Friday, December 04, 2009

Fiorillo Lays Out Tom Carroll

A comment by ICE's Michael Fiorillo at Gotham Schools a few weeks ago is worth giving more prominence to:

Mr. Carroll,

To address your last post:

You claim that the charter school you chair is the highest-rated elementary school in
Albany. If so - and we will leave the debate about the meaning of these ratings to another
time - then in the interest of the transparency you hold so dear, please

- tell us the percentage of special needs students you serve compared to the
percentage served by local zoned public schools.

- tell us the percentage of ELLs served in your school compared to the percentage
served by local zoned public schools.

- whether a child’s acceptance and continued enrollment is dependent on parent’s signing a
contract of any kind.

-the student attrition rate.

-the teacher attrition rate.

As for charters being public schools, it is simply not so. They are publicly-funded, privately managed corporations. The public has no input over the composition of the board or the policies it promulgates. You say it is non-profit, and while that is true (for the moment) it ignores the gravitational force of the profit motive that drives the business model you and your fellow free market- now, that’s a misnomer if there ever was one - fundamentalists celebrate.

You use deceptively loaded language to refer to my criticism. It was you, not me, who used the word “rail” in regard to my description of your op-ed pieces. In fact, I used the far more neutral term “editorialize.” Please don’t put words in my mouth. Your asking us to point out specific attacks against teachers is disingenuous: your frequent writings about seniority, tenure and merit pay are objectively anti-teacher, no matter whether they’re couched in the fake-objective prose of policy analysis.

As for the platforms from which you speak, I can’t quite believe you even try to use them as a defense. The Huffington Post, despite it limousine liberal trappings, is a frequent venue for ed deform propaganda. The New York Times has been a consistent enabler of Bloomberg’s policies here in the city, and the Washington Post is a nationwide loudspeaker for school privatization. This is - or in a less corrupt and intellectually dishonest world, should be - a particular conflict of interest scandal , since they own Kaplan, a direct beneficiary of corporate ed deform.

Then there’s Randi Weingarten. Sad to say, she has her peace with the privatizers, as long as the union gets its cut and she can be feted as a labor statesperson. She actually seems to think that the union can continue to exist if public schools are destroyed. She has signed a tenure and seniority-free contract with Green Dot, and she is pushing the recently signed New Haven teacher’s contract - which will accelerate public school closings and their replacement by charters - as a national model.

You accuse me of being intolerant - there’s that loaded language again - when I merely noted the background of people on your Board, two of whom have close connections to explicitly pro-privatization groups. You are free to recruit anyone you like for your Board, but please don’t play the victim when their backgrounds are pointed out. And by the way, facts are not intolerant; they merely stand in mute contrast to deception and self-deception.

Once again you refuse to deal with the transparency issues raised by the proliferation of no-bid contracts under Bloomberg and Klein, saying you know nothing about them and will leave it to the DOE to comment. But you also say you don’t know anything about the contract negotiations, yet you are clamoring for the parties - but in reality just the union, so you can attack them in your “objective” way in Rupert’s and Morty’s rags - to reveal their positions. You don’t seem to grasp, or refuse to acknowledge, the hypocrisy of that.

And, finally, we don’t agree that the current bargaining positions should be made public. Your faux-objective claim of wanting ‘transparency” in the name of taxpayers is belied by your interests, actions and ideology.

No comments: