Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, June 16, 2014

Eva Moskowitz Plans To Double Success Academies Network In Size In The Next Few Years

From the NY Times:

The network, the Success Academy, said that it was submitting applications to the state to open schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens. The move comes just two months after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state lawmakers granted charter schools in New York City some of the most generous protections in the country, requiring that the city find space for them or help pay their rent.

The provision was passed after Mayor Bill de Blasio denied space to three Success Academy schools, a decision he later reversed, and said he would charge rent to Success and some other charter networks, a shift from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s policy of granting free space to charter schools in public school buildings.


Should the applications be approved, the network, run by a former city councilwoman, Eva Moskowitz, would grow to 46 schools, serving more than 15,000 students, making it larger than many school districts. A spokeswoman for the network, Kerri Lyon, said there was “considerable demand” from families in the districts where Success Academy wants to grow and in places with large racial and ethnic achievement gaps. She said that the new proposals did not include precise addresses, but included four new schools that would open in 2015 in Districts 2, 3, 9 and 27, and 10 in 2016 in Districts 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 28 and 30.

According to another NY Times article, Moskowitz has never been turned down by SUNY:

A charter school network’s plan to double in size over the next few years could reignite a war over classroom space in New York City, only this time with the ground rules already tilted against the mayor.
A new state law passed in April gives the city just two options to meet the demands of the Success Academy network: It can hand over free space in public or private buildings, or give the schools money to find their own space.
If the SUNY Charter Schools Institute approves her applications — it has never turned her down — the focus would shift to the city. The new law — Section 2853 of New York’s education law — gives the city the option to offer a charter school space within the school system, or other public or private space, at the city’s expense.

The only good news in all of this?

The more schools Eva pushes through, the closer they get to the charter cap:

Now there are 183 charters schools in the city, serving about 70,000 students, and another 27 are approved to open by 2015.

State law caps the number of charter schools in New York City at 256, which leaves only 46 more to be authorized, said James Merriman, chief executive of the New York City Charter School Center.

“We’ve seen in the past that when the number gets below 50, there is a definite rise in anxiety among would-be charter operators about when the state will run out of charters to give,” Mr. Merriman said. “As long as there is demand from parents, and as long as the charters that are being created are of high quality, I consider it a very healthy phenomenon.”

If Eva gets her 14 new schools from SUNY, that leaves 32 slots left for charters.

Now I'm sure Eva and her minions just tell the other charter entrepreneurs and operators that they shouldn't worry about getting close to the cap, they'll just get the cap raised in another year or so.

And that's probably true, especially with charter school lobbyist Andrew M. Cuomo as governor.

But at some point, the rest of the charter operators, many of whom already dislike Eva and her Success juggernaut, are going to see her as a bigger enemy than anything else and take aim at her.

Moskowitz is growing too big too fast with too much money and power in her hands for there not to be a backlash against her - some of which comes from her own charter "allies."


  1. So here's a question. DeBlasio has to give her space, but it doesn't have to be prime retail space, does it? Why not put her schools into trailers and move the ps kids into real classrooms?

    1. I think we all know the PR offensive that would unleash. So unless BdB was ready to counter that, I don't think that's such a good idea...

    2. So here's how I see it. As long as Eva takes up space in neighborhoods where voter turnout is low and parents don't have time to organize, she'll be able to suck up space and push ps kids out. Once she tries to do the same in Battery Park City, UES, UWS, things will change. Those parents vote and they are savvy at organizing. They have made their own inroads in terms of political favors. Granted Silver agreed to this new law, but will it affect BPC? I doubt it. Charter schools are still for the most part in poor neighborhoods where a large number of parents don't vote and don't have time to organize.

  2. There is one silver lining to this. Obviously, Moskowitz is drunk with power because of the new state law regarding NYC's need to find housing for her schools. She is a very pushy, obnoxious and downright nasty person. These qualities will be on display as she takes more and more space and/or money from the city of NY. Result: NYC parents of public school kids will resent her greatly AND NYC citizens as a whole will see what a grasping person she is. They will also be resentful of her taking away so much city money. Would anyone ever consider electing this person for mayor? I don't think so. It's called giving her enough rope to hand herself.

  3. In previous comment, I meant "Hang herself."

    1. I agree that the more resources she sucks up, the more likely it is resentment grows and she doesn't get unvarnished p.r. in the form of the news in the papers and on TV.

  4. You guys are missing some points. First on the cap: all they have to do is declare each network as one charter. THus Eva has all her schools count as 1. Same with KIPP. May not even need a law but a ruling from State Ed Dept.
    And then there is the simple idea of raising the cap -- so easy given a pro-charter state leg and gov. So the other charters are not upset at all. They know how the game is played.
    And we know who runs state ed. Eve works very hard to cater to her "public" - the parents who send their kids to the schools - or those who are not tossed. I've seen them at meetings - run like an army.

    1. I agree, Norm, they'll finagle it without a doubt. But that still doesn't take away from my point that some of the other charter operators, who already resent her, aren't going to like her any better the bigger she grows. At some point, some of those entities are going to decide that their interests no longer coincide with Eva's and it will be interesting to see what happens then.

  5. change the rules - all of Eva's schools count as 1 or just raise the cap.