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Snippet of Nice White Parents: 'Here’s Another Fun Thing You Can Do' [1 of 2]

Last Played: February 16, 2021
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As the host has argued, limiting the power of white parents seems key to a fair, integrated education system. That's how things play out in Success Academy, a network of charter schools that stresses structure and equality, and in this snippet we hear from its parents and administration. While the policies redistribute wealth and resources, some unintended consequences come to light.
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Success Academy is the city's largest charter school network, 47 schools elementary, middle and one high school. They get public funding. Like all charter schools, Success Academy also gets private funding. The state overseas charters like success, but it isn't run by the state or the city. It's run by a private organization, and success is a choice school. That means families opt in to success. The CEO, A woman named Eva Moskowitz, opened her 1st 40 something schools in largely working class black and brown neighborhoods where she imagined families would want a new school option. Then, about a decade ago, Moskowitz decided she wanted to open an integrated school, a new success academy that was racially integrated and economically diverse. She needed a school building where integration was possible, where, perhaps half a century earlier, Ah group of white families pushed for a strategically located fringe school building between two racially segregated neighborhoods. And this is how success academy wound up here in the Old S to 93 building. Because of yet another plan, Thio integrate Onley. This time it worked. White parents opted in the way families at this success academy. It's called Success Academy Cobble Hill tend to come from advantage just like the white parents upstairs at S s their upper middle class and rich doctors and lawyers, corporate accountants, people who walk into most public schools with a lot of power. But the influence I had seen white parents wheeled upstairs at S I s That didn't seem to be the case downstairs. I found that confusing. Do the P t. A. Um, we have a parent council, so it's very similar to a P. T. A. This is a Lissa Bishop. The principle of success Couple Hill, a parent council, is not that similar to a P. T A, though, because in the very next sentence, Principal Bishop told me that the parent council is not allowed to raise money. This, I assumed, was probably difficult for parents who are accustomed to fundraising for their kids schools. Have you had parents who want to raise money like who come to you and I'm like, I want toe, You know, I want this thing to happen and I want to raise the money for it. Not not anything like that. I have had parents come to me and say like I wanna do a coat drive they want to donate. You know we do that stuff throughout the entire year, but it's never I've never had anyone approach me about donating money. Really? No. Parents have been like, I want to do a fundraiser for X, and you have to be like That's not a thing that we dio I've never had that Principal Bishop looks over at the PR person who's come from success headquarters to supervise this interview. The PR person shakes her head. No, parents don't raise money. And what if somebody did want to raise money for the school apparent? Wanted to raise money? Yeah, we don't. Yeah, we don't. We don't raise money. Principal Bishop looks over to the PR person again. As if to say, um, I not being clear with this chick. Why isn't she getting it? But I seem to be unable to stop myself from listing all the things I've seen. White advantage parents demand in public schools. If parents were like, we want this to be a dual language French school, and we can help fund it e mean we don't have our curriculum is network based. I mean, we're given curriculum we don't have a language curriculum in our elementary schools or if parents were like we want there to be less math or different kind of math or we want there to be, uh, a film program or whatever. Like any of those things parents are like we want. Yeah, I mean, this is our model it czar model across all of our schools. No change is the CEO of Success Academy. Eva Moskowitz followed up later to tell me If parents want to give money, they can, but it will be distributed evenly across all of our schools. We can't have our Cobble Hill families getting more than our families in Harlem. Here's what he started to understand about how success academy was limiting the power of white parents. Success was limiting the power of white parents by limiting the power of all parents. E met a dad named trivia sharp outside the building one day. Ah, black guy who grew up in Brooklyn. His son Ethan, is that success. We actually get graded. You get great, get created as the parents. We get a email saying this is what your progress to say, you know, but you get a grade like ABC. Like it's ah, uh, get like, a meeting expectations or not Like, you know, upstairs s I s had tripped over itself to meet the demands of new white parents. Downstairs, all parents at Success Academy are being greeted even day to day. The success principle and teachers make sure to remind parents when they're falling down on the job, So we run a little late. Why, Ethan Late? It's your fault. Wisely. Uh, what happened? I think one day I was late and she checks and said, I'm Ethan is not here yet. Any reason why on I felt like I wasn't a parent at that. Like, you know, that's their time. But it keeps you on your toes and you felt like you weren't the parent. I wasn't a parent. I wasn't a parent. I felt like I was just dropping skid off to his parents.
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