The upper classes are this nation's past, these people are our future. Invest wisely.
When Fatou Gueye and her husband arrived in New York from their native Senegal, they possessed little education and big hopes for their children.
Yesterday, those hopes were somewhat dashed when their 6-year-old son, Abdoulaye, was shut out of a lottery for the new Harlem Success Charter School to open in the fall.
"This is the new generation, we want him to have a better life, but he has to go to a good school," Ms. Gueye, whose husband drives a yellow taxi, said.
She was among the hundreds of hopeful parents who packed into the basement of the Salem United Methodist Church last night, where children's names were pulled from a box to determine who would win slots for the kindergarten and first-grade classes.At moments, the event felt more like the TV game show "The Price Is Right."
Parents squealed and jumped out of their seats when their child's name was called.
Despite the elation of some parents, it was hard to ignore the boxes of Kleenex placed on each table in anticipation of a few tears that may fall at the end of the evening.
It is inconceivable to me that the Department of Education, the anti-Christ Sheldon Silver, sHillary Clinton (click for her video, HILLARY: UNHINGED ON VOUCHERS here ) would keep the door closed on charter schools, vouchers and educational opportunities for the poor.
Harlem Success Charter School is one of a dozen of the privately run but publicly funded schools to open next year, but it could be among the last.
When the state approved the creation of charter schools in 1998, the law limited the number of such schools to 100 statewide. All of those charters have now been doled out.
"It's hard for minorities to excel, coming from the backgrounds or neighborhoods where we come from," a housekeeper from the Bronx, Shiboan Laboy, said. "I think education is the no. 1 way to get children out of the ghetto."
She said she refused to send her 5-year-old daughter, Jaylin, to one of the schools in her neighborhood. Jaylin did not earn a slot in next year's first-grade class.
The event was the brainchild of Ms. Moskowitz, the former chairwoman of the City Council's Committee on Education who represented the Upper East Side. While schools are required to hold a lottery, Ms. Moskowitz was among the first school leaders to invite the press.
"I want the public to see to see how desperate parents are, and politicians in particular. It's very easy to make this an abstract debate, but it's not abstract for these parents," Ms. Moskowitz said. "I can't believe that somebody would stand in the way of children trying to get a good education."
Ms. Moskowitz extended invitations to last night's event to Governor Pataki, the Senate majority leader, Joseph Bruno, and the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver.
In a letter, she asked them to come witness first-hand "parents' pain."
Opponents fear for their jobs. Taxpayers are paying dearly for their perks and our kids are barely educated. What are they so afraid of? Competition? I say, bring it on. Free markets baby.
The schools are shielded from many rules, regulations, and union contracts that govern conventional public schools. Until recently, the United Federation of Teachers was a vocal opponent of charter schools.
Wild right. And John Stossel,co-anchor of ABC's "20/20," is getting raked over the coals for telling the much needed truth in one of his segments called "Stupid in America."
In his Oped piece Plenty of Myths, Stossel writes here;
I hope the teachers in America's public schools are more candid than their union officials and some of the public-education advocates and leftist smear groups who are criticizing my TV special "Stupid in America." They are promoting myths:
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) accused me of making a "sweeping generalization" about poor American student performance from test results from a few American and Belgian students. Nope. I reported the results from the actual International Student Assessment (PISA) tests. Read it all
A week or so ago he came out to greet hordes of angry teachers who gathered outside the network's studio to protest the segment here.
Armed with a microphone and television crew, Mr. Stossel, who reported a story that criticized teachers and their union, stood amid hundreds of city educators who stood waving placards and yelling at him to apologize.
One teacher at the protest, which was organized by the United Federation of Teachers, held up a painting of a donkey with Mr. Stossel's head taped to the animal's behind.
"This sums up, without using obscenities, what I think of John Stossel," a health teacher at P.S.123K in Brooklyn, Richard Skibins, said. He was one of hundreds of teachers gathered yesterday afternoon outside the ABC studios on Columbus Avenue and 66th Street.
The system is rotten to its core, throw the whole damn thing out. Education should be privatized and may the best school win.
UPDATE March 30th:
Closing and Spending New York Sun Editorial News that the Archdiocese of New York will close 14 schools in the region is being greeted with dismay by parents who have come to rely on the schools as an escape hatch from the city's public monopoly.