Monday, March 19, 2012

Aggressive marketing by charter schools, soliciting applicants

The Bloomberg administration and the charter school operators always claim that in the rapid proliferation of charter schools across the city, they are merely responding to parent “demand” but this ignores the aggressive recruiting methods they use to build up their “waiting lists.”  Eva Moskowitz has hired paid recruiters to “poach” students for her Success Academy charters, as in the video below, outside PS 261 in Brooklyn.  Not to mention her extensive and expensive advertising campaigns, in which she spent $1.6 million dollars on marketing efforts alone in 2009-2010, amounting to $1,300 per incoming student.

This year, there is evidence that Harlem in particular has become so oversaturated with charters, that they have been forced to go far afield to solicit applications.  Parents as far away as lower Manhattan have receiving mailings from Democracy Prep and Harlem Link.    

We have also been forwarded emails  in recent days from two new Harlem charters, both authorized by NYSED, apparently desperate for students.  One is the Global Community Charter School, whose website is still under construction, and the other is the Neighborhood Charter School of Harlem, which was founded supposedly for “high-functioning” though as yet undiagnosed autistic kids, though the email message below does not mention this.  Clearly, there does not seem to be a surplus of demand for these schools given their desperate messages.
From: sharee stephens
Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2012 11:15 PM
Subject: Fwd: Charter School Application Packet - for distribution ASAP
Hi Sorors,
Please see below; attached information regarding a new charter school opening in Harlem.  [Global Community Charter School] Soror Sheronda is a member of the board and needs our assistance with the recruitment process. Please distribute application packets to any eligible friends, family members ASAP.
Thank you in advance for your sisterly assistance!
Kisses & Violets,
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Hey Sharee!
I am on the board of a new charter school opening up in Harlem this fall. Because we have some deadlines to meet as far as numbers in applications to continue in our plans to successfully open in September, we unfortunately need to solicit some help from neighbors, friends and family. By Friday we need 75 applications from actual families with children going to kindergarten. These applications can come from any child of that age within New York State. I am asking that you please forward the attached to anyone you know with kindergarten age children and the delta listserv. It is imperative that we get the applications so that we are not forced to stop our planned opening for the fall which we are confident we will be ready for. To be clear, the application presents no commitment by any family to attend the school even if they are accepted. However, the school will be presenting a unique and amazing International Baccalaureate program so anyone interested in having their child attend please definitely apply.  I hope you can help us get our preliminary numbers to keep going! If you have any questions let me know.

  Hi Good evening
I am a recruiter for a charter school. Its the Neighborhood Charter school of harlem its going to be located in 124th street and lenox. Their accepting applications until April 1st. For Kindergarten and 1st grade. If your interested their website is. you can download the application and fill it out and follow the instructions to mail application. Email me if you like more info or go directly to the website. Thank you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

if one is running a school, one should learn how to spell: their should be they're and your should be you're.