Sunday, April 10, 2011

Next GEM Meeting, April 11: How do we stop the charter invasions?

*Please Forward Widely*
How do we stop the charter invasions?
You are invited to attend a meeting sponsored by the Grassroots Education Movement (GEM

CUNY Grad Center 34th St. and 5th Ave. Rm 5414
picture ID required

The rapid growth of charter schools around New York City continues unabated.  As the DOE gears up to layoff 4,658 teachers in the upcoming budget, funding for charters is planned to increase by $139 million. As Mayor Bloomberg shutters large public high schools, like JFK in the Bronx or Brandeis in Manhattan, they are rapidly replaced with charters which receive public money but are privately operated and are largely nonunion. Co-located charters receive more per pupil funding than the public schools they are sitting in.
From the invasion of PS197M by Democracy Prep and PS123 by Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy in Harlem, to the prevention of the expansion of the successful Central Park East public school by the forces of KIPP* charters in Washington Heights, to the robbery of therapy classrooms in Fort Greene from special needs schools PS369K by an expanding charter, to the cramming of four schools into a single building to accommodate a charter in Coney Island's IS303, schools all over the city are facing overcrowding and declining enrollment because of the charter explosion. 
At the same time, the United Federation of Teachers has agreed to allow two schools in the Bronx to be managed by charter operator Green Dot, while half their staff is moved to other schools regardless of seniority, and Green Dot operatives brag of long breakfasts and multiple dinners with national and local union leaders.
However, there are things that we can do to fight back.  The successful struggle by PS9 parents and teachers to prevent the expansion won a victory last week as State Education Commissioner David Steiner overturned the city's Panel for Education Policy vote to allow a charter colocation in their school.       
Join GEM in a discussion on how we can build a movement to take a stand against privatization of public education by mobilizing against charter co-locations.
Discuss:  What can we do in NYC to stop charter co-locations?  What are the tools that teachers and parents can use to defend their local schools?  How can we build solidarity with others under attack?  How can we build networks within our schools and in our communities? How can we push the UFT to reverse it's accommodationist policy to the charter invaders?
Take part in activist breakout sessions after the discussion, including about how to mobilize against the charter co-locations on the agenda at the April 28th meeting of the Panel for Education Policy.
Become a GEM member and discuss how WE can put children first! 

MONDAY, April 11, 5PM, 
CUNY Grad Center 34th St. and 5th Ave. Rm 5414
picture ID required

*Study Finds High Dropout Rates for Black Males in KIPP Schools
Education Week
KIPP charter middle schools enroll a significantly higher proportion of African-American students than the local school districts they draw from, but 40 percent of the black males they enroll leave between grades 6 and 8, says a new nationwide study by researchers at Western Michigan University and Teachers College, Columbia University.
“The dropout rate for African-American males is really shocking,” said Gary J. Miron, a professor of evaluation, measurement, and research at Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo, and the lead researcher for the study. “KIPP is doing a great job of educating students who persist, but not all who come.”

*Study Says Charter Network Has Financial Advantages Over Public Schools
New York Times
Most charter schools receive less government money for each student, on average, than traditional public schools.
But the KIPP network, one of the fastest-growing and most academically successful charter groups, has received more taxpayer dollars per student than regular public schools, according to a new study, which also noted that KIPP receives substantial amounts of private philanthropic money.

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Quick, quick..we need the documentary released to show what 'really goes on' in New York City schools.

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