What were you doing on Friday night? PEP member Patrick Sullivan, Joel Klein, CAPE members from PS 15, Lisa Donlan from CEC 1 and Jim Devor from CEC 15 were having a lively discussion regarding the forced co-locations and extensions of charter schools in our public schools beyond the agreements made to their respective communities while knowingly, over crowding, shriking, and undermining, successful community schools.
The full transcript is below. Please take note as to how Mr. Klein completely ignores the parent letters and voice in this discussion. His narrow view of the issue, and lack of attention to any real substance, only highlights the Orwellian nature of the destructive school policies he and his boss propogate across our great city.
The public, Borough Presidents and PEP members should take note of the Chancellor's disgregard of stakeholder voices. We should all question BloomKlein and their policies, particularly the school closures-charter invations-drive to privatize movement that they blindly seek to implement.
The time is now! Enough is Enough! We must fight to protect public education, the pillar of our democracy. WE are in this for ALL children.
Rosa Parent (PS 15) Letter:
Dear CEC Members, Elected Officials and Panel Members,
I'm very concerned as a parent of a public school student. P.S. 15 is a
wonderful school. My 7 year-old son is a second-grade student there who
receives speech therapy and occupational therapy. He has benefited so much
from the programs at P.S. 15. I have seen such an improvement. He's sitting
and focused. He does his own homework.
I'm concerned that if PAVE Academy gets an extension that my son is going to
be negatively affected. There is not going to be enough space for teachers
and programs. I'm concerned about the cuts and how the teachers will do
And they're not just any teachers. They're very caring and concerned.
Those of you on the Panel for Educational Policy, please vote NO to the PAVE
extension. I will be at the January 26th meeting to see the results of your
From: Sullivan Patrick
I have received many emails from parents and teachers explaining the
negative impact to children receiving special services at the Patrick Daly
School. The Panel is charged with oversight of Board of Ed facilities and
your child must not suffer because the mayor has committed our facilities to
his wealthy friends.
Patrick J. Sullivan
Thank you Mr. Sullivan.
We look forward to your support on the 26th and invite you, and hope you
will consider coming and speaking, at PS 15 on Tuesday the 19th. We also
hope you can pursuade other members to commit to protecting our school. We
will have several documents at the hearing and will send you copies via
email as well.rIn addition, we have over 1,200 petition signatures and an
open letter signed by many, many parents, which we will also present.
Parents and Teachers at PS 15
From: Klein Joel I.
This is about children and their families and doing right by them. Anyone
who doesn't want his or her child to go to Pave doesn't have to go there.
Yet parents keep signing up. I hope we don't let politics curtail parental
choice. Sincerely, Joel Klein
Thank you for responding Mr. Klen. We, parents and teachers at PS 15, do
not question PAVE's existence or the parents who send their children there;
what we want to protect is the school we choose for OUR children and the
children the teachers serve. PAVE has had a negative impact on our school
and our children. An agreement was made to our community and it should be
honored. We hope you will consider attending the hearing at PS 15 on the
19th. We appreciate your concern of parent choice; 390 students' families
choose PS 15 and want PAVE to vacate in 2010, anything less will further
harm our school and our children.
From: Sullivan Patrick
I agree, politics should have nothing to do with it. It is about children.
The children of the Daly school cannot be shoved into closets because
Bloomberg made a deal with Robertson. Here is another letter I received.
It is clear to me that our schools, the ones you and I swore an oath to
serve, are being victimized.
I am an occupational therapist at PS 15 who is very concerned about the
extension of PAVE academy in the PS 15 building. If PAVE continues to stay,
and grow by 2 classrooms per year in PS 15, special needs children will soon
be receiving their services in hallways and stairwells.
Although treating children in hallways is common practice throughout the NYC
public school system, it is a deplorable, unacceptable, and frankly, ILLEGAL
practice standard. Special needs children are the LAST children who should
be receiving augmentative services in crowded, noisy hallways and
stairwells. They are the VERY children who need quiet and consistent spaces
in which to work.
Already, the room I shared last year with the other OT at PS 15 has been
taken over by PAVE academy. We were re-located, and now currently I share
the room used as another program's (Beacon Afterschool) computer room. My OT
colleague shares a room that is also used as a library, art classroom, and
additional programing room. My colleague and I frequently move back and
forth between rooms, in order to accomodate other programs.
PS 15 prides itself on delivering related services in appropriate
environments. Special needs children in the public schools deserve to
receive services in environments that support their ability to succeed. THIS
IS NOT A LUXURY. If PAVE academy continues to grow in PS 15, we will no
longer be able provide services to children in the appropriate settings.
In addition to my professional concern about the future of PS 15, as a Red
Hook parent with a 3-year-old son, I have a personal investment in the
future of PS 15. I intend to send my child to PS 15 from pre-school through
5th grade. However, if PAVE continues to stay in the PS 15 building and
expand into the PS 15 building, cutting PS 15 programs and increasing class
size, PS 15 may no longer be a viable option for elementary school, from my
Thanks for your speedy response. As I see it, we need a solution that's
right for all of our children -- we are in this together -- and not a
solution that plays some off against others. That's politics as usual. We
can do better. Indeed, if we are to change the outcomes for all -- and I
mean all -- of our children, we must do better. I hope we can count on your
Playing some off against others is what we feel like we are caught in the
middle of. The PAVE extension policy favors them and hurts us. How can you
not see this Mr. Chancellor? We are an AAA school, shouldn't your interest
be in protecting our school, our children, and our choice!?
From: Klein Joel I.
We are in this together and we all wish we had more space. But, given the
real-world constraints we operate under, let' not try to divide and play
families off against each other -- and make no mistake, that's what's
happening here. When people start talking about rich friends, they lose
sight of children, especially poor children. Those children and their
families -- just like all of us on this email -- want a great education for
their (our) children, and our collectice job is to fight for them, not for
all the other needs that are well organized and protect the special
interests. Whenever the argument is about charters or public schools --
rather than good or bad schools -- it's not about children. That's why we
are where we are. Let's muster the courage to do better. Joel Klein
From: Klein Joel I.
My obligation is to all children, every one of them.
and what of the agreement made to our community, the promise by which this
co-location was sold? Parents and teachers are not talking about rich
friends, we are talking abou the negative impact on our children. This is
not a wish for more space, there is plenty of other space for PAVE to go.
The children at PS 15 should not have to suffer and sacrafice their
resources when there ARE other alternatives to PAVE's continued co-location
and expansion. You are right it is not about charters or public schools and
what it IS about is great education for OUR children. PS 15 provides that
great education and it should not be destroyed and undermined for anyone or
From: John Battis
there are many better options available, most glaring is the existence of
the pS-27 building that clearly has space.
Another option is to freeze PAVE 's enrollment until they have their own
Klein obviously has made up his mind, but the other PEP members now have our
From: Sullivan Patrick
By forcing charter school into public school facilities you are dividing and
playing families off one another, not me. I am fine with giving families
the choice of PAVE but not at the expense of the children of the Patrick
Daly school. If you or Spencer Robertson wants to make a case on the
merits, I am willing to listen. Otherwise, it is not appropriate for those
who have pointedly kept their children out of the public school system to
lecture public school parents about what is best for "our children".
Patrick Daly died for the kids of Red Hook. While the mayor's appointees
are happy to rubber stamp the DOE agenda, I will take my obligation seriously.
Bravo Mr. Sullivan! Thank you for HEARING our voices and concerns and for
considering them seriously. We hope that the 'rubberstamp' is not true...
the Mayor is elected to serve the people, and therefore his appointees
should not simply serve him, but the people he was elected to represent.
We hope you will do everything you can to share this information with your
fellow members. We are looking forward to a fair and honest vote on the
26th that serves the best interest of all children, PAVE's and PS 15's--
overcrowding, community division, and the undermining of PS 15 is NOT what
is best for all children.
From: Klein Joel I.
As we are all aware, we share space in numerous school buildings in this
City. Whether charter or PS, we leave the choice to parents. I, like
everyone else, wish we had more space. But our collective job is to create
the best possible opportunities for all of our children in the space we
have. Calling people a rubber stamp or talking about rich friends may make
some feel superior but it adds nothing to the discussion about what's best
for our children.
From: James Devor
Perhaps I am being dense but how do "we leave the choice to parents"? Do
parents get to vote on which schools are placed in their local buildings?
Do they get to choose or even effectively oversee either their Public or
Charter School's leadership? As standardized test results become the
primary accountability criteria, what curriculum decisions do Parents get to
participate in? Are they even allowed to choose whether their children get
to keep their cell phones?
It seems to me that your idea of "choice" is "Coke or Pepsi?" Or as your
boss once put it, "fish or chicken?"
After all these years you still don't get it. Parents are NOT merely
Consumers, they are Citizens. AND they know it. Perhaps that's why a
majority of public school parents AND of Red Hook residents voted against
the Mayor's reelection.
You and your colleagues may have the POWER to impose your ill considered
decisions, just don't claim that those who oppose them are either fools,
"tools" or acting in bad faith
In District One we have been incubating innovative schools in shared space
for some 20 years in our district of choice.
With close to 85% of our schools in a building with one or more schools we
know a thing or two about shared space.
Several successful schools in my district with high demand and long waiting
lists have requested space to expand, but sufficient space was never found
Now, with no needs assessment of any kind, the OPP has decided to honor the
request of a co-located charter school to expand simply because this is
their model, as put down on paper in their latest charter renewal
No matter that the school building they are already housed in does not have
the space they need- even if a District 75 program is pared down by several
grades and sections, the host elementary school's growth capped and the
common space they all share is stretched beyond capacity.
Granted space to privately run schools at the expense of the schools for
which the DoE is accountable without sufficient oversight or planning ends
up more like cage fighting than creating opportunities for children.
Our robbing OT from Peter to house a school for Paul is not the answer.
We have a Panel for Educational Policy with eight or nine public school
parents yet all three leadership positions were handed to three men who are
not. In their 24 years of cumulative service how many times have they voted
against the mayor's wishes or even merely expressed a contrary thought?
Calling attention to the death of democracy in our city should not make me
or anyone feel superior. It should simply be an obligation of all those who
Thank you for this rich discussion... Mr. Klein, we at PS 15 can only hope
that you will truly consider the merits of this proposal and the negative
impact on the children of PS 15. If you do so, you will clearly see that
PAVE can easily find another site, that PS 15 is not designed for two
schools nor has the space for two schools, and that this decision will do
damage that may well be beyond repair. If you are willing to take the risk,
to set a policy to intentionally overcrowd, limit, and undermine a
successful public school, in favor of a new charter school that has no
success record like PS 15, there is a serious question of why! Why would
the DOE put forth this kind of a policy? We will leave the guessing to the
public, but you can rest assured the Parents of PS 15 will hold the DOE
accountable for this action and PS 15 voices will continue to advocate for a
change in this policy that not only affects our school, but schools across