First, the Times:
Ms. Moskowitz is trying to expand her chain into a whole new precinct of the city, the relatively well-off Upper West Side. And outside the parties she has organized to drum up interest, the reaction has been anything but warm from the stridently anticharter political establishment of the neighborhood.
Opposition to the charter school, named Upper West Success Academy, has been as structured and relentless as the school’s own marketing campaign, and it has already chased the school out of two proposed locations, on 105th and 109th Streets. The local community education council, which represents District 3 public school parents, has mobilized council members and state senators in fighting the charter school, which it contends will siphon middle- and upper-middle-class families from schools that desperately need them for stability.
Members of the teachers’ union and New York Communities for Change, which replaced the state’s chapter of the embattled organization Acorn, are often present at rallies and copied on e-mails debating the next steps in the battle. Even the local community board, which has no official say in the process, has chimed in. On Jan. 4, it voted 40 to 0 against the city’s most recent plan, to house the charter school at the former Louis D. Brandeis High School on West 84th Street.
“In Harlem, there was some need and desire and interest in charter schools,” Noah E. Gotbaum, president of the community education council, said in an interview. “We don’t need more options here. We have options. We have great schools.”
Ms. Moskowitz is known for an aggressive style, and perhaps no neighborhood spoils for a fight more than the Upper West Side. But the dispute also has its roots in population shifts that have crowded out parents from the most popular public schools there, and in a decision last year by lawmakers in Albany to more than double the number of charter schools allowed in the state, as a way to compete for federal Race to the Top money.
The Upper West Side is home to some of the best public elementary schools in the city, some of which are now so crowded they can no longer absorb all of the children who live in the zones that they serve.
But beyond those few highly regarded schools, most of the district’s schools do not score well on tests and have been largely shunned by the middle- and upper-middle-class families in their zones, the demographic Ms. Moskowitz was playing to in the gathering on West 99th.
Charter schools, which are publicly financed but privately operated, have been praised as a bureaucracy-free alternative to low-performing regular schools, or derided as draining resources and good students from the schools that need them most.
Indeed, one of the arguments against Upper West Success Academy is that it could lure high-performing students away from struggling schools, making it harder to diversify and improve them. In September, the district received an $11 million federal grant to try to attract more white children to schools where minorities are the overwhelming majority.
There are also concerns over housing an elementary school in a building outfitted for and shared by much older students — four new small high schools already are operating there — and whether there is even space for them in a crowded district.
“Everyone wants their kids to get a good education, and everybody wants other people’s kids to get a good education, but it’s hard to have a conversation of where to fit a charter school in the Upper West Side because we have no room for it,” said Michelle Ciulla-Lipkin, who is the president of a District 3 parents group. She has two children at Public School 199, one of the neighborhood’s best elementary schools, and which had a waiting list for kindergarten this past year.
Now the Daily News:
The latest salvo in Harlem's space wars between charter schools and public schools is a stencilled poster comparing a charter school to the Nazis.
A misspelled sign on the wall of Public School/Middle School 149 in Harlem reads, "Charter schools are like Hitler, tyrents trying to take what's not thiers!"
Photos of that poster and others critical of Harlem Success Academy, provided to the Daily News by charter school officials, were hung up in advance of a hearing on the schools' space-sharing arrangement this week.
"It's shameful that 631 children who have done nothing wrong...have to be subjugated to bigoted language from those so committed to the status quo, that they will lie, intimidate and slander to try to get their way," said the charter school founder Eva Moskowitz.
Moskowitz noted her school is one of the city's best elementary schools, scoring in the top 10 on state English exams last year after the state raised the standards for passing the test.
PS/MS 149 PTA president Sonia Hampton said the stencilling was the work of a student and was removed from the walls when a Harlem Success official notified the principal.
"I don't want the children to see this," she said. "When Harlem Success brought it to our attention, we took it down."
Hampton acknowledged, however, that there are hard feelings in the building about the charter school's expansion into space previously dedicated to the public school.
"[Moskowitz] is pitting parents against each another," she said.
Moskowitz has been a lightning rod for criticism of the charter school movement, particularly in Harlem. She has a network of seven schools, all located in public school buildings across Harlem and in the Bronx.
Most recently, the city Education Department was panned for its attempts to find a place for Moskowitz's newest school, Upper West Success Academy.
The agency named at least three possible locations before settling on a formal proposal to locate the school in the Brandeis High School building. The proposal has not yet been formally approved by the Panel for Educational Policy.
Clearly Moskowitz thought leaking this "Eva Is Hitler" story to the News would engender some sympathy for her and her charter network.
But it actually just reinforces the theme from the Times story and from other articles about her - that she takes what is not hers, that she imposes her will onto people with thought or regard for their wishes, that she is a selfish, self-centered egotistical spoiled brat and people are fed up with her.
Especially the children forced to share a school building with her schools.
Here you have these kids in a broken-down school building lacking space and resources while Mistress Eva and her kids live it up with the newest technology, all the resources they need and hedge fundie and bankster largesse.
So keep leaking stories like this, Mistress.
They don't make you look sympathetic, no matter what you think.