One of Harlem-GEM’s members sent in this report on the hearing that took place two days ago at I.S. 195 over the addition of another KIPP charter in the building.
Hearings like this are rampant in New York City, and communities have to understand that watchdog involvement and activism is the only way to slow down this abuse of power.
A farcical forum on a new KIPP charter school slated to be place in IS 195 in Harlem took place on Thursday. A KIPP middle school has existed in the building for a number of years, slowly eating up space, forcing teachers to re-locate classrooms, even in the middle of the year. The proposal is for KIPP STAR to place a 9th grade, with 45 students from throughout the city, into the building, supposedly for only one year. Teachers at IS 195 literally found out about the new KIPP STAR High School last week! They discovered piles of school/teacher materials dumped into the boys and girls locker rooms. Unbelievably, KIPP generously offered to pay for the materials to be placed into a storage space. Presumably, teachers would be able to pick up these materials during their lunch breaks?
About 15-20 IS 195 teachers showed up to the hearing, in addition to someone whoa few ACORN people came, a DOE representative, a UFT representative, and 2 GEM’ers came. One woman from SUNY came, only to “listen” and report back to the SUNY board. Nobody from KIPP STAR charter school bothered to show up. Nobody argued in favor of the charter school being there. I know the 195 teachers saw Norm’s blog the night before and came because of that. Teachers from IS 195 made comments to the effect that they expect the DOE to eventually attempt to completely phase out IS 195. Teachers at 195 stated that they assumed the high school would be staying for more than one year, not a bad assumption given the track record of charters in other places. As with other schools, this is not a “failing” school, even by the D.O.E.’s skewed standards. Many teachers there had been in the building for 10, 15 or more years (in one case, 31 years!), and pointed to the improvements that they have seen in the school. Teachers also raised concerns that placing a high school within a middle school setting would not be good.
Finally, the hearing itself was decried as a farce by everyone there. As work had already begun on the KIPP STAR rooms and with only days left before the school year begins, how could they really be getting input from the community? Certainly, there was little effort put forward in advertising this hearing, as teachers at IS 195 only found out about it at 8 a.m. the morning before, and parents and community members were not made aware of the hearing.
GEM representatives announced the upcoming “Truth About Charter Schools Forum” this coming Wednesday and got contact info from a bunch of teachers.
I agree that the present administration is trying to destroy public education and unions. That is why they need to be voted out.
Bill Thompson who is running for mayor will fire Chancellor Klein and bring teachers to the table.
There will be a forum/Town Hall meeting on Sept 17th for Teachers to discuss their issues with Mr. Thompson. Please check his website for more details Thompson2009.com
As a educator with 19 years in the system, I know we need to rally together and not let Bloomberg buy this election. Bloomberg and Klein are one package.
Mr. Lemov,My principal was at a sanmier you were and received 10 free books from our county school system, however,we would like to give these books to our entire teaching staff. Is there a way we can get them at a discounted price or do you have a way to get them at gratis? Please email me back with a response favorably I hope! Thank you so much.
whom? Why not insure quality teachers are employed to teach our children?It seems as if the more businesses get involved in Denver Public Schools, the more schools they find unfit. Then, the business comes in and throws money in and at Denver Public Schools and their administrators decides its time to close schools and build new ones. I don’t understand the logic. How are the children benefiting? What are Nate Easley and the other board members doing for our children? Is it always going to be corporate-driven? Is it whatever Superintendent Boasberg says and there is no discussions and/or desires to encourage growth in our children? (I have not forgotten Michael Bennet’s ideas of what our children need. His plan was all about self-promoting himself while deceiving DPS employees out of their pensions.) Although I have not attended recent board meetings, I have been reading board member, Ms. Andrea Merida’s posts and it is obvious which side Mr. Easley stands and he is NOT in favor of the students. As previously stated, he is just going along to get along; making a name for himself. Honestly, I have nothing against anyone who self-promotes, but only when it sincerely assists others. It should not be about me, but what I can do for others. (Oh this “me, me” and “what about me” society.)I’m sure Nate Easley made a promise – an oath to work for the best interest of our students. HUMPH, I DISAGREE!Oh how hard it is to live next door to a FORMER Nate Easley supporter. Balloters need to read and research those who NEED our vote and not just listen to the lip service and remember the old adage: “Talk is cheap.”