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March 2, 2016

success academy: leave no good will on the table

As long as we're fixating on Success Academy (and more on that below), this bit of reporting from Capital New York (which is really stellar when it comes to local coverage) contains probably the best sentence ever in the context of a story concerning the kind of rhetoric that Eva Moscowitz uses when talking about relations with the city (and presumably whenever she opens her mouth):
The facts are more complicated.

Ain't that always the case?

And in this specific instance, a squabble over the city's pre-K program and the participation of Success therein, the facts are way more complicated, and boringly so. The city was requiring all third parties pre-K providers to sign a certain arcane document in order to receive funding, Success was refusing on the grounds that it thinks that pushing de Blasio around is good for business, Success had a hard time convincing the press and a judge that the document, which all other providers signed, was so onerous, and they lost it in the courts. This should be one big nothingburger of a story, but Sucess being Success they went and launched a big "de Blasio's pre-K program is poopy" press release campaign presumably out of hurt feelings.

It should be, and is, a yawner, but it is yet another example of how Success Academy and its synechdoche Eva Moscowitz never ever pass up an opportunity to be be obstreperous and claim some sort of moral superiority in promoting its business. If they ever decided to stop acting like the villain of a series on CW then maybe they'd save some money on PR.

And further, just because Success is a vile, greedhead venture commodifying the education of our kids does not mean that every charter school out there is also vile/greedhead. Public education has long been deprioritized as a function of the municipality, and as a result there's an awful lot of schools in some communities that you wouldn't want to go to. And at the same time there are a lot of people trying to find a way to do better, and using the the charter school paradigm to do so.

Having said that, if a charter school is nothing but a thinly veiled bid to find a way to make big bucks off of education just like Adam Smith would have wanted, then that charter school is unworthy of respect. Success is one of those.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:56 AM