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On our co-location victory

New York Teacher

It was early in November that we heard the city Department of Education was planning to co-locate Success Academy charter schools at the Springfield Gardens Campus and the Catherine and Count Basie Campus in southeastern Queens [see story]. Multiple public schools already serve those communities, and we were struck with the idea that bringing additional schools, especially Success Academy, into our school buildings would in fact diminish the educational experience of our students.

Parents, students, staff and community members decided to fight back. Not push back, fight back. We created an alliance of parents, students, staff and community. We met, strategized and planned. We took action. Hundreds of emails and phone calls were made. Thousands of fliers were handed out.

Within a few weeks, we had more than 100 resolutions from Community Education Councils and School Leadership Teams. We showed up at every meeting and every hearing. Our elected officials, facing the uproar of their communities, changed from being timidly against these co-locations to being visibly and loudly angry at the proposals.

The DOE had no choice. The power of people coming together beat money and power, and it “pulled” the proposals. Eva Moskowitz lost.

We are small fish in a big pond. We forced the shark to swim away.

What’s next?

Washington Sanchez
UFT Queens HS Special District Representative

Good for them for blocking these co-locations. My daughter’s high school shares its building with two other schools. It’s crazy that they have to go out-side for gym because the other school is using the gym. If the weather is bad, then they watch TV. They do alternate, but it’s definitely a loss for the kids.

Alexandra Barreno-Feery, PS 414, Brooklyn
via Facebook

Wow! Success Academy is seriously trying to bully their way into so many buildings right now. I wonder how much money Eva {Moskowitz} will make when all is said and done.

Cindy Dives, Excelsior Preparatory HS, Queens
via Facebook