Monday, March 08, 2010

In Harlem, Epicenter for Charter Schools, a Senator Wars Against Them

I thought it would be hard for anyone to challenge UFT head Mike Mulgrew's lead in the Hypocrisy Horse Race (sending his own daughter to a Catholic school, while fighting to deny other parents any kind of choice), but NY State Senator Bill Perkins, the leading enemy of charters in NY, may well have surged into the lead (kudos to the NYT for highlighting this):

Mr. Perkins is not unfamiliar with the issue of parent choice. When he was growing up in East Harlem, his mother used a few connections to get him enrolled at Robert F. Wagner Middle School on the Upper East Side. For high school, he secured a scholarship to attend the prestigious Collegiate School, and then went to Brown University.

Asked whether he was trying to deny students in Harlem the kind of choice that he had, Mr. Perkins said: "I understand that drive and the precious value of parents being concerned and willing to do whatever they need to do to get the best education for their children and get it whatever way they can. My concern is that they are being sold something that is hype, that is all about creating more demand."


How does this guy sleep at night?  Thousands of desperate parents in his district are on waiting lists to get into extraordinary schools like Village Academies, Democracy Prep and Harlem Success (see this web site I posted after visiting the school in 9/07:, and he wants to destroy them…  A good quote from Peter Murphy:

"His position and attitude has become really adversarial, unlike what I have seen in any other member," said Peter Murphy, a spokesman for the New York State Charter Schools Association, an advocacy group.

"Rather than embrace the change that many of his constituents wanted," Mr. Murphy added. "He is focused on thwarting charter expansion rather than working through how to make it coexist with district schools that are working well."


In Harlem, Epicenter for Charter Schools, a Senator Wars Against Them

Published: March 6, 2010

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