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Charter school parent refuses to reveal financial backer, pushes takeover of NYC PS 15 school.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-14-09 10:25 PM
Original message
Charter school parent refuses to reveal financial backer, pushes takeover of NYC PS 15 school.
 
Run time: 05:34
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1R_b4VOnI4
 
Posted on YouTube: September 21, 2009
By YouTube Member:
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Posted on DU: December 15, 2009
By DU Member: madfloridian
Views on DU: 396
 
Here is more about the parent. In the video she is at PS 15.

A charter school parent gains prominence as loyal opposition

A year ago, Davids was on the other side of the battle. As co-president of the parent association of P.S. 160 in the Bronx, she broke the news that the DOE was considering putting a new charter school, Equality Charter School, in the same building. Davids, whose daughter attended the district school, initially helped lead parent protests against siting the charter school there. But after learning more about Equality Charter, Davids suddenly reversed course, sent in her daughters application to the charter school and began helping the charter recruit other students.

Davids, who is on leave from her job as head of the consulting firm Azania Holdings, said she funded her work at the Parent Association by herself until this week, when she received her first outside donation. She refused to identify the donor, saying only that the donation is from a philanthropist acting as a private individual. The donation will be used to provide a stipend for the six parents participating in the training academy, which will be held during daytime hours, Davids said.


Many charter school management companies have been forming parents into groups to push against public schools. Green Dot does it, Skillman Foundation does it, and it looks like PAVE charters is into this also.

With her tall frame and command of a microphone, many have looked at Davids and seen a natural politician. Davids makes advocates on both side of the charter debate a bit nervous. To charter school opponents, Davids may be the harbinger of a grassroots support movement in New York, the lack of which has occasionally been a sore spot in the charter school movement. To charter school advocates, she is not an unconditional friend.

Im not a paid flak, Im a parent, she said. We are not puppets of the charter school movement; we are not puppets of the anti-charter school movement. This association was born out of a fight for equal access to a quality education for all students.

Davids said that because of her interest in educational equity, one of the main goals of her group is to bridge this huge divisive gap between charter school parents and parents of traditional public school students.

Her ability to bridge that gap is still unproven. Several P.S. 160 parents I spoke to who fought against the siting of Equality Charter Schools said they still feel betrayed by her for switching sides in that debate. And Davids involvement in other charter school siting battles, notably at P.S. 15 and PAVE Academy in Red Hook, has garnered much attention, some of it extremely critical.


Red Hook PS 15 in NYC is the school that has been recently told by Arne Duncan's DOE that they may have to share their building with the PAVE charter school for as long as 5 years.

Last month, DOE officials notified the principals of Red Hooks PAVE Academy and P.S. 15 that the charter school would remain in the P.S. 15 building, even though PAVE originally agreed to leave the building at the end of this school year. At the time, DOE spokeswoman Ann Forte said that there was no need to follow the new rules since a hearing had been held before the charter school moved into the building two years ago.

But after protests from the districts Community Education Council members, DOE officials said this week they will follow the new procedure after all.


Here is more about her, and about the tactics being used to undermine public schools.

From Education Notes Online

Related
Michael Fiorillo commented at Gotham Schools about Davids:

...a quick bit of research shows that she is the head of Azania Holdings, which is describes itself as involved in "business development," "strategic investment," "marketing" and "branding." Which is exactly what the push for charters is all about. Azania Holding focuses on South Africa, which has endured the widespread privatization of public resources that is one of the hallmarks of neo-liberalism. Some people recognize a great business opportunity when they it, I guess, and are investing accordingly.

CAPE also commented on Davids' business connections to the Bloomberg administration:

This Bronx parent advocate has way deeper ties to the Bloomberg Administration and the business world than her role as President of Charter School Parents Association, or she, reveals. We love how this article states that she just decided to start this group up, and mentions nothing about the money and support behind her, let alone her business dealings. It reminds us of the new trend in politics; astroturf movements as opposed to true grassroots movements. Here is a woman, who came from the Bronx into Red Hook to scream at a crowd of concerned educators and parents and tried to divide them with racial undertones and vicious attacks on teachers.

This same woman runs a company that is the only bridge to new development in South Africa and NYC, which the Bloomberg Administration is seeking investment with.
Let us be clear, the goals of business investment and commerce between the United States, specifically NYC, and African nations is a good one; what is questionable is the ties and connections and the 'back-scratching' nature of it all; not to mention the fact that Mona presents herself as a neighborhood parent advocate, which apparently according to her, white people and teachers can't be, when really she is a very savvy, very organized, very funded, and very connected business woman. This is certainly does not negate her role as an active parent, we just ask for truth and transparency. When one hides or misrepresents who they are or what their interests are, it makes you wonder... http://www.nypost.com/p/news/regional/charter_ex_foe_convert_YZQHtDqzj6elkmTclMxefM



Sharon Higgins at the Perimeter Primate wrote about the "creation" of charter school parent organizations. Here is an excerpt:

Maria Guadalupe Mena of Garfield High School "Community members stated they were offered monetary compensation by Green Dot in exchange for their signature on a petition.... The Parent Revolution group Ms. Mena refers to is also known as the Los Angeles Parents Union, and is a descendant of a Green Dot project called the Small Schools Alliance.

http://perimeterprimate.blogspot.com/


Things are not always as they seem.

The corporations are organized to take over the public schools. They have their man in place in the Department of Education.

People are apathetic about public education after enduring decades of public education propaganda.






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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-14-09 11:07 PM
Response to Original message
1. "widespread privatization of public resources" in South Africa
"...a quick bit of research shows that she is the head of Azania Holdings, which is describes itself as involved in "business development," "strategic investment," "marketing" and "branding." Which is exactly what the push for charters is all about. Azania Holding focuses on South Africa, which has endured the widespread privatization of public resources that is one of the hallmarks of neo-liberalism. Some people recognize a great business opportunity when they it, I guess, and are investing accordingly."

We need to be investigating backgrounds of everyone involved in these overt attacks on public schools.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-15-09 12:32 AM
Response to Original message
2. Corporations funding and organizing parents to attack public schools.
Shameful, but powerful.

Money and power usually win.
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