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Marine Park J.H.S. 278 to House Charter School

Marine Park JHS

The parents of I.S. 278 Marine Park Junior High School are appalled at plans to house Hebrew Language Academy Charter School in the Marine Park building.

Parents and the community wanted to expand the sixth-through-eighth-grade school into a performing arts high school but were told there was no space. Now, they may have to give up space to house the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School for a few years while a new school is built or found. Obviously people are angry.

“They are sending that charter school into 278 despite the fact the community and the school has had different plans,” said City Councilman Lewis Fidler

Worst case the school might lose its library, gym and band practice room to make space for the charter school, and there might be delays in securing a school for the academy.

I had asked a parent to write a story about whats going on:

Marine Park, which once was avoided by community residents, has been completely turned around through the leadership of Principal Debra Garafalo and her dedicated staff. The school has been lobbying to expand this into an equally successful 6 through 12 Performing Arts school and been denied by the DOE several times, citing lack of space.

Somehow, the DOE found has space to house a charter school which will start with 150 kindergarten and first grade students, adding new classes each year. Though they claim to need the space only until their own building is completed-two to three years- historically, it has been nearly impossible to dislodge charter schools once established.

The parents of PS 222, PS 277 and PS 207 are equally concerned as they wonder if the school will have room for their children. Which space will be given over for the charter schools to use: our gym, our library or perhaps the band practice room now used by our nationally acclaimed, award winning band? Many parents feel that mixing early childhood students with middle school adolescents is a recipe for disaster.

Those who feel strongly about this issue should make every effort to attend these meetings: Marine Park Civic Association, May 19 at 8:30 PM, PS 207, 4011 Fillmore Ave. and The Madison-Marine Civic Association, May 21 at 7:30 PM, Kings Chapel, 2702 Quentin Rd. (basement). It is only by a strong show of support that we will be able to keep I.S. 278 Marine Park JHS the strong community asset that it has become. I encourage you to invite as many interested parents and neighbors as possible to show the DOE that we will not just hand over our school.


Update May 27th –
A hearing was held Community to Hebrew Language Charter Academy “HLA Go Away”

248 comments to Marine Park J.H.S. 278 to House Charter School

  • Mjolnir

    Thank you for the post. My family will be at both meetings. If this is allowed to happen to Marine Park I am sure it is only a matter of time before P.S. 277 suffers the same fate.

    • Anonymous

      Please note the times and locations of the following meetings. The MOST important is the last, which is sponsored by the DOE. If we don’t show them how we feel with an impressive turnout, we WILL lose Marine Park JHS.

      There are four (4) separate meetings: 1) Meeting called for District 22 parents to discuss the charter school. May 12 @ Marine Park JHS, Stuart St at 7 PM. 2) Marine Park Civic Association, May 19 @ 8:00PM at PS 207, Fillmore Ave. 3) Madison-Marine Civic Association, May 21 @ 7:30, Kings Chapel 2702 Quentin Rd. and the most important of all, a meeting held by the DOE 0n May 26 from 6:00-8:30 at Marine Park JHS, Stuart St. Those wishing to speak must sign up between 6:00 and 6:30. Attendance at this meeting is vital.

    • Anonymous

      Please note the time and locations of the following meetings and attend as many as possible. The most important is the last, which is sponsored by the DOE. If we don’t have an impressive turnout, we WILL lose Marine Park JHS.

      There are four (4) separate meetings: 1) Meeting called for District 22 parents to discuss the charter school. May 12 @ Marine Park JHS, Stuart St at 7 PM. 2) Marine Park Civic Association, May 19 @ 8:00PM at PS 207, Fillmore Ave. 3) Madison-Marine Civic Association, May 21 @ 7:30, Kings Chapel 2702 Quentin Rd. and the most important of all, a meeting held by the DOE 0n May 26 from 6:00-8:30 at Marine Park JHS, Stuart St. Those wishing to speak must sign up between 6:00 and 6:30.

    • Mjolnir

      I will be leaving work early tomorrow to make the rally on time. Anyone who would like to meet up to march to the rally email me through out the day @ MJOLNIR5@Aol.com if you can make it and feel awkward about heading up alone. Otherwise hope to see you all there.

      Time to walk the talk people. This fight is not longer just arm chair politics on a local blog.

      • Anonymous

        A march? Really? This is THAT important?

        • Anonymous

          Is anything as important as our children? Surely their well being and health comes first but education has to be high on any parents’ list.

          To me, a fantastic, public middle school and the prospect of an equally excellent public high school with in my district are very important. I fell that if allowed, this charter school will detract from that.

          • Anonymous

            The children. The children. Always the bloody children. What have the children ever done for us?

          • Mjolnir

            You must be one of the SMUCKS that was in favor of the HLA that walked out of Marine Park Middle school last nigt with your tail between your legs.

          • Anonymous

            Actually, no. Because I hate children, I hate all schools for all children.

      • Anonymous

        All should be afforded the opportunity to learn. The folks of this community are upset because they couldn’t get what they wanted. Who are the ones acting like children? The rally today was totally ridiculous, I was appalled and ashamed to see how grown individuals were carrying on. The school is not a Jewish school, it is open to people of all nationalities. I bet if the name of it was the Italian Language Academy this rally would not even take place. Let the children get their education and keep it moving. The bottom line is, if the DOE wants you to have your way, then you would have it. THEY DON’T – so you might as well put your resources to use by benefitting something progressive.

        • Anon

          There is nothing progessive about a Hebrew culture who treats women as second class citizens.

        • Mjolnir

          This is democracy dear. The responsibility of the DoE is to cater to the majority of the students in the district, not special interests from Manhattan. What the community is upset over is the sneaky, underhanded politics that the HLA and the DoE demonstrated thus far. If the HLA came to the communtiy in good faith with transparency you would have been received more warmly. Instead the HLA excercised political and financial influence to get their way and was arrogant thinking that this communtiy would lie down for them. Did the HLA really think they had pulled the wool over our eyes?

          In a democracy dear the majority is supposed to get what they want. We have a right to be upset.

          You are right though that the DoE is not now, nor ever has been interested in what the multi-generational, tax paying community majority of District 22 wants. So they can take their deal off the table. The DoE wants to play nice today because the mayor’s friend wants a charter school? No thanks dear.

          • LQuinlan

            I wish I’d had a chance to meet you last night. It was an inspiration to see our community so united and committed.

          • anon

            I was sitting in the isle on the section to the right of you two rows behind you. I would have come over to say hello but you looked very busy. Next time.

          • Chernobog

            That the DOE is sneaky and underhanded cannot be denied — how can it NOT be with Mayoral Control — but what sneaky political and financial influence did the HLA people use? Did you talk to any of those people last night? Did you even attempt to hear things from their POV? They’re not evil people. They’re just trying to their job. They’re boss wants a charter school so they have to deliver. I wasn’t aware of them trying to hide or fool us. They showed me a list of over 30 properties they looked at and explained why they didn’t work.

            If anyone was sneaky and underhanded, it was the DOE. Cut the charter school people some slack.

          • LQuinlan

            I did plenty of research on Michael Steinhardt and Sara Berman and their connection to Bloomberg. There is a tremendous conflict of interest here. I don’t believe in charter schools and this one less than others since it isn’t aimed at a population in need but a particular demographic. Whether or not their intentions are good, they conflict with ours. The charter, which in my opinion should never have been issued, is a done deal but that doesn’t mean that we should have to suffer the consequences of their ineptitude and wait yet another two years for something when we’ve already been waiting three.

          • Chernobog

            I really wish I didn’t find myself defending this school so much, but I’m not defending it so much as the truth. No one is served if we don’t stick to facts.

            HLA doesn’t serve or target any special demographic. Yes, Stainhardt has his agenda but the Constitution thwarts him — and from everything I can tell the charter school is fully within the law. It’s not just for Jews; it’s a dual language school that will teach Hebrew along with English.

            I will grant, though, that I can’t for the life of me figure out why anyone who is NOT Jewish would want to send their kids there, but enough of them seem to have signed for the school so go figure.

            The problem is that whatever charter schools might have been intended for, what they are now is entirely different. Once the precedent had been established for charters to focus on different themes and concentrations and to serve as laboratories for people to try out their own pet educational theories, there’s nothing that can be done short of outlawing them altogether (which I would LOVE to see).

            But here’s something I don’t get. If for three years you’ve wanted a high school with no response from the DOE and now, finally, they’re listening and offering to give you want you want, isn’t that better than nothing? I mean, what, you expect government to care about the people and what we want?

          • Mjolnir

            Call me an altruist but yes I expect our govnerment to govern it’s people. When you have elected officals who spend more money on their campaign than the job pays over four years then it is obvious that they plan on making a profit another way.

            I agree with you that anyone who is not Jewish, which is a religion not an ethnicity by the way, would not have any interest in this school. I do not agree however that 150 students are, “enough” when you have 7000 who stand against the school. That is 47 to 1 mate. Hardly democratic.

            Yes charter schools seem to have evolved into something other than their intial intention. I do not take precedent as a good enough reason to lie down and let my community house a school that the majority does not want. If one day charter schools are outlawed Chernobog then I will buy you a drink and we can agree on that.

            The issue regarding the offer of a high school at this stage of the game honestly is nothing short of insulting and patronizing. Some may call that proudful or spiteful. The DoE’s intent is obvious here as well as where their loyalty lies. Do not mistake bartering with listening. I doubt that we are getting what we want per the DoE’s proposal. I guess that is not so altruistic but time will tell.

          • Chernobog

            Ok, fine.

            Just one point: Jewish IS an ethnic designation. They are an ethnicity that has their own religion. That’s why one is Jewish regardless of what he may actually believe or practice (Steinhardt after all is an atheist).

            But none of this matters.

            And the word you’re looking for is not “atruistic” — that means caring about and look out for the interests of others. In expecting government to be answerable to the people, you are being “naive.”

          • Mjolnir

            Webster’s has it my way.

            I’ll take naive over defeatist. Chalk me up with the people of the colonies of 1776 who felt the same way. If they were like you we’d still be waiting for the Queen to give us representation.

            Israel is a country. Israelies are an ethnicity. Jewish is a religion. Not all people of the Jewish faith are of Israeli descent. Some come from Germany and Poland and some from Russia not to mention all over the planet.

            I doubt you an I will agree on this matter. So let us end it here.

          • LQuinlan

            See my reply way below.

          • Mjolnir

            When you have a registration for a charter school set to be at a designated location prior to the date when the community gets to voice their opinion regarding said location and prior to when the DoE is offically supposed to have chosen a location, that is sneaky.

            I have friends who were told that P.S. 277 was to crowded for their child and that their child would be bussed out to of the district to attend Kindergarten elsewhere yet never was enrollment in this k-1 charter school ever offered? No one whom I know that has a child of eligible age in this neighborhood was offered enrollement into this charter school. My friends are now going to PAY for private schooling instead.

            From the Marine Park civic association meeting that I attended no one from that organization was informed about said school until the papers where already stamped by the Board of Regents and the city made the application public. I don’t know who the HLA claims to have spoken to within the civic association but everyone that I saw seemed to be dismayed. If I am wrong about that then someone from the civic association please correct me as I would not presume to know what has happend prior to the meeting I attended. Why should I approach them? Most of the people sitting in the front row last night do not live in this district. We are the tax paying home owners in this community, let them approach us. I did however accept a handout from one of the HLA’s members. I read the handout and did not like what I read. If the HLA wants in our school let them sell us on the idea. They chose not to and tried to use political leverage to get what they wanted.

            I did not hear one point made by the HLA last night as to how this charter school would benifit the community at large. The school will only benifit the self serving minority who want to see this charter go through. Hence why so many elected officals stood against the school.

