UPDATED: Recruitment Poster for Charter School: Hey Kid, Wanna Make a Hundred Bucks?


    Jenny Medina picked up this story after I sent her the photo after I read her very good piece on charter school scams and the need for more scrutiny that appeared Wednesday. She published an excellent piece on the Wanted Poster at the NY Times City Room blog, also yesterday. See below for her story (and she gave Ed Notes a good pop).

    For background, I have lots of contacts who sent me the picture and story as I worked my whole career in District 14 and spent my last years in the system doing tech support work at a number of schools, IS 126 included. That is the school where you may recall the same charter invaded the school library and the teacher made a you tube about it that got some notoriety. See Dismantling the IS 126 Library. Rumors are that the teacher was put in the rubber room as punishment.

    Sources are saying that as a result of our exposure and the Medina story (followed up by the Post and News) the DOE may be looking to punish the people (grilling the gang at 126?) who revealed the story while ignoring the school's attempt to bribe the kids. Also see Caroline Granan comment about similar stuff at KIPP in San Francisco.

    When I visited KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy, there were posters plastered all over the school offering prizes (Gap and Old Navy gift cards) to get new families to apply. I think someone is being naive to think that’s novel. And that’s at KIPP, where (all chorus together) “all KIPP schools have long waiting lists,” according to Paul Tough in your very own newspaper.

    Ahhh. Those waiting lists. I hear that just about anyone who wants into a charter who meets the smell test (no ELL, Special ed, parent signs pledge to give pint of blood every day, etc) can get in.

    And some charter school teaching buddies are telling me that getting and keeping good teachers is getting tougher and tougher and they're even trying to lure teachers away from each other. Wait 'till the cap is lifted. It will be the wild west. But demand even in a down economic market may drive some salaries higher. However, I get loads of teachers looking for jobs contacting me and all of them are desperate to get into a public school and look at charters as a last resort. Yes, the young do think of pensions and health care and the stability of seniority protections that a public school teaching career can bring- at least until the UFT sells that out too.

    By the way, over the past few months I and Susan Ohanian have received some "lovely" notes from this particular charter school operator (and buddies), some of which I will share with you real soon.

    Click on the pic to read

    This photo of a poster on a 3rd floor wall at a charter based at IS 126 in Williamsburg/Greenpoint was being passed around by parents and community groups as outrage grows.

    Can you BELIEVE this? They make the poor kid who recruits some sucker wait an entire semester before collecting his 100 bucks. They must have electronic force fields keeping them in. (I know more than a few parents who have been there, done that and left.)

    What happened to all those waiting lists to get into charters that they are so desperate they have to bribe kids with a hundred bucks to get recruits?

    For a hundred bucks I'll enroll there myself.

    Students at $100 a Head?

    Jennifer Medina

    A sign in a charter high school offers one way to build up enrollment.
    We know about schemes to pay students for high marks. And we’ve written about some of the marketing tactics schools are using to attract families. But one charter high school in Williamsburg is taking a step further – offering a $100 reward to any student who recruits another teenager to attend the school.
    Last night we were sent a photo purporting to show a sign posted on the third floor of Public School 126 at 424 Leonard Street, which houses the Williamsburg Charter High School as well as its two spinoffs, Believe Northside Charter High School and Believe Southside Charter High School.
    Evoking the old “Wanted” posters of the Wild West, the flyer asks for help to “recruit students who you feel would benefit from the exceptional opportunity to attend Believe Schools in all grades.” It promises $100 for each student recruited, provided they enroll and “remain for at least one term with us!” (The same picture also turned up Tuesday night on Education Notes Online.)
    Jacqui Lipson, a spokeswoman for the schools, declined to comment but did not deny that the sign was up.
    Charter school advocates typically boast about how far demand outpaces supply for seats in charter schools. Just last month, the New York City Charter School Center announced that more than 55,000 students had applied for 11,000 seats in charter schools.
    Ms. Lipson also declined to say how many students applied to each of the three schools this year, directing the question to the city’s Education Department. We’ve asked and will post the answer as soon as we receive it.

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UPDATED: Recruitment Poster for Charter School: Hey Kid, Wanna Make a Hundred Bucks?

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