Success Academy C.E.O. Eva Moskowitz said Tuesday she hopes to have 100 schools in her New York City charter school network within the next 10 years, and predicted another battle with the de Blasio administration over school space.
"We think it would be a contribution to get to 100 schools" Moskowitz said during an event called "Exploring the Success of Success Academy" hosted by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.
The Success network was recently awarded an additional 14 schools by the SUNY Charter Institute. That will bring the number of Success charters to 46 by 2016, with an estimated enrollment of over 36,000 students with a $165 million cost to the city by 2020.
But Moskowitz predicted another conflict over space with the de Blasio administration for those new schools.
"We are waiting to hear from the de Blasio administration about whether they are going to give us space," she said. "Most likely I won't be able to open those schools," due to what she called "pure politics."
Moskowitz criticized the mayor and his ill-fated decision to reverse co-locations for three of Moskowitz's schools earlier this year, which led to an all-out battle between New York's influential, well-financed charter school advocates and the administration.
Although the charter sector ultimately gained an advocate in Governor Andrew Cuomo and successfully lobbied for a sweeping pro-charter law passed during the last legislative session, Moskowitz said she refers to this spring as "the dark period."
Moskowitz criticized de Blasio for attempting to "throw out" three high-performing charters while "managing a sea of schools that have been failing." It was clear who Moskowitz was referring to when she said she wakes up everyday paranoid because "people are trying to kill us."
Last year Moskowitz ate de Blasio for lunch, launching five million dollars in anti-de Blasio ads, coordinating pro-charter rallies with Governor Cuomo, and eventually getting exactly what she wanted when Cuomo forced NYC to either co-locate all future charters or pick up their rent tab.
She played "victim" and she continues to play "victim" now by claiming de Blasio wants to "kill us."
That's what she does best - play victim, bask in the media glow, rally the politicians to her cause, and suck up the Wall Street contributions that roll in as a result.
When you look back at last spring, the period which Moskowitz calls her "dark period," de Blasio was the one who almost got "killed."
His polls numbers dropped after the millions in anti-de Blasio ads Eva and her charter supporters ran and Cuomo managed to cut part of de Blasio's mayoral control of schools.
Rumor has it charter advocates are looking for more of de Blasio's power to be chopped this legislative session when the mayoral control law comes back up for renewal (apparently mayoral control is only important to maintain when the mayor is pro-charter, pro-ed deform.)
De Blasio has gotten much savvier since the spring in how he handles crises - he was very calm and collected with the Ebola case and has so far managed to navigate the minefield that is the Garner case, so here's hoping he handles whatever showdown is coming with Eva and the charter operators better than he did last spring when he got rolled.
Alas, if the UFT, NYSUT and other stakeholders in the public schools don't come to his defense when the battle is joined, I don't see de Blasio putting up much of a fight against Moskowitz.
Not after they abandoned him last spring in the battle against Moskowitz and Cuomo.
In any case, the self-pitying act Eva plays is getting old considering how powerful she is, how wealthy her backers are, how much influence she has in Albany.
But she keeps playing the role over and over and over - and it keeps working.