            The charter school was in NO WAY the DoE’s idea. It was Steinhardt and his family’s idea. His daughter does not even live in this community and has the ability to push this through? That is not the DoE, that is old fashioned, political stink. When the DoE finds the will to put an offer of the long asked for high school on the table now because a wealthy, influencial philanthopist who donates to Bloomberg wants a charter school then it hardly seems innocent on the part of the HLA.

            Here is what I heard from the meetings that I attended.

            The HLA wants to be in Marine Park I.S. 278. NO other location was proposed to us by the DoE. I did listen to several other locations proposed by the community last night that seemly were over looked by the HLA. I am sure they will continue to go over looked.

            The HLA is a charter school that will, from the 7000 signatures that were turned over to the DoE at last night’s meeting, interest only a small percentage of the community yet be housed in a publicly funded school at the expense of the overwhelming opposition from District 22, yet the HLA dosen’t seem to care. If the HLA were listening to us then the charter would be withdrawn or the HLA would find another location.

            If we, the community, have to wait years for a high school then why the urgency for this charter school? Why can’t they simply wait until a location is found that appeases BOTH sides of the situation? It seems that the HLA wants what they want and they want it NOW. Why do we have to wait for our high school that was asked for years ago yet the HLA gets to go to the head of the class? That hardly seems right to me.

            The HLA doesn’t really seem to concerned with the community at all except when it comes to footing the bill.

            I will agree with you whole heartedly that mayoral control is a severe part of the problem and that the DoE has much to answer for here aswell. No one can blame the HLA for trying, however when the community obviously says no, then a good neighbor listens. There may be another community or school that will welcome the HLA with open arms. It seems clear to me that the HLA wants I.S. 278 regardless of what anyone else has to say.

            The problem with mayoral control is a lack of checks and balances. Also like any out-sourcing there is no accountability. Our issue with the HLA is exactly that. They are looking to subvert the checks and balances here and get what they want however they can get it. If permitted to start this charter school there will never be any accountability to the community, because they haven’t even gotten in the door yet and there isn’t any now

          • Anonymous

            Let’s talk about serving the community. What does that mean? How does a school “serve the community?” By educating the children of the community.

            The 150 children in the idiotic charter school would, had their parents not signed them up for it, be placed in one of the regular public elementary schools. The same amount of money would still be paid out by the state per student, but instead of funding their education in one of the regular elementary schools it will fund their education in the charter school. In exchange for that money, the school provides the education. That’s how it serves the community.

            What makes you think the HLA people WANT to be in 278? What’s so bloody wonderful about that school? You know as well as I do the renovation they’d need to make it useable.

            It’s more likely that they just want a PLACE to put the kids until they get their own space. The DOE offered them 278. I don’t see any reason to read anything more nefarious than that.

            I guess some people just need bogeymen to fight…*sigh*

          • LQuinlan

            Right, the money goes to the charter school while the local elementary schools lose the money that would help them run their schools. The charter school pays no rent and also no utilities and janitorial staff, since that is paid by the host school. No wonder they have the money for two teachers in each classroom. The DOE had two other under utilized buildings to offer yet gave up the one that has been requesting 6-12 status instead. Bloomberg and Steinhardt are old friends. Call me paranoid but I know how politics works. You’re naive if you don’t. Do you have a connection to HLA or do you just like playing devil’s advocate?

          • Anonymous

            The latter. I think HLA is stupid (and do you really think the HLA people would have agents post on this blog?) but I think the opposition to it has been blown WAY out of proportion.

          • WOW

            Then let the children currently registered for the HLA simply be “placed” to their zone local school with all of the other little boys and girls until the HLA can build their school. Why disrupt 278? Why the special treatment?

            Culture is taught at home.

        • LQuinlan

          Everyone in this district has the opportunity for an excellent elementary education at one of the quality local schools. There are more than enough seats for those 150 children and the federal & city funds that follow them will travel out of those schools and into HLA. No one is denying these kids a great education. Where is it written that they’re “entitled” to anything more than a great, free education? No one owes anyone anything, least of all the school building that our kids are thriving in.

          What we do have is a shortage of seats in a local high school and our plan would alleviate that situation. I don’t see why it took the HLA needing space for the DOE to recognize this but, it’s too little, too late. Let us have the school we’ve been needing for 3 years and let HLA find an appropriate space to house their babies.

          As for an Italian language charter school, it was tried but shot down because, according to the powers that be, Italian is too closely connected to Catholicism. But Hebrew isn’t strictly a Jewish language. Give me a break.

          • Anonymous

            “As for an Italian language charter school, it was tried but shot down because, according to the powers that be, Italian is too closely connected to Catholicism. But Hebrew isn’t strictly a Jewish language. Give me a break.”

            I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that. Spanish is just as much associated with Catholicism as Italian, even more so — they had their own Inquisition and all — and there’s never been any problem with Spanish schools. I’m not accusing you of lying, but there must be some details garbled or misremembered here.

          • Anonymous

            The person who gave me this information may not want to speak “on the record” for a number of reasons but, if I can, I’ll dig up the info on my own and get back to you. The same way that Steinhardt was totally against charter schools when it was an Arabic Culture School and he’s all for a Hebrew Language Charter, Italian is not non-sectarian enough but Hebrew is.

        • Anonymous

          Hello Moron
          I don’t care what type of charter school you are offering. We don’t want it or need it. Futhermore why on earth would you want to come to our school. I know you live in a trashy neighborhood and are probably on welfare

          • WOW

            I guess the HLA is getting desperate to try a low stunt like this. Anon posts to try and make us seem like something we are not?

            That meeting last night must have rattled some cages.

        • Anonymous

          Resources so your saying that unless we have millions like steinhart and his unhanded lying daughter Berman to pay nice to the politicians with we are out of luck. Well I got news for you they mess with the wrong middle-class tax paying citizens when they tried to mess with our school and community. And just because Klein says does not make it so.

      • there is a new march on Sunday beginning at 278 around 11am and ending at Bloombergs elelection office on flatbush avenue.

        • Mjolnir

          I am assuming that the march is for those opposed to the HLA charter school?

          • Anonymous

            Wow. I can’t believe I missed world peace, the end to hunger, the curing of cancer and AIDS, and all the other miracles that must have occured to make this school idiocy the Most. Important. Issue. Ever.

          • Anonymous

            You must of been asleep a long time, because we are not about to let politicians whose own kids go to private schools determine the fate of our children and their rights to an AMERICAN public education

          • anon

            you didn’t miss it, go fight your battle. We’ll be here fighting ours.

          • Anonymous

            Wow. How sad that THIS is what you have to turn to for entertainment. If my life were that empty, I’d shoot myself.

          • WOW

            you’re right TV is muuuuuuuch better.

            Don’t let this stop you from shooting yourself.

          • LQuinlan

            By your logic, we shouldn’t have started on any of the others since we haven’t yet achieved the primary one, world peace. Little did I know that we can only tackle one issue at a time. There is NOTHING more important to a parent than their child and I see no reason not to fight for the most important people in my life.

          • Anonymous

            Your child is the most important person in your life? LOSER!!!!

          • WOW

            More cheap HLA antics. It never gets old!!!!!!!!

            Guess our meeting went well.

          • Anonymous

            HAHAHAHA! LOSER! HLA GO AWAY!

          • Anonowitz

            TO: Anonymous Reply: May 28th, 2009 at 12:55 am,

            The best part of you dripped down your mother’s leg.

          • Marlene Doane, Linvi

            Does anyone remember the Mini School (from M.P.J.H.S.). I believe it was on ave. S. Approx. 15 of the worst truents were put in there with one teacher (Reggie Cornilious) (I hope I spelled his name right) in one building, away from the school for every suject. We went to school from 8:30am. till 12:30pm. then he got us all jobs for the afternoon. Everyone in his class passed that year. I was even skipped. I wish I could get in touch with that teacher. He helped alot of kids in school. He wasn't just a good teacher. He was the best. I wish I could contact him, so I could thank him for everything he did for not just me, but for everyone that went there. I've been in touch with a few people that went to that the mini school, and they feel the same way as I do. We all loved him.

  • LouiseQ

    The way Bloomberg and Klein seem to be pushing charter schools, you’re right to be worried. The frightening part is that, with mayoral control of the DOE, parents have no recourse if he decides to give their children’s school away. The only thing we can do is make ourselves a huge presence so that it becomes more trouble than it’s worth. Please, everyone, come out in full force against this project and maybe they’ll take it to a building that actually needs a shake-up.

  • Matthew Nugent

    I thought charter schools are suppose to serve the community?… why is there a Hebrew Language Academy being put there? doesn’t make sense.

    • resident of mp

      i’m guessing you haven’t been to marine park lately…

    • Anonymous

      have you seen the community?

    • Anonymous

      HLA is open to all races. There were people of all nationalities at the registration.

      • Anon

        I am sure they were people that the HLA hand picked to cover themselves. Not one of the seven thousand peole who signed the petition against the HLA were made aware of the registration. I find that a bit peculiar that seven thousand people within the communtiy were unaware of the registration yet it was open to everyone?

        The registration was open to anyone who would bow to Israel. I’ll stand and I am sure that I do not stand alone.

        • Anonymous

          Any facts to back any of this up?

          • anon

            7 thousandof them. Unless you think we are all lying? That would be some conspiracy!

          • Anonymous

            Well, it depends on who “we all” are. You think the charter people are all lying, so why should anyone believe you?

            Cite your facts, if you’ve got ‘em.

          • LQuinlan

            If the charter school were really interested in outreach, a flyer would have gone home with every District 22 student as it does when registration starts for Pre-K and Kindergarten every year. They had their audience as sitting ducks- what more would they have needed to do? And since when is *anything* done on a Sunday with the DOE?

          • Anonymous

            When do these flyers usually go out?

          • LQuinlan

            The flyers go out with plenty of time for parents to register. In the HLA’s case, that should have been done as soon as they knew the particulars. Charter schools are public schools, are they not? Why didn’t they take advantage of that relationship and work with the DOE to reach out to every single family already enrolled in Dist. 22 public schools?

      • Anonymous

        You know where all races were NOT represented? At that “public hearing” last night.

        278’s student body is over half black. The anti-charter side was quite noticeably melenin-deprived.

        • Anonymous

          Every student at I.S. 278 and their parents were notified of the meeting. Whether or not they could or chose to come was up to them. This is part of the problem when a large proportion of students come from outside of the surrounding area- it becomes more difficult to be a part of the day to day activity at the school. We do not need to apologize for the make-up of our student body or our community or the sense of involvement of our community members. We’re not the ones who stood up announcing their pedigrees as if it made any difference. That was the speakers *for* the charter.

        • LQuinlan

          Every student at I.S. 278 and their parents were notified of the meeting. Whether or not they could or chose to come was up to them. This is part of the problem when a large proportion of students come from outside of the surrounding area- it becomes more difficult to be a part of the day to day activity at the school. We do not need to apologize for the make-up of our student body or our community or the sense of involvement of our community members. We’re not the ones who stood up announcing their pedigrees as if it made any difference. That was the speakers *for* the charter.

          • Anonymous

            Hmm. Now, how do we know that? The charter people claim they tried to reach out to as many people as possible, you think they’re lying. How does anyone know that YOU’re not lying, that maybe whoever organized the temper tantrum (never have I seen adults behave more immaturely!) only notified white parents?

          • LQuinlan

            The parents of 278 made the best possible effort in the ridiculously little amount of time we had. Why on earth wouldn’t we want ALL of our students represented there on Tuesday. It could only look better for us if more of them had shown up. The difference is, we actually wanted a the biggest possible turn-out. HLA only wanted a carefully chosen turn-out for their applications.

          • WOW

            The meeting was posted on this and marineparker website big man. I guees the HLA is getting really desperate grasping at straws. How sad.

          • Anonymous

            What makes you think I support HLA? I’m just here to wind people up and play with you by ridiculing the things you all think are so important. Nothing like killing a few sacred cows. It’s how I get off.

