Good evening to everyone in this auditorium who cares enough about public education to have come to this meeting. I am Karel Kilimnik – a retired teacher and co-founder of the Alliance for Public Schools.
You need to heed Councilwoman’s Gym call for a moratorium on Renaissance Charter Schools and take action tonight to vote no on resolutions SRC 15,16, & 17. Initially Dr. Hite proposed using data as the criteria for selecting schools. The five SRC commissioners sitting in front of us overrode his recommendation on January 21st. Now it is not data but connections to charter school operators that appear to be the deciding factor. Scott Gordon, CEO of Mastery, not only was one of the founding members of PSP but as they discussed their concern over the district’s choice of charter operators, Scott Gordon actually suggested that PSP could influence the district’s choice with advance notice of operators PSP would not fund. There have been several articles about the apparent conflict of interest that commissioner Simms has with Mastery that need to be fully investigated. Commissioner Jimenez recuses herself when anything relating to Mastery has to be voted on. This would not happen if we had an elected school board. Christina Grant, a recently hired assistant superintendent was superintendent of the Great Oaks Charter Schools. Coincidence that they want to manage Cooke, I think not.
Vote no on SRC 15,16,& 17. Stop destroying our neighborhood public schools. Start providing them with the resources they need. Stop the charade that you are improving students’ lives by throwing their teachers and principals out and turning their schools over to privately managed charter operators.