Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, March 8, 2010

Parents Association: School Closures Are Political

I see the need for another investigation:

None of the 19 public schools targeted for shutdown should close until questions about cozy e-mails between the chancellor and a charter school honcho are answered, parents said Sunday.

"We're just furious about this," said Reina Foster, president of the parent association at Public School 332 in Brooklyn, which is scheduled to close.

"It looks like because we didn't know the right people, we got shut down."

A letter signed by 13 parent associations from schools that will start closing next year ripped the process as "tainted with favoritism and driven by political agendas."

As evidence, parents pointed to 125 e-mails, first disclosed by the Daily News' Juan Gonzalez, between Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and charter school operator Eva Moskowitz, a former city councilwoman.

"It seems that a lot of decisions were based on who knows the chancellor," said Sharren Carrington, president of the parent association at W.H. Maxwell High School in Brooklyn.

In the e-mails, Moskowitz asks for space for her charter schools in PS 194 and PS 241 in Harlem, which the Education Department then tried to shut down.

The teachers union sued, and the city never closed the schools. PS 241, which earned a D rating last year, got an A this year. Ed Department spokesman Matthew Mittenthal dismissed the idea that grades are influenced by politics. "The information and methodology used to calculate grades are all publicly available," he said.

Klein and Moskowitz and anybody at else involved in the school closures process (or the school sharing process) need to be dragged to public hearings and grilled over how the decisions are made, what "data" is being used to drive the decisions, and just how it is that schools declaring "failing" one year because a charter operator wants their buildings suddenly become "A" schools next year.

We also need to hear from Klein just how it is that the schools chancellor bestest email buddy is charter operator Eva Moskowitz.

How'd the First Annual Poker Tournament Fundraiser go, Joel?

Win much?

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