          • LQuinlan

            And we’re losers? If you have nothing better to do with your time than annoy strangers, you’re pretty pathetic. I’ll just ignore you now.

        • anon

          The meeting was open to all.

        • Anon

          “melenin-deprived”, is that some anit-white racist term?

      • Anonymous

        Maybe so, But why lie and say that you are locating in Mill Basin when its obvious your not. Futhermore why isn’t HLA taking up the offer to be house in roy h mann or shell bank I know because the school is mostly black Who racist now

        • Anonymous

          Did you ever stop to consider that maybe at the time they said Mill Basin they were negotiating a site there that fell through? Or maybe perhaps they weren’t even offered that other school? No? You’re right. It’s easier and more fun I guess to imagine conspiracies.

          • Anonymous

            No conspiracies we have it in Black and White and right out of Berman’s big fat mouth

          • Anonymous

            Hmm. Her “big fat mouth” (real mature, btw) said they began looking at sites even as they began the application process and didn’t find any that were suitable for children. And they had trouble buying or building one of their own (in case no one noticed THE ECONOMY COLLAPSED). Then she said the DOE approached them with the possibility of 278.

            I guess the problem must be that I actually listened to her while you were tuning into to station KRZY…

          • Anonymous

            If you can listen so well then maybe you can read and would know that it was posted in the New York Post months ago that other sites were available and they turn them down. Also they posted in the paper that they would be getting their own private space and not infringe on our current schools. As for the Economy collapsing I dont think Berman worries about that with Daddy’s millions or the fact that her own children attend a private manhattan day school.
            Futhermore I may be crazy but at least I not STUPID!

          • Anonymous

            If you say so…

          • LQuinlan

            They certainly know about them now but I’m willing to bet they still aren’t interested

          • Anonymous

            Why? Can you list any compelling reason why HLA would WANT to be in 278? Can you give any compelling reason why they would not want to have their own space?

            After all, they’re icky Jews who don’t assimilate and don’t want to be part of the community and have cooties and stuff.

          • JuicyPlumb

            What does this have to do with “icky Jews who don’t assimilate”? This is about a charter school trying to commandeer space in a successful school that doesn’t need the help. If the charter school doesn’t have a space of their own, then they should continue to look until accommodations could be found and not take it away from students who are already utilizing that space for their studies.

            I think your comment is an ill conceived attempt at trying paint those against HLA as anti-semetic. Go to bed, its past your bedtime.

          • LQuinlan

            Oh please, grow up. 278 has a clean well-kept building with a population of kids that are, for the most part, well-behaved. It is situated in a beautiful neighborhood with a manicured park right next door. Why wouldn’t they want it? They couldn’t find a better space in all of District 22. With Bloomberg’s help they can have us out within five years and keep it all for themselves. Imagine all the money they’ll save paying $1 a year indefinitely.

          • Anonowitz

            Where is the proof that they want to take over the whole building and drive everyone else out?

            The charter school was not offered space in 278 because the DOE thought 278 “needed help.”

            The DOE is responsible for managing education in the City and the DOE owns and operates all of the public schools in the City, and HLA is — unfortunately — a public school that the DOE is, ultimately, responsible for. For the time being, the DOE is legally empowered to do whatever it deems necessary regarding education in NYC. I don’t like this set up, but that doesn’t change the fact that right now it’s legal.

            If we can get rid of mayoral control and bring control of the local schools back to the local communities, then we can be sure nothing like this will ever happen again. That’s why we need to make sure Lord Bloomberg is not reelected.

            The HLA people should have made sure they had their own building before they even applied for a charter. Heck, they shouldn’t have even applied for a charter at all. But what’s done is done in that regard. The DOE ultimately has the responsibility to find a space for the charter school and they obviously believed the charter school had done due diligence in finding a space.

            I just don’t understand the whole idea of assuming the worst in people without cause.

          • LQuinlan

            Why not Shellbank? Why not Mann? Those schools were never even under consideration. This thing was a debacle from day one and there’s no reason why a well-performing school should not be able to carry on with its own goals for its own students when other options are available for the HLA.

          • JuicyPlumb

            We are assuming the worst in people because I, as well as many others in my neighborhood, did not receive an application to the HLA for any children that I may have and the first thing I hear is that this school being located in 278 was a done deal. To me and many others, that was an underhanded way of handling this situation.

            You are right that there is no proof that the HLA will take over the school. I ask you to consider this scenario: who is to say that later on when the school is established and settled in they could use the excuse of not wanting to disrupt the children and continue to use the environment that they are already familiar with. They will be ever expanding and systematically pushing out the students for whom the school was, for many years, already set up for.

            If the HLA and the DOE has the best intentions for the community and their students, they should find an appropriate, open and available space for this newly conceived school.

          • Anon

            Probably for the same reasons the same “community” tried to get a section of the park quatered off for themselves.

  • Juicy Plumb

    I love how the word “Language” is thrown into the name of the academy.

  • bagels

    Currently, there are Chinese language schools, Greek schools, Spanish schools and, more recently, Arabic centric schools. Aren’t we supposed to be a pluralistic society where all public school kids are educated together with an emphasis on citizenship and American history?

  • LouiseQ

    I don’t believe that public schools supported by public funds should be celebrating any culture other than American. I tend to think that the reason behind this particular charter school is, as its biggest benefactor Michael Steinhardt was quoted, “a way to strengthen Jewish identity without the private and communal expense of day school.”

    This however, is not the issue. Children who are already thriving in a successful educational environment should not be pushed out of the way to make room for a charter school. They should not have to sacrifice class size or band or gym space to accommodate charter school students who should be housed in a more appropriate setting. For that matter, if these are children from the community, why don’t they attend any one of the excellent local elementary schools? I thought charter schools were originally intended to replace existing failing schools. PS 277, 222 and 207 are among the finest schools in the district. What makes the charter school’s students’ needs more valuable than those of students at Marine Park?

  • bagels

    From what I understand, Mark Twain and Bay Academy are rolling up the welcome mat as far as kids from outside their districts are concerned so it becomes increasingly important that MP/GB/MB families have the opportunity to enroll their kids in a strong middle school that serves all students from different religions and cultural backgrounds. IS 278 should have the liberty to flex its academic muscle with programs that draw all motivated students from the district. Cultivating the Irish, Italian, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic or Jewish identities should be left to their respective communities.

  • Jeff

    I’m all for families preserving their historical/cultural traditions in the home and business but public dollars invested in education should go to teach civics, mathematics, science, reading comprehension, history (with an emphasis on western civilization), physical education, and if the budget allows – music. We need more practical problem solvers in this world and this country – not more children indoctrinated in tribal and religious superstition on the tax payer’s dime. Charters are a good substitute for failing schools but it looks like the concept is in danger of being co-opted for nonsense like this that actually undermine successful public schools.

  • Anonymous

    Good job summing it up Jeff.

  • Beachwalker

    I agree with all of the above. Charter schools can be a fine idea, where they are needed, but shouldn’t cater to any particular culture or religion. But, aside from that, what about the logistics of it? Kindergarten and 1st grade kids need bathrooms with low sinks and toilets, are they going to spend thousands of dollars to convert the facility if its only for 2-3 years? Is it a good idea to have very small children mingling with the older kids? Even if they are kept separated, there are definitly going to be times that these little kids are within earshot of the filth that comes out of the mouths of some of the older kids. What about the dietary requirements for these children? Is the school kitchen going to go Kosher? It seems like so much trouble and expense for a couple of years. Its such a shame. Marine Park has come a long way in the last few years, and just when people are starting to trust it and people who never would have considered sending thier children there are taking another look, they are going to crowd them out.

  • Matthew Nugent

    I live in MP, I just didn’t know it has changed that much. I don’t care who lives here anybody who can afford is more than welcomed. But I think if you move into a community, why automatically separate yourselves?… For example: why did that store n avenue S have to be a Jewish study place I’m guessing I have no idea.when you have a huge Jewish center down the block? why couldn’t it be something the whole community can use and benefit from? I just don’t think its neighborly to take up community space and exclude the community, I’m not impressed.

    • Anonymous

      The reason the storefront on S opened is because they have a different outlook on Judaism then the Jewish Center. Just as there are different branches of christianity, so too are there different branches of judaism. Each with their own customs.

  • bagels

    At the end of the day, anyone can rent any storefront and set up any legal business they want. The real issue is MP and the surrounding communities’ fight with the DOE and their misguided decision to place a charter school within a strong school district – a decision which very clearly favors one group while taking resources from another. If you want your child to learn the Hebrew, Spanish, Greek language, etc,. then send your kids to PS207, 277 or 222 and pay for a tutor.

  • LouiseQ

    I just wanted to add that the time for the Marine Park Civic Association meeting is Tuesday, May 19 @ 8:00 PM. The original time stated above was incorrect. There has also been a special meeting called for all District 22 parents on Tuesday, May 12 @ 7:00 PM, at I.S. 278 Marine Park JHS to help us prepare for the Civic Association meetings the following week. It is vital that we show the DOE how many of us oppose this move.

    If you all want to have the choice to send your child to your own neighborhood school for an excellent academic education and exposure to the Arts, now is your chance to be heard. If anyone has access to a friend or family in the media, now is the time to get them involved.

    Thanks to all the above posters for their thoughts and ideas. We need all the help we can get.

  • dare2care

    This came in via e-mail from the PA of Marine Park, you can sign the Petition from the Home Page:

    Dear PA Members:

    The PA has created an Online Petition in opposition to the planned Hebrew Learning Academy Charter School the DOE wants to house inside IS 278. Please visit the Daily Hornet website to sign our petition. We urge you to ask your family, friends and other Marine Park community members to do the same. The link below will bring you to the petition page, or you can copy and paste the address into your browser. Our petition is number 3 on the petition list. You do not have to create an account to sign the petition.

    Full text of our petitions | Daily Hornet
    http://www.dailyhornet.com/petitiontext

    Thank You for your continued support.

    The IS 278 Executive Board

    • I want to commend the parents of IS 278…you have really united our community!

      • LQuinlan

        I see this spirit every day in small ways with my neighbors. No one makes a big deal about it but we look out for each other and help out when we can. When I was seriously ill a few years ago and again when I lost my son, I don’t know what I would have done without the kindness of my neighbors. Isn’t it overwhelming when all of these good people join together for the good of their families and their community?

  • SAVEMP!!!!!

    The meeting on tues is at 6:00, not 7:00. If you want an opportunity to speak, sign up is from 6-6:30. There is a deal being cut with the school to add the High School that the principal has wanted. This is another important issue as they can only fit so many kids in the building. Adding a high school will drastically cut the number of seats available for 6, 7, and 8th grades. The principal wants to make it a performing arts school grades 6-12, and be able to be very selective about who gets in. They were turned down for that, but that let the DOE think there was space in the building to house the charter school. Now they are saying that if the charter school is allowed in ,the DOE will consider the HS idea. Where are all the kids who have NO musical talent or interest supposed to go to school? This issue concerns EVERYONE in this district. You have to understand there are ulterior motives behind the plans they are making for the school. Stand up and take back OUR middle school.

  • bagels

    The Marine Park Civic Association’s website says this meeting starts at 8 PM.

    http://www.marineparkcivic.com/

  • LouiseQ

    There seems to be a great deal of confusion regarding these meetings. There are four (4) separate meetings: 1) Meeting called for District 22 parents to discuss the charter school. May 12 @ Marine Park JHS, Stuart St at 7 PM. 2) Marine Park Civic Association, May 19 @ 8:00PM at PS 207, Fillmore Ave. 3) Madison-Marine Civic Association, May 21 @ 7:30, Kings Chapel 2702 Quentin Rd. and the most important of all, a meeting held by the DOE 0n May 26 from 6:00-8:30 at Marine Park JHS, Stuart St. Those wishing to speak must sign up between 6:00 and 6:30.

