As previously reported on this blog by an anonymous teacher at Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy charter chain, parents, teachers, students, and staff have been directed to participate in a march across the Brooklyn Bridge on October 8 to protest any slowdown in allocation of  public space to charter schools or any effort to charge the charters rent for public space. Some readers doubted the authenticity of this claim, but in fact it is true, as reported by website Gotham Schools.

Another reader of the blog sent this comment about why she will not march, nor will her children. She writes:

I am also a parent of a child at Success…this email is Real and participation is MANDATORY. As Eva said in her advocacy meeting the only excuse parents have for not attending protests or rallies is if someone (that someone being a woman because men are not excused) is within two hours of giving birth. She also noted that there would be at least 10 “events” a year and we are all required to attend. What is insane to me is that they argue the importance of classroom time so much so that they do not consider a Doctor’s appointment during school hours an excused absence but she sees it necessary to close schools down for several hours to protest. These children (most of them being kindergartners and 1st graders) should not be made to march any bridge they are children not pawns. Needless to say, we will not be participating.  I believe in standing up for my beliefs.

The point is a political show of force to impress the mayoral candidates, especially the Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio, who has publicly said that he will impose a moratorium on co-locations and would charge rent instead of giving away free space.

On this website, we have occasionally debated whether charter schools are public schools. This mandated march–the schools will be closed so that everyone will participate–would be illegal if the Success Academy charters were public schools.

By the way, Eva Moskowitz (a lawyer and former member of the City Council) is now paid $475,000 a year for managing schools enrolling fewer than 5,000 students, about double the salary of the schools’ chancellor who allegedly oversees the education of 1.1 million students.

This is the letter sent to parents. They are asked to support “choice,” but they are not allowed a “choice” about whether to march in support of the charter chain.

Dear Parents,

Your child’s education is threatened.  Our very existence is threatened.  Opponents want to take away our funding and our facilities.  These attacks are a real danger — we cannot stand idly by.

This is an outrage: There are hundreds of empty classrooms all across New York City, and more than 1,000 district schools share space without a complaint.  Yet our opponents want to penalize our success — and are proposing legislation to do so.

These issues are tremendously important.  If we lose ground – literally, if we lose access to public space – we cannot fulfill our commitment to you and your scholar.

Which is why you – you and your scholar, your friends and relatives –  must join us on Tuesday, October 8 to march with other charter parents across the Brooklyn Bridge.

What: Parent March across the Brooklyn Bridge in support of charter schools and parent choice!

When: Tuesday, October 8, 7:30am-11:00am.  Buses will pick you and your scholar up from school at morning arrival, and you will be dropped off at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn. We will delay the start of school until after the march.

Where: The march will start in Cadman Plaza, go across the Brooklyn Bridge, and end in City Hall Park (Downtown Manhattan).  All families will then take a subway back to school after the march to drop off scholars for the rest of the school day.

Don’t let opponents of ed reform steal your children’s future.  This is about your child, your choice.  Your voice must be heard.  We must show public officials that parents will fight for the right to choose excellent schools.

Eva Moskowitz
Founder and CEO
Success Academy Charter Schools



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