We need to really walk the walk


To the editor:

Just returned from the “We are the change/We are the Future” rally organized by the interest group with the longest name: Parents United in Support of International Leadership Charter School. A scene straight out of Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” International Leadership emptied its high school to fluff the numbers and provide a sheep chorus.

Four legs good! Two legs bad. (Astroturf reprehensible.)

But when they stuff 300 students into a footprint that can only accommodate 134, replicating the worst half of the overcrowding in the public schools, they’ll be taught to chant “four legs good, two legs better!”

I wonder how they’ll bill the education department for the lost classroom time. Or will they describe it as a social studies field trip on the topic of direct action? Maybe it’s a literature course exploring the work of George Orwell?

As I predicted, they are framing the argument as privileged (white) NIMBY opposition to the exercise of parental choice by the poor downtrodden and underserved Asian/Latinx, Caribbean, Black and immigrant communities.

The high school can be rightfully proud of its accomplishments. But this middle school — populated as they propose — is just Napoleon Shipping Boxer off to the Knacker for a bottle of whisky.

The high school is a beautifully designed facility for education. The middle school is a warehouse for children so that International Leadership can fluff their enrollment numbers while the developer lines his pockets — for the next 30 years — out of the education department budget.

They are turning themselves into the very thing they claim to abhor, and claim they are fighting against overcrowded classrooms.

Don’t talk the talk if you don’t walk the walk.

Eli Ignatoff

Eli Ignatoff, Parents United in Support of International Leadership Charter School, George Orwell, NIMBY, immigrants