    If you honestly think that the DOE has any intention of allowing a Performing Arts High School at I.S. 278, you’re very naive. I predict that within five years, the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School will have co-opted the entire building and you and your neighbors will have one less school to send your children to, musically talented or not.

  • Anonymous

    Why does there have to be a Charter Hebrew Shcool? If the only focus here is on the Hebrew Language, just add it to the curriculum of the school and then children who want to focus on that language can add it to their classes. Sounds too easy, that’s because it probably is. First will come the Charter School, then they will take it over. Kosher only food, can’t mingle with the other children, can’t eat in the same lunch room,,,,blah blah blah blah blah. Different custodial staff. All BS. Hebrew like any other languange in The United States of America should be considered a second language. In America, English is the spoken language. We really should put more focus on the kids knowing that language!!!

    • LouiseQ

      We’re talking elementary school students here and most elementary schools have NO access to a language. If they took the money that they were spending to set up and staff this charter school, they could probably add a language curriculum to every elementary school in the district. But that would be serving everyone in the district and I somehow don’t think that’s their real intent.

      • living in mp

        louise – i hear you, on this reply and your comment above. gbnet, do you think you could post this topic on the marine parker site as well?

        • bagels

          I agree. That website definitely needs more traffic – it’s snoresville over there. Maybe the MPCA could get the word out and publish the website in their newsletter.

  • joe

    I find it amazing that Councilman Lew Filder is against the Charter school. He’s the reason we have this coming into our neighborhood. Filder was one of Mayor Bloomberg’s biggest supports to get a 3rd term. Also Assembly Member Alan Maisel is no where to be found which is interesting when he is a member of the state assembly education committe. If either of them cared about the community they represent that won’t be supporting Bloomberg. Also they would be against extending Mayoral control of the Board of Education..

    NO CHARTER SCHOOL, NO BLOOMBERG, NO FILDER

    • LouiseQ

      I was assured by Lew Fidler’s Chief of Staff and by Alan Maisel personally that they both oppose this move by the DOE. Unfortunately, they have virtually no control of this situation but I’m hoping that they intend to appear at these meetings and make their position clear to the DOE. More importantly, large numbers need to show the mayor that if he intends to run for re-election, he needs to be concerned about alienating voters.

    • Mjolnir

      Thank you Joe. I am sure Filder is against the school in front his majority voter base but who really knows what he will do behond closed doors. We don’t need Filder’s help we need a huge amount of public support. EVERYONE from Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach who want to live in a solid a community with good public schooling for everyone should fight this now.

      • Beachwalker

        Its kind of funny, Marine Park wanting Gerrittsen Beach support NOW against the charter school. P.S 277 isn’t even listed as a feeder school in the Marine Park yearbooks the past few years. The school, just like the people of Marine Park look down their noses at GB. The best and brightest from GB go elsewhere for a good middle school, and will continue to do so. Fidler didn’t send his kid to Marine Park. Why does Fidler keep saying that the community wants a 6-12 performing arts school there? No, they don’t. Does anyone really think there is a future for their child in a professional marching band? No, they don’t. Most people are only concerned that their children get a good, solid, well rounded academic education in a safe place. The charter school will open there, because that is what the king/mayor wants. Don’t you realize that this ‘Jewish Philanthropist’ is a crony of Bloombergs? They don’t care what anyone here wants or needs. Its a private club that none of us belong to.

        • bagels

          Geez lou-ezz… How do walk around with that monstrous chip on your shoulder? I do, however, agree with your king, I mean mayor, Bloomberg remark.

          • Beachwalker

            Sorry, Bagels, as someone who regularly has engaged in GB insults, you should admit that Marine Park residents are our fair weather friends. Now, that they need the numbers to show up to protest it’s all Marine Park and Gerrittsen Beach in one breath. We’ll be there, but be honest, we’re the neighborhood you love to hate. I also stick to my opinion that people want their children to have the tools to compete for the good high schools, and colleges. The district 22 elementry schools are great, some of the highest scores in the state. Why do they plunge when they get to 278?

          • LQuinlan

            As a former resident, I’ve never had anything but love for the Beach and the people who live there. There are many former 277 students at 278 now and their mothers are active in the PA.

            The main reason that the numbers plunge when the kids go on to middle school is simply that too many members of our community are sending their kids to other schools. The majority of kids from my son’s graduating class last year went to Cunningham. Others applied to Twain and Hudde, a few more shifted to Good Shepherd. I’m sure you’ll find similar situations at all the local elementary schools. If ALL of the neighborhood’s kids went directly to Marine Park, there would be no room for kids who come in from schools that don’t perform as well as ours and, quite realistically, drop the scores. Those scores don’t reflect 278’s efforts as much as they do the quality of the child’s previous school. Many of these kids have to play catch-up at 278. I think you’d find vastly different numbers if you isolated the scores of children graduated from 222, 207 & 277, which have certainly not dropped significantly since they went to those schools. A quality education can definitely be had at Marine Park and former 222, 207 and 277 kids are getting one.

            I think it’s very insulting to denigrate Marine Park’s nationally acclaimed, award-winning band by writing it off as a useless “marching band.” There’s a whole lot more to forming a well-rounded person than reading scores and thankfully, Ms. Garofalo knows that. Their proficiency has helped many of the students go on to excellent high schools and they will have more to put on their college applications than their academic achievements.

          • bagels

            “Marine Park are our fair weather friends…the neighborhood you love to hate”? You love to play the victim, don’t you? It’s getting old.

            Its been acknowledged that kids who regularly particpate in after school activities, such as band, are much more likely to do better academically – so more power to them.

          • Beachwalker

            Bagels, it is you that have made COUNTLESS nasty, comments on GB.net about all GB parents being in bars, being drunks, not watching their kids. I am sensitive to the things you say because you have been a constant critic and hater. If anyone doubts this, look back in the achives of GB.net. It has nothing to do with “playing the victim”. Now its “all for one-one for all”, when its all over, you’ll be back to your low opinion and snide comments.

          • bagels

            Beachwalker,

            I have one thing to say about your accusation that I have made “countless” insults about GB and that is liar, liar, pants on fire!

            I still don’t like Victoria’s Pizza.

          • Mjolnir5

            Coming from Gerritsen Beach I did not attent Marine Park Middle School at a child because at the time it was not the quality is has become of late. Like Beachwalker said I did go to a private school however at great sacrifice to my family’s income. I am sure if Marine Park was as good then as it is now my parents would have relished the chance at a quality, free education and all the the tuition money could have been saved.

            Now as an adult I am fighting, not for the residents of Marine Park, but for the parents in The Beach, who deserve a free, quality middle school for their children to attend rather than spending the extra, hard found income to go to a private school. Both neighborhoods need each other right now. This is a battle that neither community can win alone. Solidarity is our enemy’s strength. It would be unwise not to follow suit.

          • Mjolnir

            Pardon my horrible spelling.

  • joe . G

    Fidler has done more for this community then any other politicians . When everyone else smiles and say’s we’ll look into that , Fidler say’s I’ll see what I can do and then does it . no one perfect , but he is the best so far . As for Bloomberg . I think he’s lost it

  • SAVEMP!!!!!

    I know that the PA is circling their wagons and they plan to fight it, but lets face it, its a done deal. That charter school is going in. As the old saying goes, you can’t fight city hall, esp. not this city hall. Its really the fault of the principal who because she wanted to retire making HS principal money, a nice increase over the level she gets now, kept the school population low and kept telling the DOE she had room to put in a HS. People are so nieve to think she really cares about the community. Why should she? She doesn’t live here.

    • LouiseQ

      With that attitude, it *will* be a done deal. I can’t speak for what Ms. Garafalo’s motives are but she could just as easily have retired with a principal’s pension from a failing school as the successful school she’s created. Maybe it’s *because* the population was lower that she was able to turn the school around. Fewer students=less crowding and more individual attention. All I know is, a few years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed of sending my child to Marine Park, now my sixth grader is excelling there. I only hope that he’ll have an opportunity to go there for high school as well.

      • SAVEMP!!!!!

        There is a difference of tens of thousands of dollars a year from an elem/jhs principals salary to a HS principal salary. Your right she could have retired with a principals pension from a failing school as well as successful school, but there are bonus’ attached to success. Don’t kid yourself, Louise, its all about the money. It is also self-serving of you to want the HS for your own kid, when that will mean there will be no room for someone elses 6th grader to excel. Where are the kids going to go that are squeezed out of Marine Park? That sewer, Shellbank? Why don’t they close that up and open the charter in there? I suspect you are one of those PA Moms who spend entirely too much time at your kids schools,”being involved”, when all your really doing is trying to kiss enough ass so that YOUR kid “exells”.

        • Anon

          Being that you know so much, why don’t you become principal of Shellbank and clean it up like Ms. Garafalo did for Marine Park.

          • SaveMP!!!!

            I have a better idea, why don’t they send Mrs. Garofalo to Shellbank to “clean it up” like she did for Marine Park?

  • LouiseQ

    My child excels because he’s a bright boy with involved parents going to a school where his potential is recognized and nurtured. Marine Park is going to be swallowed up by this charter school and there won’t be room for ANY of the neighborhood kids there, including yours. I’d prefer to see a high school that will ease some of the overcrowding at Madison and Midwood than to hand it over to a select elite that includes NONE of the children of our community.

    I would love nothing more than to see the charter school at Shellbank or Roy H. Mann, other buildings that they claimed to be looking at and which I’m sure the surrounding communities would welcome compared to what they have. They never had any intention of using any building but ours and once they take the whole building, your kid will *still* have nowhere to go and our taxes will be used to fund a public parochial school.

  • SaveMP

    I am with you on not turning it into a public parocial school. I have been against all of the ethnic and religeous charters from the get go. When this was happening elsewhere, it was left to individual communities to fight it and they lost. I have seen Lew Fidler argue at City Council meeting against them and its like he’s talking to walls. He is, in essence because the speaker is just a puppet for the Mayor and we all know that what he says-goes. I am sorry that you are going to waste your time and energy on something that is a done deal. This was in the planning stages long, long before anyone heard about it. And you can take this caveat to the bank-don’t trust the motives of the administration, they will do whatever benefits themselves personnally, they couldn’t care less about your kids, my kids or anyone elses kids. It’s just a job and they will OK anything that benefits their careers.

  • M.Parker

    I don’t think I know all the facts, and plan to attend the meetings, but does anyone know, is it true that this “language charter school” is to be for girls-only? That seems to me to be a bit more of a religious school, than simply a “language school”. I realize Modern Hebrew is a language spoken in Israel, but world-wide there are only about 10 million that use it, aren’t there other more widely-used languages that students could benefit from learning? Am I missing something or is this a way to offer a free education for Jewish people, and therefore we enter into a “separation of church and state” arguement?

    • LouiseQ

      As far as I know, it will be co-ed. I assume we’ll learn more about it at the meeting. I received an application to apply for the school one day before the deadline to submit. Who received them earlier, I wonder?

  • SaveMP

    That is exactly what this is. A free parocial education in a public school. Our kids aren’t going to learn Hebrew or anything else new. This is for kindergarten and 1st grade, to start with, adding grades as the years pass, separate from the JHS, just in the same building. They are supposed to move by 2011, but no one believes that will ever happen. They will just keep displacing the kids in the school. Kind of like what they did on the West Bank and on the Gaza Strip.

    • bagels

      West Bank? Gaza strip? Ouch!
      Charter schools were created to provide an option for families in failing school districts. Did anyone see the State reading scores for district 22 in the paper on Sunday? District 22 is, as usual, a very strong district. Someone, somewhere is trying to execute an end-run around the rules and that makes me very uneasy. There is an abundance of yeshivas sprinkled throughout MP that can provide a Hebrew language/cultural experience…..

    • Mjolnir

      Well put SaveMP!

  • M.Parker

    You can call 311 and file a complaint with the Mayor’s office stating that the Hebrew Language Charter School is not needed and you are against it, leaving your name and address.

  • Bugg

    You can also register your opposition by calling 311 and lodging a complaint with DOE. be polite and respectful but firm. Let’s bombard the Bloomberg administration with complaints.

    Bllomberg, Maisel and Fidler are not supporting this community. DOn’t support these whores.

    • Lew from Brooklyn

      I can only assume tht Bugg ha not left his comfortbale seat in front of his computer to come join us at one of our meetings Assemblyman Maisel and I have adamantly opposed this Charter School coming into Marine Park JHS. For three years we have written letters asking for the Performing Arts School that the community wants for 278.

      Clearly, we can see from some of the posts that this is an election year.

      Everyone who nows me knows:
      I do the same thing in private that I do in public.
      That when I take a stand, I don’t sit—I fight.
      that I am the Mayor’s staunchest foe on most issues and that he has in fact publicly said that I am “no shrinking violent and that when [I] am on the other side I can be quite irritating.
      Knows that I oppose the concept of Charter Schools and the concept of schools around ANY ethnicity in the public school system.
      that I have fought with the DOE on many issues.

      So, instead of lobbing politicially charged, exploetive filled emails, come on out and support your community…if in fact you actually live here.

      Lew from Brooklyn

  • Marine Parker

    Has the Parents Association of Marine Park reached out to Sherry Rodriguez and The PTA at PS 282 to see how they put together their protests?

    As a long time resident of MP, who no longer has children attending D22 schools, I would not know about this charter if it wan’t for GB.net.

    Please reach out beyond the school community ‘parents’. All residents should be advised so they will be able to express their feelings both for and against this charter.

  • LQuinlan

    I was out with petitions in Marine Park yesterday and many others were doing the same throughout the neighborhood. They are also outside of churches , grocery stores and schools. One of our PA members was told by a 311 operator to keep up the good work, the calls are really getting attention. Another told a member that a special unit was being set up to take these calls. Thank you for taking an interest even though your kids are grown. This school will affect the quality of life for all of us. Please tell all of your neighbors and friends to call, sign a petition, write a letter and most importantly, come to the meeting on May 26. Can you imagine their faces if we fill the auditiorium and line Stuart Street with chanting picketers?

    I have to believe that we really can make a difference.

  • NYC UNIONS UNITE!!!

    People should realize too that this is not just a school issue, but a union issue as well. NYC Firefighters, Police Officers, and any other NYC union workers are well aware of the union busting tactics of Mayor Bloomberg. We should all be concerned about the union hating, union busting mayor. The proliferation of charter schools is just another of his methods to chip away at the jobs and rights of union members. Do you realize that NO charter school workers are union members? Not the teachers, admin., no one. Its bad enough that the city has all but done away with all the union trades in the schools. There are only a handful of electricians, carpenters, plumbers that work for the DOE and are union members. These people were fingerprinted and investigated before being allowed to work in the schools. You used to know that they were all safe. Many were members of the communities that they worked in, with children in the same schools. You used to know what you were getting. They worked safely and professionally. Most work now performed in schools is done by a contractor, who bids on the job and signs a contract with the DOE to perform the work. He has been investigated, but he is responsible for hiring his workers. Of course, in the name of profit, they hire the people who will work the cheapest. They are supposed to pay prevailing wages, but anyone who is at the school after hours when much of this work is performed will tell you-they are per day workers, many illegal immigrants and no one carries a union card. Legal or illegal, it is difficult to find anyone who speaks English, to ask a question or to question how they are doing it. It may save the city a few bucks, but what about knowing who is working in your childs school? There was a case a few weeks ago in the news, where a young girl recognized a convicted molester working for an elevator contractor in her school. He was fired, but how many dangerous people are still working, fly by night in the schools? We all need to put our collective foot down and SAVE OUR LABOR UNIONS!! Jobs will be lost if this charter school is allowed to open.

  • bagels

    I agree.

  • Anonymous

    The law states that “[a]n application to establish a charter school may be submitted by teachers, parents, school administrators, community residents or any combination thereof. Such applications may be filed in conjunction with a college, university, museum, educational institution, not-for-profit corporation exempt from taxation under paragraph 3 of subsection (c) of section 501 of the internal revenue code or for-profit business or corporate entity authorized to do business in New York state. For charter schools established in conjunction with a for-profit business or corporate entity, the charter shall specify the extent of the entity’s participation in the management and operation of the school.

    Am I reading this wrong or did someone request a charter school and if so who?

    • dare2care

      Did anyone ever read this? It’s alot to take in considering the fact that we’ve been told countless times that it is a PROPOSAL and that the HLA is signing an agreement memo to relocate within two years. I can read, and it does NOT say two years, this academy will be housed until 2014 – FIVE years with expected growth!
      http://www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings/2009Meetings/January2009/0109emsca10.htm

      • Anonymous

        Are you referring to the same document that you linked to? Because that document says nothing about where the school will be located.

        “That the Board of Regents approves and issues the charter of the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School as proposed by the Chancellor of the city school district of the City of New York, and issues a provisional charter to it for a term of five years, up through and including January 12, 2014.”

        That doesn’t have anything to do with where the school is to be sited. It’s the school’s CHARTER from the State, authorizing it run as a school in New York State, regardless of where it may be located, for five years. All charter schools have to have their charters renewed by the NYSED every five years. All this says is that in 2014, this school will have to apply to have its charter renewed by the State.

        Nothing in this contradicts the claim that the school will be in 278 only two years. This document is dated from JANUARY.

        There has been so much misinformation and confusion on both sides of this ridiculous issue it’s no wonder people have gone completely insane.

        I predict this: whether the charter school goes into 278 or does not, the earth will still somehow continue to make its way around the sun and life will go on. And in 100 years, no one will remember anything about this.

        • Mjolnir

          The point of Dare2Care’s post was the lack of information regarding the location. It says nothing about where the school will be housed yet the HLA seems to have already made that decision for themsleves with little to no concern for the District 22 community. I.S. 278 was the only school proposed by the DoE at any of the meetings. No other location has been mentioned to the community. If I am wrong Anonymous correct me now.

          It seems that the HLA and it’s proponents get what information they need long before anyone else. The only misinformation is the information metered out to the general public at the HLA and the DoE’s discression. If the HLA is upset about misinformation they should have been more transparent and open to the community from the start.

          As for the next hundred years mate, my family has been in Gerrittsen ( thanks for the correction George) for three generations, now starting our fourth. We never forget. We never will. My grandchildern will remember the day we beat the DoE and the day that we beat the HLA. I will tell them about it over and over. I think I’ll make up shirts to hand out at Kiddie this summer!

          We will be an example to the rest of the city that every voice counts and that politcal and financial favors will not outweight the people. Trust me, we will remmeber.

          • Chernobog

            Mjolnir:
            “My grandchildern will remember the day we beat the DoE and the day that we beat the HLA. I will tell them about it over and over. I think I’ll make up shirts to hand out at Kiddie this summer! ”

            Are you serious? That’s….well, I don’t really know how to describe that. “Obsessive” maybe?

            Anyhow, the HLA people sure dropped the ball on community outreach. However, I had the opportunity to talk to one of them last night and he showed me a list of about 30 properties they have looked at that included the reasons why they were unsuitable. I see no reason to assume people are acting in bad faith from the start, but I will check up on this list and see if its true. Anyway, the only reason anyone in the community has only heard 278 be mentioned — and that only mentioned without past month or so — is because it is the first space in which the community would have been needed to be notified since it is public property. And that they only started mentioning 278 in this recent time frame suggests to me that they are telling the truth: that this is a last resort that they are taking because they don’t have any options.

            I mean, honestly? Why would anyone WANT to put a charter school in 278? It doesn’t make any sense (the whole charter school thing in general makes no sense, but that’s another point). It seems clear to me that it’s a last ditch-effort, a grabbing a straws.

            If I were going to start a school, I would make sure I had a place first. Also, if I were worth $2 billion, I’d buy my own building. But that’s just me.

            However, I guess I’m just not as “committed” as you are to….whatever it is you’re committed to. I just want to get through life on this ball of dust with as few problems and possible and help my kids to do the same. I just don’t see anything here that — in the big picture — is worth getting upset about. I hate charter schools, but they exist. I hate Bloomberg, but he’s here and is probably going to be reelected.

            But in 100 years I’ll be dead and gone and so will you and so will everyone else who was in that auditorium last night, and none of it will matter anymore.

          • Anonowitz

            Yeah well, Moses led the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, got lost in a desert, and talked to a bush over a 2000 years ago and everyone is reminded of it every year. Yahweh forbid we Gentiles have a small victory.

          • Chernobog

            Newsflash, buddy:

            There is no God, no Yahweh, and there never was a Moses, a burning bush, and Exodus. It’s all lie. Jesus and Allah too.

          • Anonowitz

            Whew, that is good to know, Chernobog. Now I don’t have to worry about how many people I screw over by conducting business in an underhanded way like those who are financially supporting Bloomberg and HLA.

          • anon

            I am committed to the community that generations of my family and friends have built with minimal, obligatory help from the city coffers. I want to preserve the community that I enjoyed for my children and their children like our grandparents did for us. And over time that WILL matter. I do not see handing over our schools as a good way to enforce that plan. If that is obsessive then so be it. At least I care enough to stand up for it. As far as the shirts go, well I saw many over sized buttons in favor of the HLA last night. Goose and gander and all that.

            I have been on this, “ball of dust” long enough to see that you don’t get things given to you without working for them and if you don’t fight for what you have those with lesser character to work for such things will take them from you. There were neighborhoods in this city that did not want problems. I guess we can ask them how things turned out for themselves.

            I do not avoid problems I confront them. If I lose then at least I can say I tried.

            If I may stray from the topic at hand to make my point. There are plenty of people in the work force who did not see the big picture when their pensions and health care were taken away from them and their families, or maybe they saw it and just didn’t want’ “problems” but there were those who didn’t just take what was given to them. There were those who fought and kept what was theirs.

            Back on the subject, I think Marine Park is an obvious choice for the HLA. It is a clean, safe school in a clean, safe neighborhood. Too bad for the HLA the community does not want it. People don’t drop money to build new buildings if they can just commandeer one for free. Wealthy people don’t get wealthy spending money.

            The HLA dropped many balls in my opinion. Let them pick them up. Let them polish them off and try to sell them to me again. My answer will still be, “No thank you.”

          • mjolnir

            Previous post was by Mjolnir, i forgot to sign it.

        • LQuinlan

          Believe me, I’ve done many hours of research and am as informed as possible insofar as we’re permitted to get information. The HLA and the DOE expected to cause barely a ripple with honest, hard-working, law-abiding people and were prepared to shove this decision down our throats. I think they were somewhat surprised that the ripple became a maelstrom. The future students of HLA have many options for kindergarten and first grade. The graduates of 278 have few. Our needs should come first for a number of reasons. If you don’t understand how the administration of HLA let their students down by now, you’ll probably never get it.

          • Chernobog

            Hey, LQuinlan,

            I also have researched this. That’s why I oppose charter schools in general and why I think HLA is silly. But what I have not seen is any clear explanation of why letting this idiotic school share space in 278 for two years will somehow deny children options, ruin their education, destroy their futures, and, apparently, bring down Western civilization. I looked at the numbers in terms of students and space, and I’m sorry, but I just don’t get that argument. I oppose HLA because I don’t think my tax money should support one ethnicity’s/culture’s identity reinforcement and because charter schools are threats to public education. I oppose the 278 plan simply because its silly. But I honestly don’t see how HLA would harm the kids of 278.

            If you or anyone else can explain that, that would be awesome. Otherwise, I guess I’m just one who won’t get it.

