Monday, February 22, 2010
JW Email 16
Hello, good evening,
I've been waiting for news from my main sources, but the DA was postponed til this coming week and the Bronx HS meeting was plain cancelled for the month, so in this email are a few things I've collected that have been sitting in my Drafts folder for too long.
BITS OF DISCOURAGING NEWS
John Tarleton of The Indypendent has published a couple of posts recently on EdDeform. The first, "The Faces of School Reform," contains the national players (Bill Gates, Duncan, Broad, etc.). Writes Angel Gonzalez: "If one traces the background of most of the DOE, the State Regents and the Federal Obama Department of Education, most of these chiefs are linked directly to corporate profiteers of some sort. There is somewhere on the internet (I can't relocate it), a web-chart that list the names of all these local, state, & national education officials and their corporate links. If anyone can find it, please circulate. It illustrates well the big monied-monsters that we fight. These corporates below need to become the targets of our protests & organizing work. Follow the money & here are your targets."
Of more local interest are his "Taking the Public out of Public Schools," , "Bloomberg's 12-Step Method to Close Down Public Schools," and "New York Schools by the Numbers," as well as Seung Ok's "FIRST PERSON: Stealing the Best and Brightest from Public Schools." in the same series.
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There are two posts by Arthur Goldstein in Gotham on closing schools:
"The Kids Nobody Wants" : "Meanwhile, why would city principals want these kids? They’re a drag on their statistics. And in today’s DOE, statistics are all that counts."
"No Neighborhood Schools for You" : "So you’d think before taking the draconian step of closing a school, statistics would be checked with great care. You’d be wrong, of course."
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A terrific article on the history of the ATR situation over the past two years on Ednotes: "The Reckless Reorganization of District 79": Author Rose Panepento says: "...... hundreds of our colleagues ending up as ATRs. Now that the Board of Ed is closing 19 more schools, I think our particular struggle is more relevant than ever. I invite you to read this "retrospective" and welcome your comments."
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Next, NYC Rubber Room Reporter on "The NYC BoE Perp Talk", what looks to be the start of a series on Tweed officials with dicey backgrounds. This post mentions Inspector Milton Smith of the Pupil transportation Dept and now in jail:
"SMITH is the seventh and final defendant who is a current or former DOE supervisor or inspector to plead or be found guilty in this case."
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Also discussed are the shenanigans of others involved, and I'm thinking this mini-series should make for interesting reading. Author of the blog, Betsy Combier, also mentions Joel Klein, whom we know is circumventing laws and contracts and who is, according to Combier's Feb. 5th post, responsible for this:
"Starting at around 6PM and lasting until 3AM on January 26-27 2010, more than 3,000 outraged New York City residents showed up at a fake school board meeting (the Panel For Educational Policy has no administrative or executive function, violate their own Bylaws, have no minutes, and obstruct public discussion) to protest the closing of 20 New York City public schools by the pretend Chancellor of the New York City Board of Education, Joel I Klein. This is a fact."
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Next and article someone sent around that pinpoints exactly where public education for the masses is headed. The title is self-explanatory. Muriel Kane: Detroit schools offer class in how to work at Walmart
"Walmart has been widely condemned for offering its employees only low-paying, dead end jobs. Even President Obama criticized Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential campaign for having served on Walmart's board and stated that the firm ought to pay "a living wage." In inner-city Detroit, however, where the unemployment rate is estimated at an astonishing 50%, the prospect of a Walmart job may appear far more attractive.
Four inner-city Detroit high schools have decided that employment with Walmart is an opportunity worth training their students to pursue. The schools have teamed up with the giant merchandiser to offer a for-credit class in job-readiness training that also includes entry-level after-school jobs."
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That's not to say I believe he or any of the other politicians are going to protect teachers who are there without charges or on trumped-up charges. I believe this is headed towards fire them faster.
It's not too early to tell people the way to fill in the ballot when they come in the mail. I'm not saying WHO to vote for, just HOW to do actually fill the thing out. I'm told that roughly 2000 ballots were invalidated in the last election because people but an X next to the names of individual candidates (perhaps their friends, or people they knew) and also put an X in the box next to the whole slate. Be careful not to make that mistake.
MARCH 4th DEMONSTRATIONS
This from the TJC leaflet:
CONTINUE THE FIGHT ON MARCH 4!
March 4 has been declared a "National Day of Action to Defend Education." Unions and student groups across the country will take part. Here in New York City, Teachers for a Just Contract will join a growing coalition of grassroots organizations calling for a demonstration at Governor Paterson's Manhattan office, to end school closings and cuts in educational aid, including student Metrocards.
Norm Scott writes: "Oakland teachers voted to strike that day. LA is in a state of flux. Chicago's CORE teachers caucus is challenging for union leadership. Detroit teachers who got the worst contract in history - which Randi helped broker and has praised - voted to recall their union leader, a Randi ally but he is refusing to go. In Washington Nathan Saunders is running for union president.
In NYC, things are in the early stages of organizing, galvanized by the massive closing of schools and the charter school invasion. Many groups are forming and some are coming together in various configurations to join with parents and even students. The Jan 21 rally at Bloomberg's house was a success and of course the massive outpouring on Jan. 26 opened a lot of eyes.