Skip to content
SA Together Again: We’re back in classrooms and taking learning to new levels!
Blog

Mission Possible

Stories and insights on excellent education.

Open Letter to Mayor de Blasio

Dear Mayor de Blasio:

Last December, your office promised in writing to approve co-locations for four Success Academy schools by June 30 of this year. The deadline for filing the paperwork necessary to meet that deadline has passed, and only one co-location has been found.

New York City has 50,000 students on charter school waiting lists. Success Academy alone had to turn away more than 19,000 children this year. The length of these waiting lists is a barometer of the profound dissatisfaction of New York families for the educational choices available to their children.

Your promise to find space for Success Academy was a promise not just to us, but to the families of these children stuck on waiting lists, many of whom are trapped in failing district schools. Families in the South Bronx and East New York deserve the same educational opportunities as those who are fortunate enough to live in Park Slope or on the Upper East Side.

I am particularly disappointed because Success Academy agreed to open fewer schools in order to make it easier for you to find sufficient space for them. We did so on the condition, to which your administration agreed, that “The PEP [Panel for Educational Policy] will vote to site four of these schools no later than June 30, 2015, and it will vote to site the remaining four schools no later than November 30, 2015.”

Adding to the problem is that on Wednesday, the PEP delayed approval of a co-location proposal for Success Academy Midwood. This is the second time the PEP’s vote on a Success Academy proposal has been delayed. You are apparently unable to convince the PEP members you appointed to approve this co-location. That is profoundly troubling.

You are asking the state Legislature to renew mayoral control. There is a reason they call it that. You have been granted the ability to exercise control and it is your duty to exercise it in the interest of all New Yorkers. There is no point in having mayoral control if you don’t use it.

During your campaign, you claimed that you would be able to establish a better dialogue concerning the placement of charter schools. That is well and fine, but sometimes doing the right thing means standing up to loud voices and special interests that are just wrong. There is a very big difference between having a rational dialogue and letting special interests that take unreasonable positions dictate the education policy in New York City.

Since I first proposed charter school co-location 13 years ago when you and I both sat on the City Council’s Education Committee, more than 100 charter schools have been co-located, bringing opportunity to tens of thousands of New York students. There is no reason, other than a political one, that such co-locations cannot continue to occur under your administration. There are 160,000 empty seats in city-owned school buildings across the city, and 173 buildings with more than 300 unused seats. The idea that space cannot be found for Success Academy schools is preposterous.

On behalf of Success Academy’s 19,000 wait-listed families, I urge you to keep your promise. We need a mayor who will lead the fight for better educational opportunities and not allow kids be held hostage by special interests and those who are unwilling to listen to reason.

Sincerely,
Eva Moskowitz

Written by Eva Moskowitz May 22, 2015

Blog

Related posts

“Happy Children Learn Better” – An SA parent reflects on the return to campus

October 7, 2021 Success Academy

Success Academy reopened its doors to scholars across the city in August, safely ushering students back into the classroom after an unprecedented 2020-21 school year. To keep our scholars safe — and learning — it’s more important than ever that we work together with families and guardians to ensure everyone in our community is on... Read more

Back to Basics: 3 Ways Parents Can Help Scholars Adjust to In-Person Learning

October 4, 2021 Success Academy

The school year is well underway, and it is so exciting to be together again in our classrooms. We love seeing scholars connect face-to-face and participate in hands-on science labs, team sports, and theatre productions alike. Nevertheless, we know returning to a new or unfamiliar learning space can be a challenging transition, and scholars might... Read more

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

September 29, 2021 Success Academy

The deadly pandemic that forced children to isolate and learn remotely has only deepened painful issues of inequity. All around us, there is profound learning loss and lack of access to equitable resources. At Success Academy, we have a special obligation to get back on track and ensure that our students realize their full potential,... Read more

Enroll your child

We’re now accepting K-4 applications for the 2021-2022 school year.

Work with us

Build your career while making an impact at Success Academy.