Saturday, January 4, 2014

We Have a New Name!

From now on, Gotham Charter Schools will be Charter Chalkboard NY. We have lots of exciting changes for you, our readers, and we can't wait to get started. You can read our future posts at

First, we're going to have a big fundraising party, where you can all give us money. And after that, we're running a conference with teachers. For those critics out there, we want you to know that two of the three teachers we've selected have never stereotyped ATR teachers in these pages. Actually, we were only able to locate one such teacher, but we feel we deserve credit anyway.

Second, we're going to actually start reading the comments section. It's pretty tedious, actually, as it appears to mostly be a lot of crap about how teachers shouldn't get pensions, and how awful teachers are, and how they don't do any work, but we feel we'll be more credible if we sort out the obvious junior high school-style comments and leave only the important ones. Of course, there may not be any more comments once we do that, but that's fine since we won't need to read them and can get back to the important work of whatever it is we do around here.

We will continue to bring you fabulous guest posts from not only E4E members, but also people who claim not to be E4E members yet are listed as E4E members, having attended their events and signed up. We promise to bring you various viewpoints, encompassing not only Moskowitz Charter teachers, but also non-Moskowitz charter teachers.

And don't worry, fans. We will continue to bring you coverage whenever Eva Moskowitz is planning a rally. We will, of course, cover the actual rallies, and then we'll do follow-ups to find out what has happened after the rally.

At Charter Chalkboard NY, we won't get mired down in special interests like teachers or parents. We'll stay focused on whatever the hell our corporate sponsors, like the Gates Foundation, see fit. And for those Gloomy Guses who complain that we never solicit writing from real public school teachers, who are of course special interests, we pledge to you that we will continually ask real public school teachers to write for us. However, we will not read what they write for us, and we will not run it either, because who knows what the hell it is those folks could say anyway?

We now have a special red phone that runs from Charter Chalkboard directly to the office of Eva Moskowitz, so we will be able to inform you immediately when Eva has any issue. And not only that, but we will aggressively cover what goes on in all other charter schools. Also we will let you know immediately when Doug Lemov figures a more efficient way to extract every degree of time-wasting enjoyment or humor from the modern classroom.

This is our pledge to you, our readers. Please send money so we may continue our mission.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

From the Gotham Charter School Mailbag

After we ran an innocent little piece encouraging teachers to take photos of their classes for Gotham Charter Schools, we received this message:

You need explicit permission to take photographs in a school building and any employee who does so without it runs risk of dismissal. Employees also need explicit permission from parents or guardians of any students if you are going to publish their photos.
In this climate, teachers whipping out their prohibited cell phones and sending photos to Gotham Charter Schools is not the best of ideas.
I never take photos in the building, only from the street, and I never take photos of students. When I did video projects with my kids last year I got written consent forms from every parent before sharing them with anyone. 

We certainly understand that teachers can get into trouble for taking photographs without permission from administration or releases for minor students. In fact, we received another email stating that a principal went crazy when a teacher procured a grant for his school. The principal observed him every day, placed multiple letters in his file, and is now trying to fire him.

But, dear readers, isn't that a good thing? The more ineffective teachers we can write about, fire, or whatever, the more charters we can open, and the more money we can get from Gates and Walmart to keep this great site going. Here's another letter:

Why do you always write about charter schools? Don't you know that 94% of city students go to public schools?

Here at Gotham Charter Schools, we write about all charter schools, not just the Moskowitz schools. But we love the Moskowitz schools! They are the best! But we take no position on them one way or the other. Our editorial policy is this---no matter how much money we get from Gates, or Walmart, or DFER, we cover charter schools wall to wall, even if they aren't run by Moskowitz.

Because that's just the kind of folks we are here at Gotham Charter Schools!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Should We Change Our Name?

Here at GothamCharterSchools we're in a quandary. Since our Rise and Shine is all about Moskowitz, and since every day we write multiple stories about the Moskowitz Charter Schools, should we change our name to MoskowitzCharterSchools? After all, we've covered not only planning the rally, thinking about the rally, and the rally itself, but we're also planning extensive post-rally coverage.

