Monday, May 2, 2016

NY Post hypocrisy on the need for accountability and quality in the city's preK program

I sent this letter to the editors of the NY Post on Friday, in which I highlight their hypocrisy: in an editorial, they professed to be concerned about the fact that city funds have been awarded preK programs without proper background checks, while advocating that these funds be given Success Academy charter schools without a contract and with no city oversight.  This is despite the voluminous evidence that Success charter schools abuse their students in myriad ways.  

On Friday, yet another lawsuit was filed against a Success charter school by NY Lawyers for Public Interest, Advocates for Justice and Stroock Stroock and Lavan for violating student rights, particularly young children with special needs.  See the press release below my letter about this new lawsuit,  on top of several other lawsuits and federal civil rights complaints  filed during the last few months against this charter chain.
Though I gave the NY Post a chance to respond before posting my letter, they have not.  Clearly, just as in the issue of mayoral control, children are being used as pawns by the charter lobby and their allies in a larger political game against de Blasio and in support of their privatization agenda.

From: Leonie Haimson <>
Date: Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 11:53 AM
Subject: absurd hypocrisy re preK funds
Cc: Leonie Haimson <>

To the editors:
I was astonished to read the editorial in today’s NY Post (Mayor de Blasio’s war on quality pre-K), claiming that the NYC Department of Education’s sloppy contracting with preK programs that have not undergone background checks or have been found to have questionable records justifies giving Success Academy preK funds without requiring them to sign a contract or undergo city oversight.  The DOE’s lax attitude with vendors who have exhibited waste and even fraud has a long history that was evident during the previous mayor’s administration as well.

Yet Success charters have exhibited years of documented instances of abuse and  been repeatedly sued in recent months for violating student rights, including suspending small children repeatedly without due process, withholding instruction and failing to provide them with their mandated services,  refusing to let them go to the bathroom, and calling the police when they have exhibited minor behavioral problems.  Eva Moskowitz, the CEO of Success Charters, also flagrantly violated a former student’s privacy rights by posting online and sharing with the media his disciplinary file, full of trumped up charges, in order to retaliate against his mother who had appeared on television to speak about the numerous abuses he had suffered at the hands of school officials.

In my view, Success Academy charters should receive no public preK funds until and unless they have been found innocent of all these charges, no less awarded city money to expand preK without adequate oversight.  The fact that the NY Post editors should use the city’s lax contracting practices to try to justify the provision of these funds to Success charters without the most minimal legal requirements shows how they are less interested in ensuring quality preK and accountability with taxpayer dollars than serving as the handmaiden to Eva Moskowitz and the charter industry as a whole.

I intend to blog about this on Monday; if you have any response, please email it to me by Sunday evening so I can post your comments along with my letter.


Leonie Haimson
Executive Director
Class Size Matters
124 Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10011

1 comment:

joe said...

People on the losing end of things usually fear competition the most. Good luck with that silly lawsuit.