Monday, October 9, 2017

Why is Daniel Loeb Still the Chairman of Success Academy Charter Schools?

by Lisa Eggert Litvin

This summer, Daniel Loeb, the Chairman of the Board of Success Academy Charter Schools, posted on Facebook that NY Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who is African-American, did “more damage to people of color than anyone who had ever donned a hood,” referring of course to the Ku Klux Klan. Joseph Belluck, the Chairman of the SUNY Charter Schools Committee, which oversees Success Academy, tweeted that Loeb's "comments are not acceptable and we are reviewing the options." Belluck further stated that “'It would be difficult for me to expand the network of a school that has somebody on the board that holds those views .... I’m trying to signal it would be very difficult going forward if he doesn’t' step down." In addition, "[i]t was important, he said, to show children that people should be held accountable for racially charged comments, especially in the wake of a white-supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Va., this month."
Nearly two months later, Loeb still remains in full charge as Chairman of the Board of Success Academy Charter Schools, with no apparent consequences for his offensive remarks.
In the meantime, the SUNY Charter Schools Committee is fast tracking multiple-year extensions for eight Success Academy schools via an early renewal process, despite Chairman Belluck's public comments that Loeb's continued work with Success would present a hurdle to expansion. In fact, not one member of the SUNY Committee has suggested slowing or stopping the expedited Success Academy renewals, leaving the public to infer that Loeb’s comments are no longer an issue for the Committee.
Making matters even more compelling is that the eight fast-tracked Success Academy schools are suffering from problems so severe that the SUNY Committee should be asking whether these schools should be renewed at all, not whether renewal should be expedited. For example, the eight schools all serve only very young children, from kindergarten through third grade -- and yet their average suspension rate is a whopping 7.4%. Two of the schools are in questionable financial positions, showing negative assets, and a third couldn’t cover its annual expenses.
Even worse, the schools are woefully underenrolled, despite Success Academy’s constant claims of huge waitlists. To prevent charter schools from cherry-picking top students and skewing their test scores, the State sets enrollment targets for all charters for critical groups of students. Thus, each charter has mandated targets for economically disadvantaged students, English language learners (ELL), and students with disabilities (SWD). Not one of these fast-tracked Success Academy schools has met its three mandated targets. And some are so profoundly underenrolled that it one wonders what kind of efforts are being made. Success Bergen Beach has an ELL target of 13.7% and yet enrolls only 1.3%. Success Academy Rosedale has an ELL target of 10% and enrolls only 3%. Success Bronx 3 has an SWD target of 18.9% and enrolls only 8.7%. And the list goes on.
It is time, in fact, it is long overdue, that the SUNY Charter Schools Committee stop being a rubber stamp for the Success Academy network and make good on its promises. Chairman Belluck and Committee members: do not allow expansion as long as Daniel Loeb remains connected in any way to Success Academy, as you promised. And do not allow schools that under Loeb’s management have failed to even come near mandated enrollment requirements to be rewarded with early renewal. Know that New York is watching: send a message and remove Daniel Loeb. Tell NY that hateful racist comments will not be tolerated. Silence and inaction on your part is not an option.
Submitted by Lisa Eggert Litvin
President of Hastings-on-Hudson Board of Education
President Emerita, Hastings-on-Hudson PTSA
Submitted in my personal capacity


