Lynda Rubin SRC testimony – May 26, 2016

Lynda Rubin SRC pic

Good Evening. My name is Lynda Rubin.

Many of us who have been in attendance at recent SRC meetings have been dumbfounded by the machinations that appear to be going on with SRC votes, non-votes, tabling of votes and reversals of decisions on whether to vote on the renewal or non-renewal of charters. The SRC’s dishonesty about its intentions has been astonishing.

Even the press has voiced its collective confusion, if bemused wonderment, at what is really going on.

First, there’s the lengthy discussion for clarification of what the meaning of “abstain” is and how it can be used to affect a vote. These “abstentions” are then used to void previously listed resolutions to deny charter renewals.

You pluck Ken Trujillo out of his #23 placement on last week’s Speakers’ List to give him unlimited time to make his case for ASPIRA, Inc., even though there is still confusion over why he was there and in what capacity. This is the same ASPIRA, Inc. whose request for renewal was tabled by the SRC on the same night the Controllers’ Report named ASPIRA, Inc. so problematic that it should not be renewed. Is a long range behind the scenes deal in the works?

Please note that I haven’t even delved into the SRC’s “separate but unequal” treatment of Charter and District schools. Charter Schools get extensions and reconsideration while District Schools don’t. Wister was given to Mastery even after Dr. Hite had informed the public that Wister was removed from the list due to faulty data and because they had, indeed, demonstrated improvement. Munoz-Marin worked hard to create an incredibly strong parent-staff-student-administrator bond with which to improve school performance and you just HAD to split them apart. Cooke has been temporarily spared only because your charter company of choice, Great Oaks, was forced to withdraw after PSP rescinded its money, and all because Councilwoman Helen Gym publicly exposed Great Oaks’ blatant inadequacy to run the school. I wonder if PSP was also influenced by its loss of an almost $2 million dollar investment in Young Scholars after it abandoned Kenderton when it eloped to Tennessee?

In yet another rejection of its own Charter Office recommendation, the SRC voted to allow Pan American Charter School to expand its enrollment. That was based on one visit to the school by one commissioner who somehow determined that the school had an “excellent academic environment.” In contrast, although APPS members attended all of the public meetings held at Mitchell, Munoz-Marin, Roosevelt and Rhodes after they were targeted for internal turn-around, not one SRC member attended. There’s a definite double standard in place.

There appears to be a shell game mentality to SRC votes. Are you that committed to privatizing the running of public schools?