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Success Charter Co-Location Threatens Improving School for Global Studies

Nearly $2 million dollars was spent on transforming the School for Global Studies.

will not threaten the loved and respected autism/NEST programs at PS 32 and MS 447, . Instead, the school is making plans to move into 284 Baltic St., a building already home to three schools.

One of those schools, , has had a troubled past. Last year, it received an F rating on its progress report and was one of 11 schools that underwent "transformation" in 2010, a federally funded process that completely overhauled the school.

But things are looking up at Global Studies. Report cards were issued this week, and the school received a B rating. Gotham Schools called the improvement a "spectacular climb.

With $2 million dollars invested in the school's outcome, and marks from the city that prove it is improving, some are wondering how Success Charter will affect the continued growth of the school.

"If Success Charter moves in, it will strangle Global Studies potential for growth, at a minimum," said Jim Devor, president of the Community Education Council in District 15. "The transformation seems to be working."

Global Studies Principal Joseph O'Brien did not return a call for comment.

Devor says that indeed there is room at the school for additional students, but a better option would be temporary location of another school.

"If the trend continues, Global Studies will become increasingly popular with the community, and it will expand," said Devor.

The DOE says it has planned for additional growth at Global Studies.

Pamela Bynoe, president of the Parent Teacher Association at Global Studies, told the Brooklyn Paper she was afraid of overcrowding.

Success Academy Cobble Hill, as the Charter will be known, will serve K-8 eventually, but is slated to open with 180 students in just kindergarten and first grade next year.

The DOE maintains the position that the school is necessary because of the massive demand for seats in District 15 elementary schools.

"With steady enrollment growth over the last five years this neighborhood needs another elementary school, and we believe that locating here will benefit the community and provide a stable, high quality option for students and parents," said Francis Thomas, Deputy Communications Director at the DOE.

Devor says the Success Charter Network illegally began the process of opening a school in District 15. The network applied for charters in District 13 and 14, but were approved by the Department of Education for a charter in 15. Devor said there is evidence that shows the Network knowingly did this and a legal course of action on behalf of the Community Education Council (CEC) is "something to be considered."

Before any plans move forward, a public hearing on the co-location must be held. But there is tension between the CEC and the Department of Education after the DOE Division of Portfolio Planning failed to attend a scheduled meeting with the CEC on Oct. 13. According to Devor, on the afternoon of the meeting, the DOE declined to attend when they learned it would be open to the public and press under New York State open meeting laws. The DOE did not respond to a request for comment.

"We're in a stand-off," said Devor. "But it is in the interest of both sides to resolve this issue."

Stay tuned for more developments.

On Saturday at noon, Eva Moskowitz, founder of the Success Charter Network, .

Peter Rothberg November 03, 2011 at 07:09 PM
Glad you wrote this. Co-location has been a destabilizing force through the five boroughs undermining some real success that has been made at local public schools. It'd be a real shame to let the recent improvements at Global Studies be undermined by this new charter.
kelly alday December 01, 2011 at 06:55 PM
More than half of the NYC public (zoned and charter) schools are co-located. There are 700 some odd seats open in this school as it stands - which proves that it works; that is when the admins in charge of decision making act like adults. The 180 approximated students to enter in the fall will not impede on the current schools in this location. There is already a plan in place that states this location will only hold k-4 grade, with Brooklyn Cobble Hill's middle school ( in the SCN middle school is 5-8 grades) located else where. There is so much being said about shared resources - ie the gym, library, cafeteria. These are dealt with at all locations. At Bronx Success 1 they don't use the gym even 50% of the time they are allotted by the DOE - they eat lunch at 1:15pm ( they attend school from 745am till 4 or 430pm depending on the grade) PS 30 is out at 230, so there is no issue with the lunch times and cafeteria usage - as for the library we don't even use it! Each classroom is stocked to the gills with books that the children borrow from, my child doesn't even know where the library in the school is. The Success Charter network has opened 9 amazing schools despite the opposition and maybe it is time for opponents to ask why and how is it working instead of trying to stop it from happening. Any neighborhood lucky enough to get a SCN school should be jumping for joy.

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