Sunday, January 03, 2010

Blocking the schoolhouse door

Wow...  What a powerful and spot-on editorial in the NY Post.   For those of you not familiar with the history of Eva Moskowitz and Randi Weingarten, you might wonder why the union is targeting not only one of the best schools in Harlem, but one of the best in the entire country.  You'd think they'd target a crappy charter school, right? (Sadly, there are more than a few, though in NY, there are fewer than in many other states that have weak charter laws/authorizers.)  The reason is that Harlem Success is run by Eva.  Randi has a long-standing, vicious, personal vendetta against Eva because when she was head of the Education Committee of the NY City Council, Eva courageously held hearings on the union contract (which, of course, highlighted the insanity of it and underscored how it screwed kids in countless ways).  Ever since, Randi has done everything in her power to hurt Eva and anyone and anything she's associated with.  It's thuggery, plain and simple.   SHAME ON YOU, RANDI!  This is Exhibit A on why I compare the teachers unions to the longshoreman's union.  (Full disclosure: Eva is a good friend and one of my heroes -- not only for what she did as a City Councilor, but also for building four of the most kick-ass schools in the country.)

Blocking the schoolhouse door

Last Updated: 4:15 AM, September 14, 2009

Posted: September 14, 2009

Minority kids try to enter a school. Angry adults scream at them and try to block their path.

Little Rock, 1957?

Try New York City, 2009.

That was the shocking scene last week at a Harlem building shared by a traditional public school, PS 123, and a charter school, Harlem Success Academy 2.

Charter schools are public schools -- but they're mostly free of burdensome union rules. And they regularly outperform traditional schools, which is why parents are desperate to get their kids into charters.

And why it was ironic to see protesters (mostly teachers-union members) handing out flyers decrying the supposedly "separate and unequal" system that charters create.

Such words might be fitting to protest the lack of charter seats for all who want them and the fact that some kids must attend union-hamstrung schools.

But it was just the opposite: The protesters don't want anyone getting a better education -- they want all kids to go to the inferior schools.

Which is why they tried to block charter students from entering.

Now where'd they get the idea for such topsy-turvy language?

Perhaps from union-puppet Sen. Bill Perkins (D-Harlem). Last summer, Perkins invoked the language of Brown vs. Board of Education, claiming (oblivious to the irony) that giving students a shot at a charter education was "segregation."

But here are the facts:

At PS 149, 51 percent of third-graders passed the state English test; at Harlem Success Academy 1, which is in the same building, 95 percent passed.

Those flyers also demanded that charters "end the solicitaion [sic] of students." In other words, don't tell parents they needn't send their kids to schools pushed by folks who can't even spell "solicitation."

The hero of segregation, of course, was Alabama Gov. George Wallace. In his famous 1963 inaugural address, nine years after Brown, he famously declared, "Segregation today . . . segregation tomorrow . . . segregation forever."

How pathetic to see Perkins and his followers taking a page from the segregationists' playbook.


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