Charter Schools and WAGPOPS! (Interview)

This article brought to you by a donation to our Writer’s Fund from Five Leaves.

Williamsburg and Greenpoint Parents Our Public Schools! or WAGPOPS! is an organization formed in 2011 by parents of public school students in North Brooklyn’s District 14.

The group, which is the focus of a recent Village Voice story, consists of hundreds of parents and community members “who support and promote schools that are of, for and by the community.”

Just this month, WAGPOPS filed a lawsuit against SUNY, in an attempt to stop Citizens of the World Charter Schools, which is trying to make inroads into District 14, from opening two new charter schools in North Brooklyn in Fall 2013.

The following interview was conducted via email with Brooke Parker, one of WAGPOPS’ founders:

GP: What does WAGPOPS do? When and in response to what was the group formed?

Brooke: Williamsburg and Greenpoint Parents: Our Public Schools! was formed by a group of parents who met on the brooklynbabyhui, a private listserv for local parents of infants and toddlers. In December 2011, “Success Academy Charter Schools” launched a super-expensive ad campaign with “Success Academy” posters all over the Northside subways.  Parents on the listserv then discovered that Eva Moskowitz’ husband, Eric Grannis, was trying to recruit parents off the brooklynbabyhui to push for more charter schools in North Brooklyn. We began emailing each other off-list, only meeting in person months later. None of us expected to become grassroots activists, but like the neighborhood residents who fought Radicac, we responded to a real threat to our neighborhood public schools and became more outraged the more we learned.

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