Support:
Loeb’s racial comment: “Daniel Loeb, a Cuomo Donor, Makes Racial Remark About Black Leader,” https://www.nytimes.com/…/ny…/democrats-new-york-blacks.html
"It would be difficult for me to expand the network of a school that has somebody on the board that holds those views…." https://www.wsj.com/…/daniel-loebs-racially-charged-post-co…
Suspension data: see data below on each school
Enrollment data: see data below on each school
Schools with negative assets: Success Academy Hells Kitchen, Success Academy Rosedale (See detail below)
School with annual expenses that it couldn’t cover: Success Academy Bronx 3 (see detail below)
1. Success Academy Bensonhurst
Underenrollment:
Economically Disadvantaged (ED): Target 84.3%, actual 55.4%
English Language Learner (ELL): Target 22.7%, actual 20.8%
Students With Disabilities (SWD): Target: 17.3%, actual 15.6%
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/…/SABensonhurst.5.17.17.pdf. (page AX-3, Enrollment and Retention Target Chart)
Percent of students suspended:
0%
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/…/SABensonhurst.5.17.17.pdf. (page AX-4)
2. Success Academy Bergen Beach
Underenrollment
Economically Disadvantaged (ED): Target 76.2%, actual 60.1%
English Language Learner (ELL): Target 13.7%, actual 1.3%
Students With Disabilities (SWD): Target: 15.3%, actual 8.6%
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/…/SABergenBeach.5.17.17.pdf ;(page AX-3, Enrollment and Retention Target Chart)
Percent of students suspended:
12% (k-2)
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/…/SABergenBeach.5.17.17.pdf ;(page AX-4)
3. Success Academy Bronx 3
Operates at a loss (2015-16)
Total Operating Revenue: $5,299,527
Total Expenses: $5,554,178
Loss: $254,651
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/uploa…/SABronx3.5.17.17.pdf page AX-11, (Operating Revenue Chart, Expenses Revenue Chart), See also chart page AX-12, entry for “% of Revenue Exceeding Expenses: negative 4.4% (Per Student Breakdown/Expenses Chart)
Underenrollment:
Economically Disadvantaged (ED): Target 89.0%, actual 85.6%
English Language Learner (ELL): Target 12.8%, actual 5.4%
Students With Disabilities (SWD): Target: 18.9%, actual 8.7%
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/uploa…/SABronx3.5.17.17.pdf (page AX-3, Enrollment and Retention Target Chart)
Percent of students supspended:
8.7 (k-3)
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/uploa…/SABronx3.5.17.17.pdf page AX-4)
4. Success Academy Bronx 4
Underenrollment:
Economically Disadvantaged (ED): Target 89.0%, actual 82.4%
English Language Learner (ELL): Target 12.8%, actual 7.5%
Students With Disabilities (SWD): Target: 18.0%, actual 8.8%
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/uploa…/SABronx4.5.17.17.pdf (page AX-3, Enrollment and Retention Target Chart)
Percent of students supspended:
13.4 (k-2)
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/uploa…/SABronx4.5.17.17.pdf (page AX-4)
5. Success Academy Hells Kitchen
Negative Net Assets (2015-16)
Net assets: negative $588,074
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/wp-content/…/SAHK.5.17.17.pdf (page AX-11 (Change in Net Assets Chart))
Underenrollment:
English Language Learner (ELL): Target 12.4%, actual 8.4%
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/wp-content/…/SAHK.5.17.17.pdf(page AX-3, Enrollment and Retention Target Chart)
Percent of students supspended:
6. Success Academy Rosedale
Negative Net Assets (2015-16)
Net assets: negative $80,532
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/upl…/SARosedale.5.17.17.pdf (page AX-11 (Change in Net Assets Chart)
Underenrollment:
Economically Disadvantaged (ED): Target 84.7%, actual 67.1%
English Language Learner (ELL): Target 10.0%, actual 3.0%
Students With Disabilities (SWD): Target: 13.0%, actual 7.6%
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/upl…/SARosedale.5.17.17.pdf (page AX-3, Enrollment and Retention Target Chart)
Percent of students supspended:
8.4 (k-2)
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/upl…/SARosedale.5.17.17.pdf (page AX-4)
7. Success Academy Springfield Gardens
Underenrollment:
Economically Disadvantaged (ED): Target 84.7%, actual 76.6%
English Language Learner (ELL): Target 10.0%, actual 2.1%
Students With Disabilities (SWD): Target: 13.0%, actual 8.8%
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/SASpringfieldGardens.5.17.… (page AX-3, Enrollment and Retention Target Chart)
Percent of students supspended:
6.7 (k-2)
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/SASpringfieldGardens.5.17.… (page AX-4)
8. Success Academy Washington Heights
Underenrollment:
Economically Disadvantaged (ED): Target 88.6%, actual 77.2%
English Language Learner (ELL): Target 37.0%, actual 17.7%
Students With Disabilities (SWD): Target: 14.3%, actual 12.9%
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/SAWashingtonHeights.5.17.1… (page AX-3, Enrollment and Retention Target Chart)
Percent of students supspended:
6.5(k-2)
http://www.newyorkcharters.org/…/SAWashingtonHeights.5.17.1… (page AX-4)

1 comment:

  1. The racism in the Success Academy orbit goes even further - billionaire board member Charles Strauch was caught deleting blog posts after being called out for insulting "blacksplaining" and sharing Breitbart tracts about Obama being unfit because of his African heritage, with "ancestors who lived in mud huts":
    https://www.alternet.org/success-academy-race-baiting-trolls

    Far worse is the bombshell dropped in the Milo Yiannopolis leaked emails, showing that billionaire Success Academy donors Robert and Rebekah Mercer funded Yiannopolis (even after his "pro-pedophelia" comments), along with Steve Bannon and Breitbart.com as they collaborated and co-wrote articles with known white supremacists and neo-nazis. Success took at least $1 million from the Mercers:
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/josephbernstein/heres-how-breitbart-and-milo-smuggled-white-nationalism

    Add to this the anti-LGBT history of Success donor Betsy DeVos (which she lied about in her confirmation hearing) and the fact that Mr. Loeb and two other billionaire Success board members (John Paulson and Julian Robertson) bought billions in Puerto Rico's debt looking to profit off the hardship and the misery of the Puerto Rican people.

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