On the other hand, we've got extensive coverage of the UFT contract, Just the other day we did a story about what Shael Suransky and John King think should be in it. Now some publications would ask teachers what they want in a new contract, but here at GothamCharterSchools we don't mess around with such nonsense. We're all about reforminess, and the reformier the reforminess, the better. Personally, I simply adore the fragrance of fresh reforminess in the morning.

Naturally, we were thrilled when candidate Joe Lhota got out there and told the children they didn't have to go to school if they were out marching for reforminess. And if that loser de Blasio were talking reforminess, we'd cover him too. In any case, we didn't bother asking either one of them what they wanted in the UFT contract, because that would be just like asking the teachers. What on earth is the point of getting the opinions of the people who will actually negotiate it? Here at GothamCharterSchools, we don't bother about that.

We want to find out more about the Moskowitz Miracle. How does Moskowitz earn a half-mil each year when few city principals earn a third of that? How does she get by with suspending only 22% of the lucky kids who attend those schools? And honestly, why should we bother finding out what's happening to the overwhelming majority of city school children when we can be the one-stop Moskowitz shop?

Who wants to travel to moldy trailers when we can have finger sandwiches in renovated rooms? Who wants to be surrounded by the bootless and unhorsed when we can visit clean children in orange uniforms? After all, as the TV show says, orange is the new black and children may as well get used to it.

So let us know, what do you think?

Should we stay GothamCharterSchools or should we evolve into MoskowitzCharterSchools? We'll leave it in your hands, dear readers, and after you weigh in, we'll do whatever we feel like doing.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Dr. Steve Perry Sets the Record Straight

GothamCharterSchools has had the following revelation:

Stop saying poverty is more important than good teachers. You're wrong & you sound nuts. There's NO causal relationship.
Tweet from Dr. Steve Perry

That's good enough for us. We now know that poverty makes no difference whatsoever, and that the only factor that matters is the teacher. We've long suspected that the fact all failing schools contain high numbers of poverty-stricken students was irrelevant, and we're delighted to have Dr. Steve Perry confirm that for us.

The only solution, in our view, is to continue to turn over our public schools to people like Dr. Perry and Eva Moskowitz. Sure, there are naysayers who contend that they throw out high-needs kids, English language-learners, and the learning disabled, but we at GothamCharterSchools are results-oriented. The fact is Perry and Moskowitz have successful strategies, and how can anyone argue with that?

So we thank you, Dr. Steve Perry, for opening our eyes, and we hope you double your speaking fees and are richly rewarded for your penetrating insights.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Eva Moskowitz Is the Best

Here at Gotham Charter Schools, there's nothing we enjoy more than a good article like this one.  In this piece, Eva lets Bill de Blasio know that it's completely unfair that his kid had the choice to go to public schools, while denying the other kids the choice of charters. Here at GothamCharterSchools we think every kid should have the choice of a charter.

That's only one reason why we think Eva Moskowitz should be the next schools chancellor. We at GothamCharterSchools have every confidence that Eva can make all schools charter schools and that way every kid will have the choice to attend the charter school of his choice, if he gets in. Of course there are some kids who are not good fits for charter schools. These kids will get the choice of public schools. After all, they can't learn anyway, Let's face it, there's no way they're gonna help the stats of success academies.

So let's give every kid the choice of whatever charter school we choose for him, dump the leftovers in public schools that aren't closed yet, and move New York every closer to our goal of no child left behind. Unless they have special needs, don't behave well, or don't know English. After all, if we can't fix poverty, we certainly can't be bothered fixing its children either.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

GothamCharterSchools Adds a New Voice

From time to time here at GothamCharterSchools, we like to give other points of view. Here's a piece by Iggy Wochuck, who has taught middle school in the Bronx for 25 years.


