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Local charter schools like Harlem Success are big business as millions are poured into marketing
The image of hundreds of black and Latino parents packed in an auditorium desperately hoping their child would "win" the lottery and get into a local charter school has assumed mythic status in media reports on education reform.
Two new two documentaries, "The Lottery" and "Waiting for Superman," made such events the emotional climax of their narratives. The former centered on Harlem Success, the charter network Schools Chancellor Joel Klein hails when he points to the demand for more charter schools.
But a Daily News review of Harlem Success financial reports suggests the network's huge backlog of applicants is the result of a carefully crafted Madison Ave.-style promotional campaign. In the two-year period between July 2007 and June 2009, Harlem Success spent $1.3 million to market itself to the Harlem community, the group's most recent financial filings show.
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