          • LQuinlan

            Were you at the meeting to hear the various speakers? I hope to see highlights on this site and marineparker.net. 278 has been waiting for three years to expand into a 6-12 school. They have been denied every time. Now we’re supposed to wait another 2 years while HLA finds space. Our local high schools are bursting at the seams and there are plenty of elementary seats for HLA students elsewhere. Which do you think should take precedence? Why should we sit quietly and patiently and wait for something we’ve been begging for while Bloomberg’s close personal friend buys his daughter a school to play with: a school funded by our tax dollars? Why should our children always be the second thought.

            No one suggested the end of the world but we’ve finally reached the point of saying, “We’ve had it, it’s our turn. Let someone else’s kid wait for a change.”

          • Chernobog

            Yeah, I was there. I stayed until about 8:30, and no one explained my question.

            Now, as for the high school, can that be done overnight? How long would it take to set that up? Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to use the two years (assuming the DOE is foolish enough to put the charter school in 278) to lay all the foundations necessary to start the high school when the charter is gone?

            Would one import the higher four grades all at once, or would you add 9th one year, 10th the next, etc?

            There are ways everyone could win, if one wanted to.

          • Anonymous

            I tried to answer you way up in #1 and there was no reply button so I’ll double up here. I stayed until the very end of the meeting and asked to be introduced to Ms. Berman. I asked her point blank why District 22 was targeted for this school and her response was that even though the schools were not failing, there would be an interest among the population and studies show that a dual language school is more successful with some native speakers in each classroom. This suggests that a demographic was targeted and not a population in need, which conflicts with what I understand the purpose of a charter school to be.

            Next, why complain if we get what we want in the end? There will be at least one year of students and probably more who will miss being served by the high school. Once in the building, it will be impossible to remove the charter school if their space doesn’t become available. You know they won’t just put them out so, the chances are, they’ll remain. We had a builder speak last night who projected that the building would take, at the very least, three years to build *if* they were able to secure a site, which was unlikely given the size of the planned structure.

            We had hoped to get things together in time to have the first freshman class begin in 2010. We’d allow one year for the planning and we *have* a building- why did HLA wait so long? I asked Ms. Berman that and she said that this is the order in which it’s done. If you were planning to move to an area, wouldn’t you first make sure that it had a property the size you need before you start all the other processes going? I’d think a savvy businessman like Mr. Steinhardt would. If he did, he knew the score when he set out to secure the charter. Believe me, these folks are far from blameless and they owe an explanation to the families of their students. They, and Bloomberg, counted on the fact that if they waited until there was no other option, they’d get what they want in the end.

            There are ways for everyone to win if they take their charter school elsewhere.

          • I fixed that issue with the repair button.

  • LQuinlan

    This charter school is being sponsored by Michael Steinhardt, a Jewish philanthropist who feels that schools of this type are “a way to strengthen Jewish identity without the private and communal expense of day school.” His daughter is the first applicant. Neither reside or have children in this community.

    Look at city reading scores and tell me a charter school isn’t needed in other districts much more than this one. This neighborhood has been targeted for all the wrong reasons and we need to stand firm against the placement of this school.

  • Mjolnir

    Then it is simple. We get Michael Stienhardt’s address, pay him a visit and change his mind.

  • Mjolnir

    The foundation is located at 6 East 39th St. 10th Floor in Manhattan.

  • Mjolnir

    The telephone numbers to said organization are 212-279-2288 and the fax is 212-279-1155

    If you are in disgust about the plans for Marine Park why not give them a call or send them a fax?!

  • Juicyplumb

    LQuinlan, Where did you find this quote from Steinhardt? I think having the source of this quote would be very helpful in our fight against this charter school.

  • LQuinlan

    I’m still searching for the original quote, which I’m fairly certain was from the Jewish Daily Forward. Here is another fascinating article on the subject from the same publication. I’ll post the original article as soon as I find it.
    http://www.forward.com/articles/13442/
    We have little hope fighting a charter which should never have been approved in the first place. Right now, our only hope is to fight the location. Call 311, visit Bloomberg’s campaign office on Flatbush Ave. between Quentin Rd. & Ave. R and most importantly, come to the meeting at Marine Park JHS on May 26 at 6:00. Let everyone know how you feel. I think I will be using the phone and fax numbers so kindly provided by Mjolnir above to let Steinhardt know that we don’t want or need this school in our community.

  • bagels

    This is a quote from an editorial written by Diana Ravitch. It ran in the Opinion section of the Daily News on January 18, 2009:

    “The school will open in District 22, where three-quarters of the pupils are African-American, Hispanic or Asian. Since the district includes Sheepshead Bay, Midwood and Mill Basin, where a substantial population of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Israel reside, the latter groups would supply the school’s main constituency”.

    The Yeshivas (Jewish Day Schools) are extremely expensive and are cherished by many Jewish families as the way to enrich their childrens’ lives. However, some families think that the Yeshivas are a little too religious so creating a charter school for them, specifically, would relieve them of this finacial burden. Their kids would have the opportunity to learn the Hebrew language/culture through an Israeli fiter without paying that hefty tuition. Is this what the noble idea of charter schools have been reduced to?

  • LQuinlan

    Nice. I wonder if Bloomberg and the taxpayers would like to help us foot my son’s Xaverian tuition. I somehow don’t think so.

  • Mjolnir

    My father worked twelve hours a day to put me and my brother through Resurrection and Xaverian. Let the jews pay for their religious education. We send enough of our tax payers’ dollars to Israel as it is. If it’s a free religious schooling the jewish community wants let them try Israel.

  • Mjolnir

    LQuinlan,

    Please post when and where you will be petitioning again and I will bring my family to sign. Thank you for your efforts.

  • LQuinlan

    I will be at Marine Park Baseball Field 7 ( my kid’s playing) tonight from approx. 5:30 to 7:15 trying to get more signatures. Then I’m headed to Marine Park Civic Association’s monthly meeting at P.S. 207 on Fillmore Ave at 8:00 PM. If anyone would like to take blank petitions to work or their neighborhood, I’ll be happy to drop them off for you. Maybe some of the businesses on Gerritsen Ave. would leave them up front for their patrons to sign.

    Come on people, let’s show this mayor just who built this neighborhood!

    • Mjolnir

      My family was proud to sign the petition this past Tuesday night. Thank you! We’ll see you this comming Tuesday. I’ve run Union picket lines. I hope we get enough people to come out and raise some serious eyebrows.

  • Mjolnir

    Put some petitions up on the cork board in Victoria’s Pizza. If I don’t get some tonight I’ll grab some there and have people sign them.

  • Mjolnir

    If you cannot get through to Michael Steinhardt at the foundation listings try these other LISTED numbers.

    His office at 48 Wall St. where he sits as chairman of Wisdom Tree Investments. 212-918-4580

    His HOME at 1158 Fifth Avenue Manhattan. 212-831-1349. His house keeper is very nice. Ask for his wife Judy if he is not home. They were entertaining company when I called so it is safe to assume that they are there this time of year. Rich folks tend to bounce from on place to the next.

    Leave a message at his house in Mt. Kisco 914-666-5712

    His wife, Judy can be reached at the American Friends of Israel Museum 212-997-5611 and,

    The Judy and Michael Steinherdt Foundation at 650 Madison 17th flr. 212-371-7300

    These are all listed number found online. So no worries D, Your website is clean.

    Please call. These people are playing with our children’s futures. I have their children’s numbers too but am holding off on posting them just yet. Soon we may need to call them too.

  • Mjolnir

    His charter school is a long harbored dream.

    http://nymag.com/news/features/23783/

    Now our taxs will pay the bill.

  • Bugg

    So “Lew” is a “shrinking violent”. And given his “fighting” metaphor, no surprise there. “I” manages to find itself into his post more than any other word.

    I am heartened that a call to Councilman Fiedler’s office indicates he is strongly opposed to this plan. So far, so good.

    Yet Councilman Fiedler and Assemblyman Maisel and their ilk are exacly the shrinking violets who have allowed this and worse. Their indifference to rampant, pointless and wasteful social programs are why goo goo morons like Bloomberg get the idea that they can used government funding for exactly this kind of stupidity. Whcih is why our city and state are fiscal messes.

    You’ve done nothing as Bloomberg ratcheted up the osical spending and allowed the welfare rolls to expand after Giuliani, love him or hate him, got it under control.

    You’ve done nothing about Bloomberg trying to cut the pensions and benefits of uniformed civil servants, who are and have always been the backbone of this community.

    You’ve done nothing about illegal immigrants overwhleming our schools, ERs and courts.

    You’ve done nothing about the monstrositiies of buildings going up all over out neighborhoods.

    You’ve never once DOE asked why 278 still has a whole load of student bussed in from outside the district.

    Best I can tell, Lew’s big accomplishments consists of boring little league parades. And he’s usually late.

    Glad you’re with the middle class homeowners on this Lew. But where have you been as Bloomberg has expanded welfare costs while we pay the bills? Suspect for the looks of you more often out to lunch than “fighting” ,at the gym, or anyplace else.

  • Angry Resident

    I am going to change my last name and put “witz” or “berg” at the end. These people seem to get their way with everything they ask for. An academy should be opened…. to teach them that when people say “NO” it means “NO”. I am not a racist, however, this pushiness needs to stop.

    • Beachwalkerwitz

      Me too.

      • Anonowitz

        I agree.

        • Chernobog

          Is there a reason we’re now blaming all Jews for this charter school idiocy?

          • Juicyplumb

            Party pooperwitz!

          • bagels

            Chernobog,

            No one is blaming the Jews for anything.

          • Chernobog

            Hi, Bagels,
            This comment from “Angry Resident” would argue to the contrary: “I am going to change my last name and put “witz” or “berg” at the end. These people seem to get their way with everything they ask for. An academy should be opened…. to teach them that when people say “NO” it means “NO”. I am not a racist, however, this pushiness needs to stop.”

            FWIW, all of my Jewish friends who have heard about this charter school think it’s stupid.

    • bagels

      I think it’s best to avoid remarks such as these and just stick to the facts. The community does not want this charter school and yet it seems that the DOE is ready and wiling to blatently ignore the wishes of the community at large in order to satisfy the desires and life long dream of a wealthy New Yorker, Michael Steinhardt. The NYS Board of Regents and the DOE have rewritten the rules and thumbed their noses at the community and the true intent of the charter school movement – to give parents the option to pulll their kids out of a failing neighborhood school and place them in a charter school, where the odds might be better for a stonger education.

      And then we have the schools devoted to one langauge/culture. Are these really “charter schools” or simply a way to voluntarily segregate our kids along cultural lines. Is this the way to educate a child in America? I think the melting pot is quickly becoming a bento box.

      • LQuinlan

        bagels, you and I are definitely on the same page. We need to fight the right fight- this school will negatively impact our community and consequently, all of the local schools.

      • Beachwalker

        Truely, I agree, but Beachwalkerwitz was just too cute to pass up. I was told yesterday by someone in the DOE that Michael Steinhardt has made a LARGE contribution to the king/mayors campaign. Not that it comes as a suprise to anyone, but isn’t that grounds for the fight too? We all know that money talks, but that doesn’t make it right, or legal.

        • LQuinlan

          I’m sure that’s something that could be addressed under the heading of Conflict of Interest. It’s been suggested that, if all else fails, we go to the ACLU. A conflict of interest argument might possibly tie things up just long enough to keep the charter school out in September. I really hope it won’t come to that but it might.

        • bagels

          Bloomberg has more money than God – he doesn’t need Steinhardt’s “contribution”. The rules are being manipulated in his favor and that’s dirty, corrupt politics.

          • Beachwalker

            So, Bloomberg doesn’t accept contributions? If Steinhardt gave him a million dollars, I’m sure he accepted it and “thanked” him.

          • bagels

            Bloomberg blows his nose with a million dollars. His personal net worth hovers somewhere around 15 billion dollars – that’s 15 followed by 9 zeros.

          • Mjolnir

            Steinhardt donated a thousand dollars to Bloomberg’s campaign for Mayor, which is the legal limit any one person may donate. If there was any additional funds handed to Bloomberg I am sure there is not record of it that can be held against either of them. One does not get to such a station with out knowing how to avoid such trouble.

