The Harlem Success Tries to Turn White as the Worm Keeps Turning - Eva's Hubby Gets Into the Act

    Gotham: Eric Grannis, charter board member and Eva Moskowitz’s husband:
    Charters should integrate. (Daily News)

    Michael Fiorillo
    Grannis' piece in the Daily News is nothing more than transparent attempt to justify his wife's invasion of the Brandeis HS building on the Upper West Side. In other words, the usual charter operator's dissembling and deceptive use of civil rights rhetoric in service of privatization.
    I go further than Michael. HSA is ready to move to the white middle class where test scores come easy. My racism detector has been activated. Just like I reported the other day when Eva (rich white woman) organized poor Black people to oppose the NAACP law suit against closing schools and charter co-locos. (Eric Grannis supposedly reads ed notes so he should be happy to see his name in print.)
    Maybe we'd serve minority students better if, instead of creating good schools for minorities to make up for the bad schools minorities have had for so long, we just created good schools for everyone. As the Supreme Court has said, "he way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
    Gee, Eric, how disingenuous of you. If you wanted to integrate your charter schools why don't you offer buses to all those white parents who want to attend HSA and bus them into Harlem at your local HSA schools there. Let's see how attractive the white parents consider your schools then. Or is it just about Brandeis or Bust?

    I posted a video over the weekend where you can see the new (white) faces HSA is looking for snickering at the Brandeis HS press conference where parents and community opposed the HSA takeover of whole sections of public real estate. What next Eric, HSA condos?

    Brandeis HS - Opposing HSA Invasion - May 26, 2011
    A PS 241 teacher describes the impact on her school from having a Harlem Success Academy school in her building. I challenged and captured some comments from HSA future parents, the face of the attempt to gentrify charter schools on the upper west side.

    Also this video of Julie Cavanagh savaging charters: 

    For those of you who don't read the comments, here is a very valuable follow-up:
    Michael Fiorillo said...
    Norm, you are are absolutely right: one of the unspoken dynamics in charter expansion in NYC is that they are a real estate play. Whether it is the expropriating of public school facilities, or as a prelude and anchor for further gentrification of communities (i.e. Gideon Stein, Success Charter Network Board member, and head of Argyle Holdings, "Developers of premier properties in Northern Manhattan").

    As with Geoffrey Canada's incursion into the St. Nicolas Houses, while public housing units all over the city are being allowed to become run-down and (reputedly) units are being warehoused, the people pushing these schools are also tightly aligned with real estate and urban redevelopment interests in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. It's possible that, rhetoric and PR aside, this is what Grannis has in mind when he writes about "integrating" charters schools: at current rates of demographic change, Harlem and Bed-Stuy will be increasingly white neighborhoods. Maybe the black families being recruited are just placeholders until the neighborhood "tips" sufficiently. Of course, even then you will still see the faces of adorable black children on all the 4-color, glossy promotional materials.

    Finance and real estate, the twin electromagnetic poles of urban political juice, see mutual benefits from charter expansion. They continue to grow because, despite the fact that they are educationally inferior to public schools and an economic drain and diversion away from them, they represent a coalition of powerful interests.

    Remember "synergy," a Wall Street/consultant/B-School buzz word from a decade or more ago? The idea was that assembling disparate companies would lead to new opportunities and dynamism within the whole.

    That's some of what's going on with elite support for charter schools, the hoped-for synergy of corporate control of school management, curriculum, instruction, labor relations and infrastructure. It's a gold mine for them, and cold, watery soup for everyone else.

    It's happening right now. And it's accelerating.

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