Saturday, May 3, 2008

Answer to the question: what's the difference between Joel Klein and Ray Cortines?

See this blog, set up by a parent opposing the plan to site a new charter school in the Patrick Daly school --PS 15 in Red Hook Brooklyn; she has been apparently told by DOE not to blog any more about this until after a hearing about the proposed move on May 7.

There is much resistance among the parents and staff at PS 15 against being forced to share the space. Even the widow of Daly himself, the beloved principal who was slain by gunfire, has spoken out. For more on this, see this
Daily News article.

This is not an isolated example, unfortunately. Chancellor Klein insists on cramming more and more charter schools into buildings where they undermine conditions at our existing public schools.

Meanwhile, Ray Cortines, Dept. Superintendent of the LA schools, (who was also, according to many, the best NYC Chancellor in recent history) has
now withdrawn earlier offers to charter schools to share space with existing Los Angeles public schools because of the negative effects on instruction:

"If there is no space, there is no space. How can we comply? Just because there is a room vacant, I'm not going to put students in it when it's not educationally sound," he said.

This brave action comes in face of a law in CA requiring that charters be given space in traditional public school buildings; in NYC, of course, there is no such law, but Klein seems unconcerned with the destructive impact of these moves – leading to more overcrowding, larger classes, loss of cluster rooms, and special ed children being taught in hallways.

Meanwhile, the charter schools are generally allowed to cap enrollment and class size at much lower levels than the traditional public schools with which they share space.

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