Success Academy Charter Schools founder Eva Moskowitz continued her media tour this morning, slamming “so-called progressive” Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to pull the plug on three of her schools.
“We have a mayor in the City of New York who says he’s a progressive on the one hand, but wants to deny poor kids in Harlem an opportunity, a shot at life,” said Ms. Moskowitz, speaking to a receptive audience on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
She went on to accuse the mayor of trying to “disenfranchise poor minority kids who want a shot at the American dream.” “I was never expecting in my wildest dreas that the mayor of the city of New York–a so-called progressive–would throw children in Harlem out in the street,’ she added.
“This is outrageous. I’ll say something else: It’s immoral. It’s immoral,” concurred host Joe Scarborough, who called the “personal, vindictive attack” against Ms. Moskowitz “disgusting” and hailed Gov. Andrew Cuomo for appearing at a pro-charter school rally in Albany yesterday.
“Today, we are all Andrew Cuomo fans,” he declared.
Meanwhile, in an interview on Capital Tonight yesterday, Ms. Moskowitz said she is leaving her options open when it comes to whether she is planning any kind of legal challenge to the Department of Education’s ruling. (She appeared on NY1’s Inside City Hall last night as well.)
“We’re considering all our options,” she stated. “We’re not going to have those kids educationally homeless. We’re not going to throw ‘em out on the street and say, ‘Find your own way to fulfill your dreams.’ We’re gonna find a way to educate those kids. And if we have to educate them in Central Park or the steps of City Hall, then that’s what we will do.”
Yesterday’s dueling rallies–the charter school advocates demonstrated at the same time as Mr. de Blasio and his allies, who are trying to convince state lawmakers to allow the city to hike taxes on the wealthy to fund universal pre-K–seemed to have ended well for Ms. Moskowitz, if the tabloid headlines are any indication.
Ms. Moskowitz shut down her schools for the day so students and parents could attend the rally, which she dubbed “the biggest civic field trip in history.” (Kids received several hours of “robust” teaching on the bus, she said.)
In the Capital Tonight interview, she further lamented the treatment of city charters schools by Mr. de Blasio, complaining that, “We are feeling very much under attack,” and called the closure decisions “unfathomable” and “unconscionable.”
“We had sort of hoped that—often there’s a difference between campaign rhetoric and governing. And once you settle in and have to collect the garbage and collect the snow and deal with all the problems, that you really don’t have as much time for ideology and kind of grand statements and you have to kind of get down to the business of governing and providing high-quality services to the citizens,” she said. “So we were hoping that, you know once Mayor de Blasio got in office, that he would want a dialogue with the charter community and charter parents. And that has not been the case, unfortunately.”
“I would just say it’s time to put the rhetoric aside if he has some personal beef,” she concluded. “Children should not suffer the consequences of whatever his feelings are.”
The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
View the MSNBC interview below: