonie Haimson
      Executive Director
      Class Size Matters
      124 Waverly Pl.
      New York, NY 10011
      212-674-7320
       



    • James D
      The following is an edited excerpt from an e-mail I wrote to the interim Executive Director of the Charter School Institute the night before the hearing. It
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 1 5:57 PM
        The following is an edited excerpt from an e-mail I wrote to the interim Executive Director of the Charter School Institute the night before the hearing.  It translates into 'legalese' the point Leonie is making below and which she made in her brief speech (BTW, we SHOULD be getting a Transcript, on request, from the DOE):

        Thank you for the time you took to speak with me this afternoon.

        I also received [the NYS Charter School Institute General Counsel] Rossi's opinion letter, dated November 17th, addressed to Deputy Chancellor Sternberg, which sets forth CSI's position on the question I posed to Mr.Rossi over one month ago. I appreciate getting an answer but am curious why it was not sent to me until over ten days after the letter answering my question was transmitted to Mr. Sternberg.

        More importantly, if Mr. Rossi is correct in his opinion [i.e., that, so long as it is in the same Borough, locating a Charter School in a CSD other than the one listed in its application is not a "material change" requiring a plenary review], then his position raises serious doubts as to whether the original Charter application conformed to the  "thorough and meaningful public review process" set forth in subdivision 9-a of Section  2852 of the Charter School Law and Section 119.4. of the Regulations of the NYS Education Commissioner (8 NYCRR § 119.4):

        Subsection (b)(ii) of subdivision 9-a of Section 2852 of the Charter School Law requires a charter school applicant to offer proof  that it "has conducted public outreach, in conformity with a thorough and meaningful public review process."  Here, no notice whatsoever was provided by the NYC DOE or the Charter School applicant to the local Community Board nor to the CEC for the Community School District in question at any time while the original application was made or pending.

        Likewise, Section 119.4. of the Regulations of the NYS Education Commissioner requires a public hearing "be held within the community potentially impacted by the proposed action or charter school" before a Charter application can be approved.  Here, the DOE claims that requirement was met by some kind of presentation made last spring (or winter) at a remote location quite distant from the newly proposed location with absolutely NO notice given to any member of the affected Community Board nor CEC of the Community School District. 

        The failure to even arguably follow those clear mandates would mean that the Charter was erroneously granted in the first place.  Accordingly, the only suitable remedy then would be to revoke it ab initio.
        _______________________
        Jim Devor;  President, CEC-15                   follow me on Twitter @JimDevor 

        --- In nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com, "Leonie Haimson" <leonie@...> wrote:
        >
        > It has a charter for 13/14 but now intends to move into 15.
        >
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        > Whether that is legal or not is highly debatable, since the state law requires a process of public outreach and community input before authorizing a charter school for a particular area.
        >
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        > Leonie Haimson
        >

        >
        >
        > From: nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com [mailto:nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Diane Ravitch
        > Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 8:42 PM
        > To: nyceducationnews@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [nyceducationnews] Proposed High School Angers Parents at Gifted and Talented School

        >
        > I heard from someone at SUNY that Success can't move into 13 because it has a charter. For 14/15
        >
        > Diane
        >
        >
        > On Nov 30, 2011, at 8:33 PM, "Leonie Haimson" leonie@... wrote:
        >
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        >
        > I didn’t mean to insult you Jim; you did a great job. I admit that I found it amusing however to see Sternberg sweat.
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        > I am still confused by what the SUNY guy said, though. Do we get a transcript?
        >
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        > Didn’t he say that Eva has to still apply to SUNY to change her lottery preferences; which would mean that as it stands now, she has to give preference to D13 or D14 kids?
        >
        >
        > Leonie Haimson
        >

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