Fresh off PR shake-up, Moskowitz lashes out again at Times
Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz sharply criticized a New York Times reporter and the media in general in a staff-wide email, calling out "haters" in response to a widely shared Times story showing a Success Academy teacher screaming at a young child and ripping up her work paper for struggling with a math problem.
In a note sent Friday morning to Success employees, Moskowitz seeks to portray the Times as having a vendetta against the network. Moskowitz calls into question the Times' reporting methods, and writes, "a year or eighteen months from now, this reporter will have transferred to a different beat; you, on the other hand, will have transformed children's lives."
"We must not allow the haters to bully us or stop us from re-imagining public education," Moskowitz writes.
Moskowitz, a former city councilwoman, also argues that "if this were a video of a district teacher, the New York Times would almost certainly ignore it."
She then asks her staff to respond to the article in the Times' comments section and send letters to the Times' editors to share a transcript the network created of Times reporter Kate Taylor interviewing satisfied Success parents.
Success has switched public relations companies several times over the last year in an attempt to tamp down critical coverage of the network. On Friday, the influential PR firm Mercury announced that it would now be representing Success, a pivot from the internal communications team that has handled the network's media requests for roughly a year.
Friday's note to Success staff is similar to others Moskowitz has written in the wake of tough media coverage.
After a Times story revealing a "got to go" list of held by one Success principal of unruly students, she claimed the media was out to get the network. She made a similar argument after a PBS News Hour show scrutinizing Success' suspension policies for young children aired.
This time, Moskowitz sought to get out ahead of the Times piece.
She recorded a video message for staffers - less easily sharable with reporters than an employee-wide email - explaining the upcoming Times story and describing it as an anomaly.
But in the email, she also asks her staff to look out for teachers who sound "frustrated or exhausted" in their classrooms and then "relieve him or her of her responsibilities" for a few moments.
Moskowitz asks Success staff to "support" Charlotte Dial, the teacher in the video, who the Times reported was suspended for a week and a half before returning to her classroom at Success Academy Cobble Hill. The network employed a similar tactic with Candido Brown, the former Success Academy Fort Greene principal who kept the "got to go" list. Brown took a leave of absence from the network shortly after the article was published, but within a few weeks had simply switched Success schools and is now teaching at a Success school in Harlem.
Read the Times story here: http://nyti.ms/1PHqFsM
See the transcript of Success Cobble Hill parents praising their school here: http://bit.ly/20Q1WNm.