I have one or two things I'd like to say about the "reform" movement. First of all, it's all a bunch of hooey. Also, the only thing they've got right about it is nothing. Most importantly, sfaslgjfoigjeioaiodsnvoiaengiqrejge'ijgi'ej'iej'ibjet'ijtjt4wkjg'. I really can't emphasize that enough.

When you get involved with dsajglkjgeirgjeigj, you're really only trying to do things that don't work at all. So what you're left with is a bunch of things that don't work.

I have a lot of firsthand experience with this. When I worked at dakgjfgjkhjthjti0h, the only thing I really saw was dagjlfgjthjthpjkeopjkyjuykjoputkjo[ukj[otukjoukjtuyojkojkytopjkopjk. And I was there for dsagjfljgtoijhitrjhitjhijtih. Some people may differ, but that's certainly long enough to dfdf dsfjdkgjgjsdkgjldkjgkdjgksajgsklsalgjfgjthjtrwohgjreiofow.

So in retrospect, I can only say dsagfjhfkljhf dklfhaslkgjfkljgfljg dkfghalgjfljgdflgje skjfdlkfjlkdjf, and there are dksjagfjgf dkfgjflgjflhjlhjrthj lfjdlkgjlgjfjg.

Anyone who wishes to dasgljfkhgk;jhkrjhtkjhgkhjgkjhjkh can simply skfjdlkjgfdlkjgflkjgjgfgj. There are a lot of dajgfkljgljg djaklfjlgjlgjlkgjlkgjl and these days almost anyone can find dslajgffkljg daslfgjaklfjg daklfjdlksjgflkdjfg dsalfjdslkjfs fairly easily.

Finally, I'd like to thank GothamCharterSchools for giving me the opportunity to express my point of view here. I know there are those who feel GothamCharterSchools is one-sided, but Faith Humperdink personally reached out to me. She is a woman of impeccable character, and I really appreciate her asking me to write this column.

Reformy John Unveils Bold New Initiative

Exclusive to GothamCharterSchools, NY State Schools Commissioner Reformy John King, in conjunction with the NY Department of Education, has released the formula for rating city teachers.

Since no one actually understands any of the math involved, and since none of this has ever been tested or proven valid anywhere, Reformy John, with an extensive background in charter schools, has decided to take a page from the charter book. In New York City, grades on standardized tests will continue to be recorded so that Governor Andrew Cuomo can issue the death penalty to schools he wishes to kill. However, for individual teachers, ratings will be determined by lottery, to wit, the new "Wheel of Unemployment."

Reformy John stated that emulation of charter schools is a first step toward the competition necessary to improve education in schools. The evaluations will be broadcast, and sales of commercial time will be used to refurbish spaces in public schools so that they will be suitable for charter school chains. Thus, American capitalists will finally have more opportunities to profit from the billions previously wasted on educating children. He spoke in glowing terms of the progress made in Chicago by Rahm Emanuel, and fondly reflected that one day we could blow up libraries here as well.

Mayor Bloomberg stated this was a step in the right direction. After the miserable scores in the Common Core exams, Bloomberg stated this only underlined his determination to accelerate the reforms he's been enacting for the last 12 years. If they haven't improved anything yet, said Bloomberg, the only course was to redouble our efforts. Bloomberg hoped this new method would help rid the system of overpaid veteran teachers, but grudgingly admitted that firing teachers at random was the next best thing.

To get the teacher perspective on this, GothamCharterSchools interviewed Harold Forthwith, three-year teaching veteran and leader of the bold new group Teachers 4 Whatever. "This is a great step," Harold told GothamCharterSchools. "I was unable to get tenure back when I was a teacher, and I was not simply satisfactory. I was excellent. It really pissed me off to see other teachers getting tenure when I didn't. I am better than those people, and that's why I now make more money than any of them. I can't wait to see them come crawling to Teachers 4 Whatever for jobs after the Wheel of Unemployment fires them. They can all go to hell."

GothamCharterSchools is thrilled at these new educational innovations. Count on us to bring you all breaking details just as soon as Reformy John King makes them up.