            However, if to the ACLU will at least bring some unwanted publicity to either Steinhardt or Bloomberg then it could not hurt to try. According to Wikipedia (not an accredited refference site) Steinhardt was investigated for allegedly manipulatign the short term Teasury Note market in the ninties. He settled up with the Dept. of Justice and the SEC by paying 75% of the fine out of his own pocket.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Steinhardt

            Who would pay that sum out of pocket if they were innocent?

            My point being that this is one slipery fish.

          • Mjolnir

            Bagels,

            I work in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in this city. I have learned that extremely wealthy people are never satisfied with what wealth they have. I saw a well know Fortune 500 CEO stop halfway across Third Avenue to pick a dime out of wet tar in the street. At least he WORKED for that ten cents. Bloomberg was consider wealthy prior to his nomination as Mayor. His wealth has balloned since. He will take whatever is handed him.

          • Beachwalker

            Thank you! Of course, he takes all he can get. And takes care of his friends.

          • Chernobog

            Agreed. All rich people are the same. All they know how to do is take, take, take.

  • Chernobog

    It says there are 78 comments on this page. How come I can only see 49????

  • bagels

    I think that’s because “replies” to comments don’t have a number next to them.

  • Chernobog

    Oops.

    Anyway.

    1.) This idea of a Hebrew language charter school is stupid. I can’t understand why anyone who is not Jewish would want to send their kids to a school like this. As has been pointed out, Modern Hebrew is really not all that useful for American kids to learn. Israelis mostly can speak English, so what’s the point?

    The head of the board of the Hellenic charter school is on the HLA board. He’s been to a few of the civic association meetings. His school. at least, teaches Greek and Latin and those languages — and the texts written in them — have had a much greater impact on English language and on history. Yes, the Bible was written in ANCIENT Hebrew — not Modern Hebrew, which is essentially a constructed language — but it’s influence on language and history came through translations into Greek and Latin — and English!

    There’s just no point for kids to grow up speaking Hebrew. The three languages Americans should learn are Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. Hebrew isn’t really all that high on the list.

    2.) As has been demonstrated, Steinhart has wanted a Jewish school without religion for a long time. No one ever heard of the idea for a Hebrew charter school till that one in Florida happened a few years ago, the one with a rabbi for a principal that’s basically a yeshiva in all but name. It’s pretty clear that Steinhardt just wants a charter school b/c he heard about the Florida one and thought it was a way he could get what he wanted with taxpayer money.

    Look at his foundation’s website. http://www.steinhardtfoundation.org

    “The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life, formerly Jewish Life Network/Steinhhardt Foundation, was founded in 1994 by Michael H. Steinhardt to strengthen and transform American Jewish life so that it may flourish in a fully integrated, free society.

    Our philanthropy seeks to revitalize Jewish identity through educational and cultural initiatives that reach out to all Jews, with an emphasis on those who are on the margins of Jewish life, as well as to advocate for and support Hebrew and Jewish literacy among the general population.”

    The first part about revitalizing Jewish identity and all that crap is fine, but look how the bit about “advocate support of Hebrew and Jewish literacy in the the general population” just seems ham-fisted in there. I think it’s clear that what we’re looking at is a rich guy with more money than sense deciding he wants to do whatever he wants, regardless of whether it makes sense in any context normal humans can see.

    I can’t for the life of me figure out what a charter school teaching Gentile kids Hebrew has to do with “revitalizing Jewish identity.” Either his lackeys are lying about their intentions for the school, or this is a case of rich old white guy hubris.

    3.) Why are they putting this charter school here? Who asked for it? Who thought there was a need or demand for it? I don’t recall any petitions going around to start a Hebrew charter school. I think it’s clear that the only person who was consulted was Steinhardt. I think they picked a district with a lot of non-religious Jews so they could game the numbers and have a Jewish school through the backdoor. They couldn’t put it in Crown Heights or Borough Park b/c the religious nutcases wouldn’t want to send their kids to a secular school.

    How much is a Hebrew charter school in MP going to increase Hebrew and Jewish literacy in the wider population? It makes no sense.

    All of that is concerning, but I don’t think there’s any reason to assume nefarious intentions on the part of the HLA people. Is there any proof that tehy want to take over 278? Is there any proof that they’re going to stay there longer than 2 years? I want to hear the actual plan first. If putting HLA in 278 WILL increase class size and reduce the access of the other kids to the gym and library and cafeteria, then that is a problem and is simply not right. But I want to see facts, not speculation. Speculation without facts leads to some scary places.

    I want to see numbers. I know there’s been talk of expanding 278 to 12th grade and the DOE said there’s not enough space. Well, it IS possible for there not to be enough space for 4 extra grade but still be enough space to temporarily house 2 or 3 smaller grade of a charter school. It’s a simple math question.

    I don’t like charter schools. AT ALL. I think they’re a threat to public education and should be stopped. But for now they’re legal and it seems like everything so far has been done legally.

    IF HLA only stays in 278 for the promised 2 years and IF it doesn’t impact the learning of our kids, then I don’t think I can see any reason why this should be a problem until they take this ridiculous school and find another home for it (preferably far, far away from here). Otherwise, we run the risk of simply running a selfish petty NIMBY campaign.

    I plan to be at the Public Hearing next week, and I hope the DOE and the HLA people show me some numbers and answer my concerns. Because if HLA WILL harm our kids and if they do plan on staying longer than they claim, then gods help them all!

    • bagels

      You’ve asked some very pointed questions that will probably never be answered.

    • LQuinlan

      If Marine Park were to become a 6 through 12 Performing Arts School, there would be an application process as in many other schools that focus on a particular area. Each of the grades would then have smaller classes, which would make it very likely that there would be enough room for all the grades if we started in Sept. 2010. Having the charter school in the building will make it impossible to get moving on our plan. Do you realize how many rooms they’ll need with administrative offices?

      There’s a perfectly good reason for us to feel nimby about this. If you look at the scores for the Dist. 22 schools, this school was never needed here. If the Steinhardts feels that strongly about charter schools, why not put one in a failing district? With every child that is taken from a Dist. 22 to go to this charter school goes the Federal and city allotment that used to go to the neighborhood schools. Aside from losing a student, our schools will have less money to work with. I don’t intend to shortchange our children and our community to stroke the ego of a Bloomberg pal. What makes this elite group of 150 hand-picked children more valuable than the children already ensconced in the school supported by their parents’ tax dollars?

      • Beachwalker

        If there would be an application process for a 6-12 Performing Arts school, aren’t you then advocating for an “elite group of hand picked children”? I think the idea of turning it into a Performing Arts School is as elitist as the charter school. Its just a different group of kid your talking about. All kids need and deserve a good education. I am not denegrating the band, although I do think its importance is greatly exagerated, Its great when kids get a well rounded education including lots of Art and Music. But all kids need an education. Not just those who have musical talent, or like it. The fact is that the majority of students in 278 are not in the band.

        • bagels

          I can’t believe I”m writing this but I gulp!, gasp! kind of agree with you.

          • Beachwalker

            Bagels, Darlin’, you agree with me far more often than you know. :) And I enjoy and agree with many of your opinions and comments. I apologize for beating a dead horse with you over anti GB slurs, it has come up AGAIN in the life of my kids. My lovely, college student, hard working daughter was told by her former MP- dwelling boyfriends father that “I did not raise my son to live in a bungalo”. I guess I was taking it out on you. Truce? It looks to me like the parents of the kids in the school already are fighting for the HS for their own kids, to heck with those that will be shut out in the future. There is only so much room in the building. To make room for the HS, there will have to be far fewer seats for incoming 6th graders. Where will the overflow go? Even when my kids were in 277 Eagle program, with the extras afforded them, I always felt bad for the 2/3 of the kids who weren’t in Eagle. I think they set them up for failure and not feeling good enough/smart enough. All kids are different and all have value. Not everyone grows up college bound. There are many pursuits in life and I think kids need the opportunity to discover what ‘floats their boat’.

          • Beachwalker

            Oh, and we don’t live in a bungalo, but a well kept, very nice, big house! My family owns combined millions of dollars worth of prime GB real estate and we love it here.

          • LQuinlan

            If you watched the video of the Town Hall or were there, then you heard Mr. White say that applications for seats in Marine Park were down and that the school would only have an enrollment of 950 students next year. No one apparently is fighting to get into MPJHS now. Are you suggesting that there will be a rush for the seats once those who have lived through the bad times are finally rewarded with what they’ve been asking for? Do you think that those families that jumped ship for greener pastures at Mark Twain or Bay Academy should now be welcomed back with open arms after someone else fought their fight? Truth is, if they live in the community and apply to go there, they may well have the opportunity to do so. If the HLA comes in and commandeers the building, they’ll have no chance whatsoever.

            With the changing demographics of the neighborhood and fewer children attending public school, there will most definitely be some kind of reorganization. Whether it is a Performing Arts model or not should be up to ALL the people of the COMMUNITY. This is a discussion we should have been having all along but the DOE wasn’t interested in our wants or needs until Michael Steinhardt started pushing his and, truthfully, they’re not all that interested now.

            By the way, there are more students in the various bands than you seem to think and music is not the only element of performing arts. 278 also has a successful Drama program and not only performers but stage crew, lighting and other elements of production are involved in putting on shows. Our kids have a lot to sink their teeth into. Truth is, I don’t think that the majority of the kids going to 278 are from the community. The students lost to 207 when it moved to middle school and those who applied to and were accepted at other schools left a glut of seats to be filled from outside the community. Those seats can be filled with the community’s kids if we offer them something they want.

            You are operating under the mistaken assumption that too many kids will be “left out” when, according to the DOE, our school population is shrinking at an alarming rate. Please watch the Town Hall and come to the DOE hearing to confront them with what YOU want for your kids.

  • LQuinlan

    A conflict of interest is a conflict of interest whether or not money is involved. Steinhardt and Bloomberg clearly have a deep, long-term friendship:
    http://davidmquintana.blogspot.com/2007/07/new-york-magazine-bloomberg-for.html

  • bagels

    Beachwalker and LQuinlan make two very valid points. I believe the fastest way to change the demographics of a neighborhood is to mess around with the school system. A new high school or a more competive middle school – it doesn’t matter because in one way or another it will the serve the community but that doesn’t seem to be much of priority with our elected officials. The idea of the HLA was conceived and is being implemented under cover of darkness. The “lottery” was held on a Sunday afternoon with a select few families invited to particpate. Did anyone on this forum receive an application or a meeting notice? I didn’t. There were no ads in the Bay News, Kings Courier or any of the local papers. Why not?

