NICOLE KALI

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SUCCESS ACADEMY STORY

"There is no better investment than the education of all our children. And there's no more innovative educator than Eva Moskowitz."
- Julian Robertson (x)

Disclaimer: Did not attend Success Academy. This point-of-view is for narrative purposes.


 I was part of the new corporatocracy wave! There's a sinister plan for nationwide education.

BIG BUSINESS TAKEOVER

"President-elect Trump is going to be the best thing that ever happened for school choice and the charter school movement," former Mayor Guiliani says. "It's a priority." (x)

"The underlying drive is to build something that can spread, can be recreated in different cities.

 Otherwise it’s not as meaningful." John Petry has a vision for America at large. It's not pretty.

I went to Success Academy, America's Wall Street-charter schools since 2006. Eva Moskowitz is founder and CEO.

She's supposed to be a nice lady, a former New York City Councilwoman and education committee leader.

But New Yorkers wondered why such a nice lady would abolish teachers' unions.

They also wondered how many wealthy investors and education reformers worked with Eva.

Ms. Moskowitz has friends in high places, even Rupert Murdoch and the Walton (Wal-Mart) family.

Suddenly she fought with Mayor de Blasio for "evicting" Success students in PS 149.

That was untrue. Her plan was the expansion of an additional middle school, but that kicked out disabled students there.

She already gained rent space for no costs. And five of eight new Success Academies were approved.

But at any cost, Eva Moskowitz wanted to get her way.

Facts weren't important. For months, Ms. Moskowitz ran multi-million dollar ads against DeBlasio.

I wasn't sure about her anymore. Neither were the Success faculty across the city.

New York had the most segregated schools in the country.

Charter schools were especially sectioned off, since 1% white students or less went to 3/4 of them.

Did the Success Academy plan reinforce divide? Was that the goal?

 "I will work with Trump and whoever he selects as next education secretary to increase educational opportunities for American families." (x)

Ms. Moskowitz met Ivanka Trump too, someone with no business in education.

CROOKED COMRADERY

Joel Greenblatt and John Petry set up Success Academy. They're two big-time hedge fund managers out of 50 funding the school.

In 2014, Eva Moskowitz relocated head offices to Wall Street. Daniel Loeb is the Success Academy's board chair.

SA teaches 11,000 disadvantaged students in New York City's low-income areas. 93% of Success students are Black or Latino.


P.S. 297/Success Academy, Bedstuy


Academy in Fort Greene, Brooklyn

As if things weren't ominous enough, Betsy DeVos' education foundation donated $300,000 (x).

Success Academy's backers hold fancy benefit dinners with hundreds of fellow Wall Streeters like Rupert Murdoch, John Paulson and Kelly Posner. They talk a lot about helping the needy there.

Julian Robertson lied about something at the 2014 spring benefit gala.


"Success Academy's approach to public education has demonstrated that children from any ZIP code can achieve their full potential."

How was that so when the school board overcharges for special education? Money always seemed to go in and out of Success Academy. They spent $2,000 more than other schools per child.

It didn't translate.

UGLY OVERSIGHT

 At Success Academy, a teacher yelled at a first grader, principals had a student "got to go" list and worse.

Paul Fucaloro inspired Ms. Moskowitz's school discipline. He was a veteran teacher, meaner than most.

"I’m not a big believer in special ed," he said in an old video. Then everyone found out Success Academy had a lower special education student body than most citywide schools.

"We have a gap to close. I want the kids on edge, constantly...like little test-taking machines." (x)

 Success Academy singles out the disabled and poorer kids because they need more care. No room for failure.

Staff tried to change any different or non-model students with punishment.

"The school is not a social-service agency."

Since day one, Success Academy promised to be fair. School lasts from 7:30 to 4:30. Mr. Fucaloro held students an hour or more past dismissal. What was going on?

All of the founders and staff claimed they cared. It seemed like the opposite immediately. Kids couldn't even make bathroom breaks in time (x).

If you got enough infractions, the entire family had to attend Saturday Academy all day!

Abuse happened in minority school districts like Harlem or Prospect Heights, to kids young as five.

SA co-located with public schools in a slow takeover of their space. Why were charter and non-charter school students being mistreated?

Ms. Moskowitz kept running Success Academy with a strict iron fist. School wasn't fun for us. We were worked too hard, and so were the teachers.

Mental pressure forced some kids to run away out of anxiety. You could get suspended for that! (x)

Saying "hi" to friends wasn't allowed in the Upper West Side Success Academy either. Jacqueline Getz had been the principal for only a few weeks before quitting there.


"Zero-noise" hallways are now at every Success Academy.

Suspension went up and up. Some students couldn't come back for 45 days.

"I felt exhausted. I was sick all the time." (x) The toxic environment of Wall Street crept in.

Children my age ran the risk of the school-to-prison pipeline, just by having the wrong zip code.

 On the street, they could be stop-and-frisked or given 15 years in jail. Nothing was said about it in the Academy.

It started to make me angry.

What was Success Academy doing about serious problems in the surrounding community? I saw what others did. Eva's behavior was nothing short of despicable.


Ms. Moskowitz photo-bombing protesters outside her Manhattan home (NY Daily News)

Fatima Geidi was one brave parent who filed a federal lawsuit against the school.

"One day on a practice exam, Jamir’s teacher yelled at him. She said she was going to fail him because he wasn’t writing fast enough.

After that, Jamir had an anxiety attack and had to go to the hospital." (x)

HEDGE FUNDS AND REVOLVING DOORS

The American Dream became a gross nightmare. Banks and hedge funds could combine a tax break and credit to earn double their investments.

...if they lent to charter schools in underprivileged, underserved neighborhoods (x).

Success Academy's financiers were responsible for ruining those same poor people's lives.


Mr. Loeb, also CEO for Third Point.


Bruce and Suzie Kovner, both board members

The white ruling elite use charter schools and privatized education to exploit, punish poor neighborhoods and people who want more for their kids.

Life lessons and academic progress could never come from a Wall Street education, one that pushes every other student out.

So I left to do the real learning.

AWAKENING OF TRUTH

I searched for Malcolm's wisdom, Martin Luther King's peaceful understanding, the inner Black revolutionary woman.

I found perspective in the roots of true Africa. And individual impact led me to the true path.

I woke up. I joined with the ancient goddess and natural power...as Nicole Kali.


RESISTANCE

Moralless profiteers cannot chain the mind. They won't get away with breaking the spirit.

The ties will cut between big business and education nationwide. But it'll be a tough fight.

Success Academy has no measurable results for doing well later on in life. But it's certainly creating the future revolutionaries.

The school network is run by unfeeling money-lords like Paul Ryan.

Youth like me? We turn the tides against cruel leaders, their shameful war on children.

 


Seth Low IS students resisting in Bensonhurst


    P.S. 123 in Harlem


Berkeley High, California



What else can the plutocracy expect, when we see who the real gangsters are?


Return to Reality

Malcolm X Talks to Youth

Student Discipline, Race and Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy Schools
(Shanker Institute)

A Turning Point for the Charter School Movement (Truth-Out, 8-30-16)