And yet NYTimes/Schoolbook story ran a highly inaccurate and biased account, showing a large photo of the Success Academy parents, captioned with " pyn", without explaining that they were bused in by the charter operator from Harlem. The article went on to give most of its space to comments from the handful of supporters of the charter school, including the chain’s founder, Eva Moskowitz, with almost no mention of the huge outcry from the hundreds of community leaders, elected officials, and local parents who came out to oppose it. (Read what Williamsburg & Greenpoint Parents for Our Public Schools says about the piece, and read the irate comments from parents and community members at the Schoolbook website.)
....each day, the public school students would observe some 390 Beth Rachel students arrive at P.S. 16. The Beth Rachel students would be taught in classrooms only they may use; no public school students would be taught either in those classes or in those rooms. Yiddish would be spoken in the Beth Rachel classes. Only Hasidic girls would be taught; those girls would be allowed no contact with boys. Only female teachers would teach the Hasidic girls. And where once there was an open corridor allowing freedom to traverse the entire hall, there are now a wall and doors partitioning the Beth Rachel girls from the public school students....
The lengths to which the City has gone to cater to these religious views, which are inherently divisive, are plainly likely to be perceived, by the Hasidim and others, as governmental support for the separatist tenets of the Hasidic faith. Worse still, to impressionable young minds, the City's Plan may appear to endorse not only separatism, but the derogatory rationale for separatism expressed by some of the Hasidim.)
Rob Solano, head of Churches United for Fair Housing and former IS 50 student, then speaks out in support of the public shool and against the charter co-location: “this is where I learned how to be a boy and then a man and learned about the world,” Ruben Flores, lead organizer for Churches United For Fair Housing also speaks out against the proposal.
I berate the two DOE officials presiding over the hearings, Gregg Betheil and Paymon Rouhanifard. I say they should be ashamed of themselves and ask if they went into education to provoke the kind of division, anger and resentment seen tonight; I urge them to tell whoever who is making this decision to say no to this charter school; as there has to be someone in the city with the balls or guts to say no to Eva. I add that if there was one thing good that came out of this evening, it is that it is clear that NYC parents love their public schools and want them protected and supported, no matter how hard the DOE has tried to destroy them through budget cuts, test prep and rising class sizes. Lastly, I recount how at the recent City Council hearings on college readiness, the only thing the Council and the DOE agreed upon was that El Puente is a great school and should be replicated; with DOE officials repeating this several times. So why don’t they replicate El Puente here and create a great 6-12 school, instead of bringing in a charter school that no one in the community wants or needs?