    This is an interesting article and it’s a quick read. Take a few minutes to look it over:

    http://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/2009/05/marine-park-community-set-to-protest.html

  • Beachwalker

    You seem to contradict yourself, Louise. You have stated in several posts how great 278 is, how fantastic the band and drama programs, an yet enrollment is so far down. “no one is fighting to get into MPJHS now”- could it be that is because alot of kids don’t want to be a part of performing arts, or their parents are more interested in reading and math scores? Alot of kids have plenty of after school dance lessons, music lessons, sports, etc. What their parents want from a school is Math, Reading and Science. You say, “truth is, I don’t think the majority of the kids going to 278 are from the community”. I’d say that since 75% of the school is African-American, Hispanic and Asian that you are correct there. Am I suggesting that there will be a rush for seats once those people who have lived through the bad times will finally be rewarded with what they are asking for? Yes, I do. They aren’t asking for a High School, they just want a safe, clean middle school that is going to teach their children what they need to know to move on and up. Do I think that the people who jumped ship for greener pastures of Mark Twain and Bay Academy should be welcomed back with open arms? That’s pretty arrogant of you. Of course they should be. Are you going to stand at the door and say, ” sorry, you didn’t stay and fight for a good school, so now your kids can’t come in”. They wouldn’t have jumped ship if there had been anything of real value offered at 278. Alot of people see past the bands and drama programs, and while that’s all well and good, they want to know what else of real substance is offered there. If your child doesn’t make CIG, which is a very select group, and your child isn’t interested in music or a school play, will anyone really care how they are doing? The vast majority of people just want their kids to get the best ACADEMIC education that they can, without getting their butts kicked in the lunchroom every day. Its easy to see that you want this to turn into a performing arts HS, because YOUR child is in the band/drama programs and you love it. That’s great. You don’t want to hassle with having to go through the horrible HS admission process and vie for those seats at Midwood or Madison. The competition is great and alot of people discover that although their kids appeared to be doing so well, they really don’t have what it takes to get into the better high schools. I understand that, but you need to consider the community as a whole. Not just what is best for your kid, but what is best for all. All schools should be great. Every kid should have schools close to their home, that they can have neighborhood pride in, that will give them the tools they need to survive in this very tough world. No one should have to travel long distances to go to a decent school. The number of 6,7, & 8 grade seats that will be displaced by either a charter school or a high school are going to send too many kids all over the place for middle school. Mark Twain and Bay Acad. are accepting less students from outside their district. Where are they going to go? “those seats can be filled if we offer them something they want” Yes, they could be and they should be.

    • LQuinlan

      I didn’t see this for days or I would have replied sooner. The decline in enrollment at 278 is not a result of the Arts programs- kids from the community have been leaving in droves for years before. It’s only *since* the Arts programs that the school has managed to hold on to some of their own. The school would have been a wonderful, safe learning environment for years if our own had stayed. There is nothing wrong with the academic programs at 278- any child from the community could and should thrive there. The principal is driven, the staff responsive and the class sizes promote an excellent learning environment. If you don’t know this information, it’s because you don’t look beyond the printed reading scores or the reasoning behind them.

      If you really read my post, you’d have followed it to the point where I said that if your child wanted to go to the school, they would probably have a very good chance of doing so. I don’t really understand exactly what it is you want. You say the school isn’t good enough to go to and yet you want the opportunity to go there. If you wouldn’t send a child to 278, why prevent the vast majority who *do* want the Arts school from having it? I have never wavered from my original position but I can’t even figure out yours.

      I don’t know many more ways to say this: If you and all of the other parents in the neighborhood sent your kids to 278, there wouldn’t be the need to pull kids from all over Brooklyn to go there. Your kid would be sitting next to his neighbor, getting a great education. If he’s not, that’s your choice. Don’t expect me to ask for less for my child because you’re not willing to fight for more for yours.

  • joe

    In order for Marine Park to get what our community deserves we need to be better organized. Who is the head of being against the Charter school movement? The reason why I ask this is for two reasons. One the biggest challenge we as a community are facing is the money the head of the charter school and the money/contracts that Bloomberg can dole out to Filder and his crew. The only way our community can truely get what we need is to be able to over come what money can’t buy. We all know that no one in the neighborhood can outspend Bloomberg. What we can do thou is organize well enough block by block to lead a get out the vote drive to help Bill Thompson become Mayor in November. Bloomberg is relying on neighborhoods like Marine Park to vote for him. Second Lew Filder and Alan Maisel’s, Marty Golden’s voting block are GB, Madison and Marine Park if we can get a candidate that has strong ties to the neighborhood not the politic club’s we can beat one of the current elected officals and have a person in office that fight our cause with City Hall and Ablany. If we can get a representative on every block in Marine Park and Gerristen Beach that will knock door to door to drum up people to come out to the community meetings, vote against Bloomberg and carry a petition for our candidate then we will get out Preforming Arts school. Running a political campaign with a strong enough organization won’t cost more than $10,000 to run. We need to realize that these community meetings are just a dog and pony show the real way NYC government works is back room deal making we need someone from our neighborhood, for our neighborhood in that back room. Other question all of our elected officals that represent us where do their children go to school? Our community need’s to step up it’s game since the elected officals aren’t speaking loud enough.

    • Mjolnir

      Joe,

      What you mention is exactly what civic and property organizations are supposed to do. Who remembers the day of, “block captains.” When I was young you put your time and/or money into the community organization or you moved. Organizing a block petition is something that is easily done for block parties, but when our community’s future is on the line too few step up. Most prefer to complian after the fact.

      If anyone wants to help but you are new to the community or if you simply do not know the people on your block you can still help by rallying your family, immedeate and extended. Reach outside the community too if you need to. Get as many people there as you can Tuesday.

      Maybe we can get Bill Thompson there too. If he is looking to gather votes what better place could he pick to rally alone side of us?

      • Chernobog

        “Who remembers the day of, “block captains.” When I was young you put your time and/or money into the community organization or you moved.”

        You actually want that? It sounds like of Sovietesque to me.

        • Mjolnir

          I didn’t know that Leninism allowed civic organizations. Then again why have a community board when you don’t actually own your home?

          Block captains were a chain of information. They informed the block of what the civic organization was doing for those who could not attend meeting and act as a voice for residents on any given block to the community board.

          Keep your persecution complex to yourself.

          A community is only as strong as it’s weakest member.

      • LQuinlan

        The Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association has invited Bill Thompson to speak at a future meeting. I have every intention of making his the first campaign I am truly active in. I’ve had enough Bloomberg to last a lifetime! When I have more info, I will post it. The next meeting is June 2 at 7:30, Kings Chapel 2702 Quentin Rd. The members of the Civic Association are lovely, welcoming people.

  • what-if

    What has Bill Thompson done for anyone? We need someone that has a history of helping people in our community. We don’t need promises or someone that bashes the other guy to make himself look good. We had neighborhood people run and the neighborhood didn’t stand behind them then. Do you think they would stand behind them now? I don’t think so.

    • Anonymous

      Hes running for mayor!

    • LQuinlan

      As far as I’m concerned, Thompson could run on a “I’m not Bloomberg” platform and that would be enough for me.

      For all the press and poll reports that Bloomberg has a high approval rating, I’ve spoken with few real people who agree. Seems like another campaign directed by the press is coming up.

      • Beachwalker

        LOL, Your so right about that! Thompson should just print up bumper stickers with his face that just say “I’m not Bloomberg”. I’d vote for anyone but him. I’m totally baffled at Bloombergs numbers, too. Maybe all the rich Manhatten people count twice.

  • MShanahan

    That “public hearing” last night was a disgrace. I don’t care how strongly you feel about an issue: it’s wrong to use children a propaganda tools.

    I don’t like this charter school plan, but when I saw those kids holding signs and chanting I walked out. Nothing it worth exploiting kids like that.

    The HLA people, to their credit, didn’t parade any kids around to make their point.

    • LQuinlan

      These children were not being exploited, they were experiencing democracy first hand. Their future and the future of their school was being decided and they wanted to have a voice in it. This also underlines the difference between middle school students and kindergarten and first grade children. What would have frightened those HLA babies was exhilerating for adolescents who are just beginning to understand the workings of government. They also wanted to be seen as people and not little numbers on a page.

      • Anonymous

        Children are not people. They are larvae who might someday grow up to be people, if we’re lucky. They should be seen and not heard. Well, they shouldn’t even be seen if one can avoid it.

        And, missy, wake up and smell the dog crap: we don’t live in any kind of democracy.

        • LQuinlan

          Obvious troll is obvious.

        • WOW

          If democracy is dead then it is because of people like you. People who weaken this country with every acceptance of political corruption. People like the HLA who think because they have a friend in the mayor’s chair that the laws of this city do not apply to them.

          A patriot must defend his country against every threat, even it’s own corrupt government.

      • Disgusted Citizen

        How exactly were any children’s “future” determined in last night’s farce? How was any child’s “future” in peril?

        • LQuinlan

          Where over 1000 children will be attending school in September of this year (still the future) and for the six years thereafter will be decided in the next three weeks. Those are our kids as well as HLA’s. If you don’t understand the purpose of this after all this time, I’ll never explain it to you now.

        • WOW

          What if future years of I.S. 278 increase in stundent demand rather than delcine? If the charter school succeeds and every empty class room if full of charter school classes then children who are rightfully zoned to go to that midle school would be shipped else where. Possibly to a lesser perferomig school.

          • Disgusted Citizen

            Well, then I guess the world will end.

            Or, the charter school people could be telling the truth and leave after 2 years (assuming the DOE is foolish enough to put them in in the first place).

          • WOW

            The HLA has been caught in more than one lie thus far, why trust them now?

          • LQuinlan

            Our children have waited long enough- why should HLA go to the head of the line? You wouldn’t stand for it at Waldbaum’s or the UA where it only means a few minutes of your time- why allow it when it’s your children’s educational future at stake?

    • WOW

      The children are the ones directly affected by this farce. Their voices should be heard. It shows the children that they too have a say in their future and I applaud them for standing up for themselves.

      The HLA could have brought their children to make their point aswell, but who else there would have understood Hebrew???

      • YOW

        Oh, that’s lovely.

        If I could be assured that those children were there of their own free will and not just because their parents put them up to it, I’d feel a whole lot better.

        • LQuinlan

          Are you familiar with children 11-14 at all? Did you see the passion of those 278 kids on Tuesday night? They know exactly what they want and have have finally been given the chance to express it. If you think they were robotically doing as told, you were at a totally different meeting- or not there at all.

          • Anonobergsteinwitz

            Children 11-14 don’t have the ability to reason or think or form opinions of their own.

  • living in mp

    i find it interesting that there’s a wikipedia page about this –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_Language_Academy_Charter_School

    no mention of the community’s sentiment on the matter though.

    • Anonobergsteinwitz

      The article also doesn’t say anything about location. Maybe it’s because the community does not (or perhaps should not) have any sentiment on the existence of the school itself but rather on where it will be housed.

      It was my understanding that the issue is that we don’t want HLA in 278. Or has the party line changed now that we don’t want HLA to exist at all?

      • WOW

        Don’t recall seeing anyone sayig that the HLA should not exist. 278 had it’s chance to voice it’s opinion and the voice said no. We are entitled to our opinion.

        • Bugg

          No, it shouldn’t. The Arab language school was an equally bad idea. We shouldn’t have any public funds used to create what amounts to a parochial schoolf or any group. WHo’s kidding who? The point of pulbic education should be to foster and inculcate children into American society and culture. This is divisive and contrary to those ideals. In fact such a school would lessen children’s assimilation into the broader civic culture. No gentile children would go to this school, and if they tried to apply they’d probably be discouraged or denied.

          If they wanted a Hebrew langauge and culture class being offered, fine. But seperate school is clearly a violation of the seperation of church and state. This is an attempt to fund a parochial school for one very specific and politically-connected group. If I as a parent choose to send my sons to a private or Catholic school I’m paying for it. Because Steinhardt is pals with Bloomberg doesn’t give him the right to raid the public fisc for his religious school.

  • living in mp

    one more interesting link worth noting, from february (when it appears a press release might have gone out to the media?)

    http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/education&id=6635498

  • Sal Giordano

    The last thing that we need is jews taking over this school. That’s right, TAKING OVER THE SCHOOL… Keep them on Ocean P’kwy. or wherever they belong. Lou Filder / Fidler on the roof or whatever your name is. Get lost. Before you know it our kids will be speaking yiddish. Picture that. The only good thing that could have come out of this is we could have said that we belong to the jewish / jhs and not pay tax, because that’s what they do. Their cars belong to the synogogues, their homes belong to the rabbi, they give their pay to the rabbi and he takes care of THEM. God damn Tax Cheats. The chosen ones, right. Celebrate People. The Matso Cristo’s lost, that’s Italian for Christ Killers. Good Day…

  • What happened to my community...

    I am not jewish, but I would rather them speak yiddish then speak like you. JACKASS! You sound like you can use some schooling.

  • Anonymous

    SAMALABABALA AND ISCHKIBIBBLE TO YOU TOO!

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