Congrats to the Lefferts Gardens Charter School on choosing its new school leader. He's Michael Windram, most recently of the Mott Haven Academy. After a national search for a new principal, the board and parent's association seems very pleased with their choice and hopes to start its fourth year on solid footing, knowing that its home on Parkside will be its home - the co-location has been approved for permanent status. The capable Wendy Ramos, Bronx Charter School of the Arts, was hired this year as head of operations; and Katrina Raben as curriculum coordinator. There's been a bit of a shakeup on the board as well, and the probably too small current board is looking to find strong new members. All in all, things are looking up.
One last thing to note, and it's no small passing tidbit. I've noted here before that I think it's worthy of note that the "progressive" charter school movement seems to have no problem with union-busting, as the vast majority of charters choose to form without UFT support (New American Academy's new charter opening this fall being a rare exception). But just recently, LGCS teachers sent a letter to the administration and board stating their intention to form a union, allied with the United Federation of Teachers. In other words, LGCS will be unionized, assuming the board doesn't decide to go all Ronald Reagan and fire them all like in his union crippling move of 1981. Given what I've seen - great teachers and a warm, tight-knit family vibe at the school, this is more about protections and job security, and about the basic rights that workers have fought so hard over the last century to secure for themselves. [When I sat for awhile on an unsuccessful bid to build a charter school, I couldn't get around how uncomfortable I was with the way the charter movement took for granted the idea that school's are always better if they have no union. Well, we've all heard the horror stories about rubber rooms and wretched teachers who should've been fired years ago. But does that mean that teachers should be denied basic workers contracts? I firmly believe that schools are better when teachers are happiest and most supported. They must be good teachers sure. But like any workplace, they must feel secure and know that they have the tools and the security and the backup to grow and succeed. Fear is never a good motivator - and I think that's been the problem with teacher testing from the get-go. It's a management tool...it's not about making better teachers. It may be useful in getting rid of the worst of the worst. But dang you should be able to spend a day or two in the classrom and figure that out yourself!! Why put ALL the kids through the stress of tests for that?]
Interesting. Very interesting.
Anyhoo, congrats LGCS on a successful consummation of your search!
The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.