Lecker Spouts Closed-Minded Rhetoric about Bronx Charter School for Excellence

Last Friday the Stamford Advocate featured another masterpiece of deception by irate activist lawyer and sometimes irate education columnist Wendy Lecker.

In this wonderful example of closed-mindedness, Lecker attacks Bronx Charter School for Excellence (BCSE), a highly successful, award-winning charter school, which has applied to the state Department of Education to open an elementary school in Stamford.

With her head firmly in the sand, Lecker insists that Stamford Public Schools are doing just fine – that’s quite the delusion, you have there, Wendy.

While it’s true that Stamford is “wonderfully diverse,” it’s also staggeringly unequal.

For all this talk of Stamford being the bastion of equality, the city has been struggling for the past 30 years to close an extraordinarily large achievement gap.

The fact is that Stamford’s African American students still lag behind their white and Asian peers by over 20 percent in reading and math in almost every grade level. The same goes for low-income students. [Stamford Advocate, 8/17/2013]

Rather than look at the reality facing Stamford’s minority and low income students, Lecker instead promotes an “us vs them” mentality, insisting that Stamford could not learn anything from a school model like BCSE, based merely on the fact that the school originated in the Bronx.

In a recent round of assessments, BCSE outperformed almost every other school in New York State. BCSE successes caught the attention of the U.S. Department of Education, which awarded the school the National Blue Ribbon in 2012 for its “Exemplary” performance. [Daily News, 9/20/2012]

With 3,000 students on the BCSE waiting list in the Bronx, people like Lecker should feel honored that the school is attempting to bring its model to benefit Stamford students.

No, instead, Lecker shows her true-colors by pushing the false claim that BCSE stands to gain $4 Million.

She artfully fails to mention that money is the state’s per-pupil grant of $11,000 which all state funded charter schools receive — which is FAR less than what Stamford spends per-pupil. That means the new charter school would receive less taxpayer money to educate the same Stamford students.

The truth is, no matter what the stats or the cost, Lecker would be against BSCE merely on the basis that it’s a charter school. Her closed mind refuses to acknowledge that Stamford stands to gain a partner that could enrich education for all students and help the kids who for too long have fallen behind their wealthier peers.



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