Several Success Academy charter schools were included on their list, including Success Academy Upper West, which has had multiple civil rights complaints lodged by parents against it. Finally, the report was financed by the Walton Foundation, the largest private funder of charter schools, who no doubt would like to whitewash their poor record of civil rights abuses. Please read the Network for Public Education and Schott Foundation report on how many charter schools violate students’ civil rights.
Discussions about schools can raise questions about steering if there is a correlation between the quality of the schools and neighborhood racial composition--or if characterizations such as “a school with low test scores” or “a community with declining schools” become code words for racial or other differences in the community. Similarly, making unspoken distinctions by promoting a school in one district while keeping silent about the quality of another school can have the same effect. These become fair housing issues.
Yet brokers could advise clients to refer to Grannis' website for the same purpose. When someone plugged in rental figures, certain neighborhoods and local schools would pop up with school grades, based on their test scores. Rather than controlling for the background of the student, as the DOE school grades attempted to do, the grades were solely determined by the raw test scores, which would tend to steer parents to schools with white or Asian students and wealthier socio-economic backgrounds. Grannis explained the system on Fox News.
His website also had a special page promoting charter schools , including his wife's Harlem Success Academy charter, calling it an "incredible school", and Girls Prep charter, on whose board he sits, without disclosing his personal connection to either. (The site went defunct sometime between March 2012 and June 2013 according to the Wayback Machine.)
While it is true that our schools are less white than the overall population of Williamsburg, this was due to two factors: a large Hasidic Orthodox Jewish community that isn’t interested in enrolling their children in public schools, and many young single “hipsters” without any kids at all. If CWC had achieved its goal of 55% white students, this would have drawn so many white parents out of our public schools to make them even more segregated. We also were aware that there were not enough students of any background to open two new charters without hurting enrollment and thus funding at our neighborhood public schools. It just wasn’t smart planning.