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Bronx: NYC Public Schools vs NYC Charter Schools - PS122 Astoria

Mar 16, 2017 at 07:59 pm by mikewood

nyc public schools bronx nyc battle of charters vs public schools bronx nyc

Battle For Control Of PS 122 Astoria

Dept of Ed Announces Big Changes & Few Details

Public Education Could Be Defining Issue Of NYC Mayoral Race

nyc public schools charter schools vs public schools nyc charter schools strategy to tear apart public schools bronx

March 17, 2013 / Queens Borough / Bronx Public Schools / Queens Buzz NYC.

The Department of Education announced its intention to make sweeping changes to PS 122 on February 28, 2013 to the PTA of the school. We were told of the general gist of these changes by PS 122 PTA members and parents.  We then followed up with the Department of Education, to be sure we understood the Department of Education's announcement correctly.

Before we discuss the general gist of the Department of Education plans for PS 122, it helps to have a bit of background to better understand what appears to be happening. 

charter schools privatization efforts of nyc public schoolsThere are several important elements that seem to be at the core of the issue: 1) the Department of Education's plans to reconfigure one of the most successful public elementary / intermediate schools in Queens and the NYC school system, 2) the Department of Education's sudden interest in providing the school children of PS 122 grades K through 5 with the opportunity to continue matriculation within the same school [building] throughout all eight grades [6 - 8], and 3) Success Academy Charter Schools announcement that they plan to open a new charter school in Queens school district 30 in August of 2014. 

Scroll down to read the beginning of our DRAFT report about the Department of Education Plans to reconfigure PS 122 in Astoria which we thus far haven't gotten around to completing [and may never].  Be advised that there is a Community Board One Meeting March 19, Tuesday evening beginning at 6.30 pm at the Astoria World Manor at 25-22 Astoria Blvd in Astoria, Queens and a PEP Meeting on March 20th in Brooklyn. The large top photo above was published with permission by Nigel McKenna and the second photo was taken by Queens Buzz of NYC Comptroller and possible Mayoral candidate John Liu listening to concerned PS 122 parents at a United Community Civic Association meeting in Astoria.


Astoria Moms Defend Children's Rights

Madmen: Bloomberg Dept of Education Does A Don Draper

fight for public education nyc fight for public schools nycContinued two days later / March 19, 2013 / Queens Buzz / News Analysis & Opinion. 


I attended a Community Board One Meeting Tuesday evening, following up on the concerns of Astoria parents, regarding the proposed changes to PS 122, which were recently announced by the Department of Education [DOE].


Having spent a week in pursuit of information from the DOE about the proposed changes - statements regarding the difficulty in obtaining information from them - rang true. 


nyc public schools nycIn the photo above, Anastasia Cunningham and her son talk about how the Dept of Ed hasn't put anything in writing, hasn't conducted any impact study, and she talked about how the changes could possibly destroy the learning environment that contributes to the success of PS 122 in Astoria.


Click here to read the rest of our report including news analysis & opinion regarding the Community Board One Meeting regarding the Bloomberg Department of Education proposed changes to Public School 122 in Astoria, Queens NYC.

Astoria Moms Defend Children's Rights

Madmen: Bloomberg Dept of Education Does A Don Draper

March 19, 2013 / Queens Borough / Bronx Public Schools / News Analysis & Opinion / Queens Buzz NYC. Continued.

The terse repetitive DOE responses we received about the planned changes, brought to mind an episode of the popular television series - Madmen - where philandering Don Draper is accused of sleeping with another woman.  Don repeatedly denies it, saying absolutely as little as possible. 

The DOE's response to our inquiry about the possible connection between these proposed changes and the recent public announcement of a charter school company targeting this district [30], consisted of ps 122 queensthe following statement:  "The suggestion that this plan is about making room for a charter school is, simply, a total myth."

These parents find the Department of Education's proposal disrespectful.  Many of them find it highly coincidental that the Department of Education has suddenly become so very concerned with reconfiguring PS 122, after decades in its current configuration, particularly in light of its great academic success which includes the past six consecutive years of A performance.

They also find that this new DOE initiative seems to neatly coincide with Success Academy Charter School's recent public announcement that they would like to open a new charter school in District 30. In the photo above, Claudia Lieto-McKenna, Co President of the PS 122 PTA, speaks on behalf of 2,200 concerned petition signers, 350 of whom have written letters to the Department of Education.

Coincidence?  Maybe yes ... but maybe not.  Instead of dismantling one of the most successful public schools in Queens & NYC, perhaps the DOE should be trying to emulate PS 122 by attempting to replicate it.

Based on what we know today, the proposed changes don't seem to make any academic or organizational sense, they don't appear to be in the best interests of the school children at PS 122 and surrounding schools, and they don't appear to be in the best interests of the Astoria Queens neighborhood.

This Bloomberg Department of Education episode reminded us of one of the story lines in Madmen. In our analogy the Department of Education is Don Draper, the Success Academy Charter Schools is the other woman, and the PS 122 PTA is Betty Draper.  Mind you that this is the OPINION portion of our report and an ANALOGY, and that these are organizations, not individual people.

So that said, Betty Draper [PS 122] suspects Don [the DOE] of sleeping with the other woman [Success Academy]. She asks why Don needs to leave her / his family to go into the office on a holiday weekend [why forsake / dismantle PS122 when it is one of NYC's most successful public schools while opening the door to a new charter school in the same area].  In the Madmen episode it's an interesting coincidence that Jimmy's wife, the other woman, is working that same weekend [eg. the timing of Success Academy's planned move into Queens School District 30 coincides neatly with the DOE's plans to dismantle PS122].

It's worth mentioning that PS 122 is performing at the top of the hierarchy, with six years of grade A performance, which is comparable to noting that Don's wife Betty is a smart, beautiful and alluring woman. This begs the question as to why the Bloomberg Department of Education is trying to abandon [take this school apart] instead of emulating it.

Just as one might ask the question as to why would Don abandons his wife Betty and his family for a sleep-around woman like Jimmy's wife. Maybe the Bloomberg Department of Education should be using this school as a model instead of attempting to destroy it. Just as one might suggest that perhaps Don Draper should spend more time with his wife Betty, instead of destroying their family by chasing other women. So we're left to conclude that perhaps the Bloomberg Department Of Education [aka Don] isn't telling us everything, because their actions don't make sense based on what we know.

Please note that there's a PEP [Panel for Educational Policy] Meeting at Brooklyn Tech High School, Wednesday, March 20th at 6 pm at 29 Fort Greene Place in Brooklyn about the proposed changes.


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