I hope Diane Ravitch wiill forgive me for taking this long blockquote and the title of her post. I don't have better words and this is something that people need to understand:
The second half is at Diane Ravitch's blog, and I encourage you to click through to finish reading.The New York City tabloids–whose owners are zealous about charter schools–have whipped up a frenzy against Mayor Bill de Blasio because he did not approve every single charter application rushed through the Bloomberg board at its last meeting in October 2013. That board, which never said no to Mayor Bloomberg, approved an unprecedented 49 charter applications, some of which are co-locations.A co-location means that a charter, which is operated by a private board of directors, gets public space in a public school. The public school has to surrender “empty” rooms that were previously used for art, music, resource rooms for special education, and any other space that is not considered a classroom. The regular public schools–attended by 94% of all public school children, must be overcrowded to make room for the charters. Because the charters are heavily subsidized by private funding, they typically renovate the space (not good enough for them), and their students have the latest and best of everything. In New York City, the term “academic apartheid” is becoming a reality, in the very same building. In some co-located spaces, the children in the charters have separate entrances, to keep the others out of their space.De Blasio had to decide what to do with so many co-locations. The city already has 183 charters.He approved 39 of the 49. He turned down 9, and one is under review.Let me say that again. He approved 39 of 49. That is hardly anti-charter. In fact, many public school parents are outraged that their schools will now be forced to give up space to a charter that operates under different ownership (private).Of the 9 that were denied, three were destined for Eva Moskowitz’s charter chain called Success Academy.But of the 39 that were approved, Eva won three.Instead of celebrating the addition of three new charter schools to her growing chain (the largest in the city), Eva has gone on the warpath, claiming that de Blasio is anti-charter and wants to hurt the poor black and brown children she serves.The media do not know that her schools do not serve the same demographic as the children in the public schools. She enrolls fewer children with special needs and fewer English language learners. Her schools have a high suspension and attrition rate.