Tricks of a phony parent advocate | New York Post


http://nypost.com/2014/03/13/tricks-of-a-phony-parent-advocate/

Etc., etc., etc.”: So noted United Federation of Teachers shill Zakiyah Ansari responded to a question about why her child still attends the UFT’s failing, co-located charter school in Brooklyn.

Ansari was on NY1 this week in an effort to prop up Mayor de Blasio’s illegal rescinding of previously-approved colocations for three Success Academy charter schools.

Viewers were given the impression that the colocation of the UFT charter school was happily accepted by the JHS 292 school community. It wasn’t.

Parents at JHS 292 vehemently opposed that co-location, especially since the SUNY Charter Institute nearly revoked the UFT school’s charter in 2013.

The opposition was so strident that UFT chief Michael Mulgrew had to sit with JHS 292 parents and his own union members to quell their resistance. A compromise was reached in the matter and the co-location went through.

Wondering why this is important? It’s a matter of hidden agendas, hypocrisy and lies.

Last year, I exposed Zakiyah Ansari as a “fake pal of parents.” She doubles as advocacy director for the Alliance for Quality Education and “spokesparent” for New York Communities for Change and New Yorkers for Great Public Schools.Funded by the UFT and its parent, New York State United Teachers, both AQE and NYGPS pose as groups speaking on behalf of public-school parents.

Continuing the pattern of deception, Ansari hid from NY1 viewers that the low-achieving UFT Charter School’s co-location request was approved by the Bloomberg administration despite opposition from the host JHS 292 community.

There’s more: Shortly after her defending the mediocre UFT Charter School, Ansari announced on Facebook that her son will attend Eagle Academy 2 come September – that is, he’s not continuing his secondary education at the UFT school. Not a vote of confidence, is it?

Ansari’s Facebook page also indicates that her son took the specialized high school admissions test but failed to make the cut. It seems he son wanted out of the UFT Charter School badly.

Did I mention that Ansari is a parent trustee on the board of the UFT Charter School that her son will no longer attend come the fall? It’s hard keeping track of all of her many hats.

By the way, Ansari served on Mayor de Blasio’s transition team, presumably advising him on education policies.

And since de Blasio promises to gut the admissions policy at specialized high schools, I won’t be surprised to see Ansari soon assailing those successful institutions as elitist and racist.

Her hypocrisy (and that of her retainers) has no bounds.

Unlike Ansari, Harlem Success Academy IV parent Shea Greer thinks the mayor should be creating space for high-performing schools instead of denying them access.

Says Greer, “We have so many [children] wanting to get in the school, the school is doing so well and we don’t have the space for them.”

If de Blasio has issues with charter schools, he should sit down with those leaders to spell out his concerns.

Surely the mayor can find ways to collaborate with the leaders of schools that have narrowed the achievement gap over the past decade.

Mayor de Blasio should close the rhetoric gap and focus on cooperative ways to improve educational outcomes for all New York City students.

Students and parents are ill-served by an education debate beset by adult gamesmanship, hidden relationships and misinformation.

And we certainly can do without shills such as Zakiyah Ansari muddying the discussion.

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email MBenjamin9@optimum.net.
This entry was posted in African Americans, Education, Education Reform, Politics, Public Policy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Tricks of a phony parent advocate | New York Post

  1. Dale Benjamin Drakeford says:

    Power Prejudice is alive and well in New York. No question that all co-locations should cease immediately. In my view, if not illegal, unethical for them to have existed in the first place. The new mayor is right to do away with financing private enterprise, but his associations from pastors to educational consultants is certainly suspect and can contaminate his worthy goals.

    Like

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