Thursday, May 26, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: Eva Moskowitz Fights Back

CURMUDGUCATION: Eva Moskowitz Fights Back:

Eva Moskowitz Fights Back

Eva Moskowitz, well-paid queen of the Success Academy charter chain, just won the Savas Award from the Reason Foundation. The award is given in honor of City University of New York Presidential Professor and privatization research pioneer E.S. "Steve" Savas, and it recognizes public-private partnership, though since what we're really honoring is privatization, these are partnerships in the same way that mugging is a criminal-pedestrian partnership.

Apparently one of the prizes that comes with the Savas Award is a very friendly and gentle video interview, and ReasonTV delivered an interview for Moskowitz that is softer than a baby's bottom. I have watched it so that you don't have to and, really, unless you have a tub of blood pressure medicine handy, you probably should not watch this. 

The Warm Fuzzy Open

As opposed to a cold open. The piece begins with nice close shots of Success Academy students working hard and studying intensely. The voice-over notes that the halls are quiet and orderly, and it calls the SA schools both successful and controversial.

We toss out a graph that shows just how mightily the school beats other NYC schools on the Big Standardized Test, and you will be not so surprised that these charts are not accompanied by charts showing how Success Academy has a huge attrition rate. The video also does not mention that SA doesn't replace the many students that leave. In other words, SA students may very well get good results on the BS Tests-- but any public school could achieve the same results by pushing out all but its best test-takers.

The voice-over tells us the story of how city councilwoman Moskowitz "sank her political career by speaking out about" how unions were stifling schools (insert stock footage of Randi Weingarten, looking, I guess, amazed at the brave councilwoman calling her on her evil union baloney). So she started a charter, which became a chain, which is "often hailed as a shining example" of what school choice is achieved. Which is a great construction. I myself am often hailed as an educational genius and the inventor of modern rap music. Hey-- you don't know I'm not often hailed as that. You weren't there.

So anyway, Reason Foundation gave her this swell award, and then sat down with her to chat. Here we go!

One of the core ideas of a charter school is that it's partially insulated from politics...?

The interviewer does that sort of vocal lift that turns any string of words into a question. Moskowitz is game.

"Oh. Well," she scoffs. That's probably not reality. There's a cutaway to the interviewer as the next 
CURMUDGUCATION: Eva Moskowitz Fights Back:

Latest News and Comment from Education