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Eva Moskowitz: Wall Street Stage Mother

August 27, 2014

Hedge-funded, politically-connected New York charter pusher Eva Moskowitz is trying to paint herself as a “protector of children.”

She insinuates that her charter school forcefulness is.. ahem.. “for the children,” and likens herself to to a “mama bear”:

“I’d be bullied, maybe, if children weren’t at stake,” she said. “But my momma-bear instinct kicks in when people try to do bad things to children. And the school system on a regular basis is doing bad things to children.”

She continued ripping into city public schools, saying the majority are “incredibly segregated and getting unbelievably poor results.”

“There are many, many hundreds of schools I would not send my own children to,” she added. [Emphasis added.]

Of course, teachers unions are the problem, and Moskowitz is the solution.

The only problem is, for all of her relentless driving of students to achieve on those high-stakes tests, Moskowitz cannot even deliver on her test-results-driven “bottom line.” In June 2014, Moskowitz’s Harlem Success Academy 1 graduated its first eighth grade class– at 32 students, only a remnant of the original 76 to enroll– and not one was accepted into New York City’s elite high schools.

These 32 survived “mama,” and it took them nowhere remarkable.

In my book exposing those exploiting public education, A Chronicle of Echoes, I compare Moskowitz to a mother– a stage mother. Here’s the opening of my chapter on Moskowitz:

If Mama Rose had forsaken Vaudeville and instead had focused on a career establishing and running charter schools, she might have been mistaken for Eva Moskowitz.

The entire chapter on Moskowitz is available here for readers to view for free, compliments of

In it, I reveal Moskowitz’s drive to establish her charter school business– which is a business– one described as an “education corporation.” Moskowitz is heavily hedge-funded and has relocted her Success Academy corporate headquarters to Wall Street for $31 million over the course of 15 years– an average cost of $172,222 per month for rent alone.

Moskowitz’s self-inflicted salary has even busted the half-million mark.

And what do students get from their test-results-driven stage mother?

Test prep even on Saturdays and in bad weather.

And what do her non-unionized teachers get?

Six-day work weeks, eleven-hour work days, cell phones to make themselves available to students after school hours, the requirement to eat lunch with their students, infringement on their personal lives, and stress on their marriages.

And Eva is all for the parents– unless, of course, the parents object to what Eva wants.

It’s all in my book.

One would think that at least a couple of Moskowitz’s prized, test-prepped students would land in a prestigious NYC high school, but no.

Moskowitz has the corporate status and salary. She has the corporate drive. She even has the NYC political machine in her pocket.

But when comes to this self-deceived “mama bear” delivering on her own promised test results–

— her porridge is too cold.


  1. john a permalink

    Merecedes, you write the truth. Turning ‘truth’ to action is the problem. Eva M, as ws Michelle Rhee, the reform darling of the moment, Bluntly put: how can she and her apparent educational legitimacy be undercut, if not destroyed?

  2. Eva is no angel and she deploys a scorch and burn approach to schools ( and their kids) that get it the way of her manifest destiny) However, in my humble opinion, the polemic deployed by the anti-charter movement is equally problematical ( btw the fact that I placed a 5th grade student directly into The Horace Mann School or another was accepted into Bronx Science is merely anecdotal) and equally poitical.

  3. Sunshine permalink

    Finishing your book left me so angry Mercedes. Funny thing was, it also made the Math PD presenter angry too, but I know for all the wrong reasons. We are just starting school next week with the children, so, of course, Engage NY has taken over our much more appropriate and successful materials. (We were instructed to throw everything else into large recycling dumpsters) Anyway, this trainer, a teacher at the local university, loves loves loves the CC. He came by my table and I had a few questions about the difficulty level/efficacy of this new curriculum, he insisted that his daughter is doing amazing. Also, he went to Stanford, where his professor, James Milgram thinks CC is marvelous. Super rigorous smart and just the answer.
    So, I pulled out your book, because I thought there was something in there about the Milgram testimony against CC to the Indiana State Education Committee. (page172!:) This guy just came unglued, he HIT your book and announced that you and Diane are “conspiracy theorists”. In my twenty years of teaching, this was the highlight of any PD, ever. He stomped off, I wonder if I’ll get in trouble for bothering him with the whole critical thinking/intellectual honesty thing.

    • Sunshine, your comment made my evening. 🙂

      Not sure how directly-cited testimony from Milgram makes me any kind of “theorist” on the matter, though. Sounds like I just blew this guy’s ideology via direct evidence that is public knowledge.

      You’ll have to be sure to show this guy my book on Common Core history, development, and promotion (due to be published in spring 2015). I’m fine with his punching that one, as well. 😉

      • Sunshine permalink

        I’ll pre-order. There is a strength, clarity and divine inspiration behind all of the work you’ve done in the name of really, the kids. “Direct evidence that is public knowledge.” Yep.
        Was it an old Greek guy that said, “The truth is like a lion. You don’t have to defend it, let it loose and it can defend itself.”? You write, the cage door swings wider…

  4. Donna permalink

    An easy enough solution is…parents, do not enroll your kids there, and teachers, do not apply for jobs there. Let her fill the chairs with a paltry amount of students, which proves there is no need/market for her services, and let her get her teachers from TFA, all of them uncertified, unqualified. If certified teachers don’t work there, how will Eva get around the %age of real teachers needed to move forward and hire the scabs?

    I know its a hard market for teachers, but I’d rather take a job at Macy’s rather than subject myself to 11 hour days, 6 day work week for crap pay, and the bad treatment I hear occurs at SA. Shame on her and her new offices as well – are the offices paid for with taxes? Does the Super of any other school get such opulent digs? Her salary should be set by law, not by herself. Lastly, the testing that goes on there, should be graded not by the school staff – talk about no transparency and the opportunity to cheat and scam.

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