A regular commenter, who signs as NYC Public School Parent, is sharply critical of the games charters play. She doesn’t like the way they push kids out as young as 5 or 6 for misbehaving. She doesn’t like their boasting about test scores when the schools with the highest scores are selective, either in their admissions or their attrition or both.

She writes approvingly of schools that seek out those students with the greatest needs, like the one funded by LeBron James in Akron.

Didn’t the LeBron James-funded school in Akron do just that — specifically took the most struggling students? And wasn’t it part of the public school system? THAT is what all charters should be doing.

The so called “successful” and expanding charter chains have almost universally prioritized the needs of their CEOs over the needs of the most vulnerable children. Their approach to teaching students is that they want to teach students as long as those children make the CEO and administrators look good. Period. The students who don’t make them look good are drummed out and what is most disgusting is that they demonize those students if their parents don’t quietly remove them.

Anyone who doesn’t understand exactly WHO it is whose well-being is most important to charters only has to watch John Merrow’s October 2015 PBS interview with Eva Moskowitz – and the growing RED HIVES that appear on her neck which seems to be her “tell” when she feels threatened by having to defend her false narratives.

Her red hives are particularly evident when John Merrow asked her about the high rate of suspensions of Kindergarten and first graders, who are primarily African American:

“I OFTEN have parents say to me ‘my child never PUNCHED the teacher’, I say ‘well, but you weren’t there”.

That happens OFTEN, Eva Moskowitz claims in the video, referring to those youngest elementary school students. OFTEN.

Only an implicitly racist education reporter would not be extremely suspicious that there must be something very wrong with an inexperienced teacher trained in the Success Academy way if parents OFTEN are having Moskowitz telling them their 5 or 6 year olds were PUNCHING their Success Academy teachers.

And that’s how she justified high suspension rates. I would like to ask Eliza Shapiro and Elizabeth Greene whether they believe that is true, and ask them why they don’t feel that lying to demonize vulnerable children is disqualifying, but instead is something that shouldn’t be mentioned when presenting this person as a worthy source of information. Moskowitz OFTEN had to tell parents their young children PUNCHED their teacher, Eva Moskowitz says, and these reporters’ implicit racism did not even lead them to question such an absurdity that they surely would have questioned if a principal said that they OFTEN had affluent white parents of 5 year olds in her office who didn’t realize how violent their own children were.

“A disciplinary code is written to give maximum freedom…” said Eva Moskowitz, before she invoked how OFTEN 5 and 6 year old Success Academy children PUNCHED their teachers.

Complicit journalists who didn’t even question this when they heard Moskowitz invoking her violent students. Why?

Charters aren’t popping up in affluent white suburban neighborhoods because there isn’t a magic formula to turn students into scholars, there is a magic formula to cherry pick the students who perform well and dump the others but blame someone else because charters will never admit they are the ones who have failed the students they were funded to teach. Presumably the complicit journalists would not be so complicit about ignoring the red flags in the “violent children who needed to be suspended” narrative if those very young students were middle class and white.

The implicit racism that infuses every story about “high performing” charters in the NYT and Chalkbeat is that it would be impossible to cherry pick because there are simply too few academically proficient Black or Latinx students in urban areas to cherry pick. A math-challenged education reporter can see a statistic like “only 30% of Black and Latinx students in NYC are proficient on state tests” and not bother to notice that in a large city like NYC that is over 70,000 3-8 grade public school students. So they fawn over a hugely popular, lavishly funded charter with a disproportionately high rate of attrition whose 3-8 grade enrollment is a tiny percentage of 70,000, and they “inform” us in every story that to cherry pick is virtually impossible. And it simply has never been true, as anyone with a better understanding of numbers could have explained to them if they didn’t depend on press releases instead of trying to understand the evaluate the criticism themselves. It’s so much easier just to write a phrase “critics from the teachers’ union” or “critics who hate charters” disagree and then write more fawning paragraphs about the charters’ unprecedented and miraculous results.

If there wasn’t such lousy reporting that legitimized false narratives – if the reporting had been focused on why charters weren’t being held to their promise to teach the most at-risk students instead of the most motivated and academically strong students – I suspect the charter movement might become something I could support. When I found out that they were not interested in doing what they were funded to do, I was shocked. But when I found out they were LYING about what they were doing, and supporting their lie by throwing very young kids under the bus, I was disgusted.