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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 12:56 AM
Original message
Billionaire Boys Club kicks autistic school out so their charter can take over school building
Last week, Joel Klein disclosed he would invoke emergency powers to enable Girls Prep Charter School to expand within PS 94, even as it pushes out a program for autistic kids, contrary to the ruling of the NY State Education commissioner, David Steiner.

Steiner had held that Klein's actions violated state law, as Klein had refused to recognize that the autistic program was a school, any change to which required a public process occur beforehand, including informing the parents of the children who would be affected. Klein's actions in invoking emergency powers to displace a school for autistic children on behalf of a charter school has provoked much outrage from parents, elected officials, and special education advocates alike...

Why did Girls Prep want to expand in the first place? See the SUNY charter center fiscal dashboard, which shows that this school had recently moved into dangerous territory fiscally speaking, and most likely wanted an infusion of taxpayer funds generated by higher enrollment, without having to dip into the hefty pockets of their board members or Spencers generous father.

Here's a press conference:


Let's look at the web of over-privileged players:

- Ravenel Boykin Curry IV (what a great name for a super-rich elitist SOB)

Hedge-funder, on the Board of the charter management organization (CMO) that operates Girls Prep. Here's an article about *him*:

"Ravenel Boykin Curry IV was born into a prominent banking family from Greenwood, South Carolina, that relocated to suburban New Jersey....'Boykin will do anything to have an insect named after him...'

He's a DNC Democrat, & a Democrats for Ed Reform (DFER) Democrat. Over $50K in political contributions in 2008, $68K in 2010. Lots of that money went to pro-charter school candidates: here's an article about it:

Ravenel's a trustee of the Manhattan Institute, a think tank promoting "greater economic choice and individual responsibility."

Here's his trophy wife ("Celery") profiled in Harpers Bazaar:

"But the truth of the matter is that on Halloween night, dressed in a tacky costume, Kemble had never felt sexier. 'I felt hot and young and so excited to go out in a way I hadn't before," she says with the fervor of a college coed...' Kemble's not an anomaly on the New York scene... just one of many glamorous young moms who seem to balance an active and engaged social life with at least the appearance of a perfect family and a successful career..."

Here's a comment on Girls Prep:

It's worth mentioning that Girls Prep is the darling of billionaire hedge-fund operator and DFER patron, Ravenel Boykin Curry IV of Eagle Capital Management. The school's curriculum appears to be little more than test-prep with hefty contracts going to Open Court Reading Program, and Saxon Math.

- Eric Grannis

On the Board of the Girls Prep CMO with Curry. He used to be the school's lawyer. Grannis is the husband of Joel's Klein buddy Eva Moskowitz. Moskowitz = founder and CEO of Success Charter Network and Harlem Success Academy charter schools.

Moskowitz also likes to push public school kids out of their schools. In her case she can just email Klein & tell him which public schools she wants closed, so she can take the real estate:

- Sarah Robertson

On both the Girls Prep Board & its CMO Board. She's the wife of Spencer Robertson. Spencer is the son of billionaire hedge funder (Tiger management corp) Julian Robertson, #147 on the Forbes 400.

Julian himself was the son of a North Carolina textile executive (North Carolina Finishing Corp in Spencer NC, now an asbestos site. The town was named for Robertson's wife's family. Both families were plantation owners back in the day.)

Julian was one of the "by invitation only" billionaires Bill Gates invited to his "let's run the world through private trusts" initiative.

"Julian Robertson is also a philanthropist who is awfully good at avoiding to pay NYC taxes, even to the extent of hiring a social secretary to keep track of how many days he should stay out of the city each year."

Son Spencer is in education too, thanks to daddy's bribes:

Spencer Robertson founded the PAVE Academy at Public School 15 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, after the foundation of his father, Julian, gave $6.75 million to Bloomberg's New York City Center for Charter School Excellence.... PS 15 parents who were already outraged that the school has to share space with the charter were angered to learn of Julian Robertson's contributions...

The Robertson Foundation was one of three founding donors of the mayor's (Bloomberg) charter school project in 2003.

Read more:

PAVE has also received complaints about taking over schools to the detriment of disabled students.

"The Robertson Foundation is also among the largest contributors to Education Reform Now, the aggressive pro-charter school organization, and is one of the main funders of the NYC Charter Center, on whose board Joel Klein sits. The head of the board of the NYC Charter Center is Phoebe Boyer, the Executive Director of the Tiger Foundation and Interim Executive Director of Robertson Foundation."

These people are more arrogant than aristocrats before the french revolution.
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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 12:59 AM
Response to Original message
1. *headbludgeon*
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 01:00 AM
Response to Original message
2. Educating kids with autism? How status quo!
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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 02:24 AM
Response to Original message
3. This seriously reminds me of a lot of "liberal" parents I know
who want charter schools located in the best areas and only to benefit their children and those "worth" educating. For years I have had the argument that ALL children deserve a quality education but many folks I know do not agree. I was stunned when I first ran across this trait in people I thought wetre progressive.Some actively campaigned against special needs programs saying they would rather more money be spent on the gifted because the other students wouldn't amount to anything anyway.

A hilarious but true story. A local school district was told to expect a very "gifted " student in their elementary school and make speacila provisons for her. She had a lot of one on one coaching and small classes.Extra attention was given to her and she really performed very well,It wasn't until the end of the school year they found they had made a mistake and she wasn't "gifted" at all but was allegedly a special needs child who was thought to be slow. Proof positive that any child benefits and not just a select few. It reads like an urbam myth but it is ofthe teachers at the school shared it with me.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 02:28 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. "wouldn't amount to anything anyway" -- i've heard that too.
"gifted" programs make me puke.

those came in when the middle & up were leaving public schools. to keep them, schools added gifted programs, magnet schools, etc.

they're just a cover to provide better conditions for people with money (but not enough to swing private school easily) where they won't have to mingle with the "losers".
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Mac1949 Donating Member (168 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 04:21 AM
Response to Original message
5. The rich yammer on about class war,
but so far all the battles appear to be started by them. When are we going to start fighting back.:mad:
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
6. kik
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 04:54 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. k
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