The school districts of Community Board 12 are a part of a detrimental co-location landscape that the Bloomberg administration is determined to carry out prior to his leaving office, and we are faced with the possibility of multiple co-locations within our elementary, middle and high schools.
Under the guise of “under-utilization,” educators have been notified that their schools must make way for what the Department of Education deems are “high quality” schools. This term is not only unproven in many cases, but highly offensive to anyone associated with the existing schools. Co-locating schools and sharing common spaces within a building (many of which are designed for a specific grade) is a fundamentally disadvantageous practice, which usually causes gross inequity to the existing school.
Of most concern in the plans for Southeast Queens are the two proposed co-locations of Success Charter Academy — the charter school chain run by millionaire Eva Moskowitz, which has recently come under fire for its discriminatory practice of suspending special education/individualized education program students without proper cause.
Moskowitz has gotten millions of dollars to expand her empire, pays no rent to the city and now has her sights set on our community. Instead of seeking solitary locations for Moskowitz’s Success Charter academies, which they can well afford, the DOE is poised to allow them to co-locate kindergarten through 8th-grade students with middle school students at IS 59 and kindergarten through 4th-grade students with high school and adult-aged students at August Martin High School. This is a potentially detrimental learning environment for all students involved, but Success Charter Academy is a known bully and entity that has been given political favor with regards to co-locating its schools across the city.
The Bloomberg administration wore out its welcome at least four years ago, but is not going away quietly. Rest assured, neither are the citizens, educators, parents and students of Southeast Queens.