Charter school effort stirs fight in N.Y. district

Fernanda Santos

The guests sipped wine and nibbled sushi, guacamole and Gruyere – lawyers, bankers, preschool teachers, managers and consultants of various kinds, bound together by the anxious decision they must confront in the months ahead: where their 4-year-olds will go to school in the fall.
Downstairs, a flyer by the doorman’s desk had greeted them with a provocative question: “Why should you have to spend college tuition on kindergarten?” Back upstairs, in the stylish apartment on West 99th Street, Eva S. Moskowitz, a former City Council member who runs a network of charter schools in Harlem and the Bronx, delivered a tantalizing sales talk.
“Middle-class families need options too,” she said.
But Moskowitz is trying to expand her chain into a whole new precinct of the city, the relatively well-off Upper West Side. And outside the parties she has organized to drum up interest, the reaction has been anything but warm from the neighborhood’s stridently anti-charter political establishment.