Charter Schools Chief Tells It (sort of) Like It Is

Michael Duffy photo: the Lo-Down

In a revealing interview with NYC Department of Education charter schools head Michael Duffy, Ed Litvak of the Lower East Side news blog The Lo-Down questions Duffy about how the NYCDOE used a recent public hearing on the proposed expansion of a Lower East Side charter school. Duffy’s response won’t surprise anyone who has sat through a charter school hearing:

“It definitely provides a forum for people to speak out, and I think that’s a good thing. It helps to get good information out there… I think, for my part, in a couple of hours of comments, I didn’t hear anything new from the public that wasn’t already known prior to the start of the hearing. I know it’s important that people have a chance to speak their mind, but I don’t think there’s anything that wasn’t known to the Department prior to the proposal…”

Elsewhere in the interview, Duffy candidly concedes that NYC charters underserve ELL students and confirms that parents opposed to charters have little recourse under mayoral control. But Duffy is not above spinning things when it’s useful to do so. Queried about parent protests, Duffy compares Mayor Bloomberg with his predecessors:  “he’s less swayed by the heat that’s generated by the few parents who might be disgruntled with a particular decision.” Litvak didn’t report what Duffy meant by “few.”

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