SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Deep Inside Eva Moskowitz. Again

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Deep Inside Eva Moskowitz. Again

It seems that we have made a mistake here at SBSB. At afternoon tea, the crack team realized that it had more information regarding Eva Moskowitz's recruitment party from last Thursday night, March 24. To our loyal readers, hang our heads in shame and apologize. We do hope that forgiveness will be forthcoming.

Eva's headquarters looks like a business office. There are many cubicles with HR assistants working the office. They send the recruits into this small conference room to watch a promo video. Their promo video involved a lot of garbage about HSA, some things that caught attention: success is because children read 2 hours a day, 26 books a month, and their program is 'rigorous' (whatever that means),they are also deeply in the arts.

Now we here at SBSB are all for students reading. We believe that there is nothing better than a good book, and that reading unlocks so many doors. However, is it reading for reading's sake? Are these appropriate books? Are these books leveled? Are the two hours reading in addition to homework? If so, what is the average amount of time of the homework the students are assigned? At 26 books a month, this appears to be a book a day. How are students expected to be kids if they have this much work per day?

Also in the promo, it said that every 7 students apply for 1 seat in her school. The goal is eventually making it to 40.

Why they need for "overbooking?" Is this to create buzz? For the schools? For Eva? How does Eva intend to go about this? In fact, how much money will be spent to create 40:1 ratio of applications? Here are the two big questions that need to be answered. Is it ethical? Is it legal?

After the promo video, came the mingling with the other prospective employees and HR assistants. An HR assistant, was asked if HSA was considering constructing their own schools since they co-locate. Her response, "They are not interested in constructing their own building because it takes 5 or 6 years and we still will no longer be there. It takes too long and more energy to construct a building and they know that the public schools are not holding at full capacity anyway. So this is why we co-locate.

Is it me or does something not seem right about this?

The HR person was also asked about specific curriculum choices in HSA and she could not give me a clear and descriptive response. She just mumbled off jargon from the promo video I just watched. After I speaking with the HR rep, our source met with 2 new principals from Bronx SA1 and Bronx SA2 who are very young.

Young? How young? Michele Caracappa at BSA1 is about 30 years old. Oh, and of course a TFA grad. And Vanessa Bangser, another TFA grad is about 30 as well. What was perplexing to our mole at the recruiting party is why the leaders of the SA schools in the Bronx are not representative of the community in which they serve.

Since the two new SA schools in the Bronx are K-1, and are planning already to expand, the principal of BSA 1, Michele Caracappa was asked, about the curricular for young children and inquired if children get a chance to move around learn through movement. Caracappa replied, "Its very difficult to follow this kind authentic curriculum with the current standards for education."

What are you talking about Willis? Children 4,5,6 years old do not get a chance to learn through play? To learn to activity? Is it getting them ready for a test that they will take in 4 years?

It was mentioned to Caracappa that even though the current standards are a challenge, there are many fun and active ways to get children to learn their sight words or learn how to read through movement. Caracappa referred to the block program in which the children play with blocks for 50 minutes and are guided by a block consultant.

A block consultant? Knowing Eva, she hired this block consultant directly from Fisher-Price in return for buying all the blocks from FP. So one of the most imaginiate, creative, and independent things a child can do in school is "guided," or is it controlled, by a block consultant? This is just, well, obscene.

HSA, BSA, are not schools. They are some type of weird money making, thought control, adult controlled, bizzaro, alternate universe nightmare. How anyone would want to work there, send their children to school there is beyond the pale. Every time I read about Eva and her philosophy of education and how she treats children I can't help but think of Joan Crawford and Mommie Dearest.

Eva needs to be exposed for what she is. This is just a start.


Chalk Duster said...

Wow. Scary. I'm utterly speechless. A block consultant.

Ms. Tsouris said...

Personally I think I am totally qualified for the position of block consultant. I have personal experience with blocks with a lengthy resume of block use, from wooden to plastic brick to large cardboard brick blocks. I also have had experience with Erector Sets (ok, ok, enough with the jokes) which require block building eye hand coordination skills. I have also advised others on block use, maintenance and storage. It sounds like a great job for a retired educator. Fisher-Price, are you listening?

Anonymous said...

she is trying to take over all of ps 30 now, where are the elected officials????

Anonymous said...

Only a person who does not care about the future of this nation would write something so ugly about a person (Eva) whom is trying to give options for parents who care about their children and their future. I am a New Yorker. I grew up in the New york City school system. It was a failure when I was young and it is still a failure now. If you don't believe in HSA/BSA don't send your children their. It is an option not a zone!!!!!

Pete Zucker said...

^^^^ Too freaking funny! Thank you for the laugh!