About a month ago, Katelyn Alfred, a third-grader from SA Bensonhurst stood in front of the microphone at a Town Hall meeting in Brooklyn and asked Mayor de Blasio “Why don’t you like Success Academy?”
She added, “I’m scared I won’t have a fifth grade.” The mayor’s response to her father Danny Alfred was less than satisfactory, as he wrote in an op-ed published recently, and the moment was videotaped by the Mayor’s Office.
A few days later, SA Williamsburg parent Maria Gargano went to another Town Hall meeting and invited the mayor to “please come visit us.” The mayor declined to commit, saying he had to be “very careful about invitations.” (When a reporter asked the Mayor about visiting Success, his response was blunter: “It’s well established that I have some differences with Success Academy, but I have focused on visiting some of the charters that I think we see a lot of great work being done in and some examples to learn from.” Even though the mayor doesn’t believe he can learn from Success Academy, Success parents are eager to learn from him about when, exactly, they will find out about his space plans for their scholars’ middle schools. SA Bensonhurst mom llona Bobritsky caught up with the Mayor at another Town Hall meeting two weeks ago. She too invited him to visit her scholar’s school and asked when parents would learn about the city’s plans. This time the mayor declined to take the question himself, referring her to a deputy chancellor, who could not provide specific information.
With 112 chronically underutilized school buildings and a total of 65,000 empty seats available — parents are asking why is the city taking so long to find space for Success Academy middle schoolers. District families know what their middle school options are — why are Success parents treated differently?
The next town hall meeting is Thursday, September 28 at Johnson Community Center, 1833 Lexington Avenue (at 113th Street), New York, NY 10029. Doors open at 6:00pm; program starts at 7:00pm. It’s a good opportunity to let the mayor know our scholars deserve to be treated equally!