Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Harlem Success Tries to Turn White as the Worm Keeps Turning - Eva's Hubby Gets Into the Act

Gotham: Eric Grannis, charter board member and Eva Moskowitz’s husband:
Charters should integrate. (Daily News)

Michael Fiorillo
Grannis' piece in the Daily News is nothing more than transparent attempt to justify his wife's invasion of the Brandeis HS building on the Upper West Side. In other words, the usual charter operator's dissembling and deceptive use of civil rights rhetoric in service of privatization.
I go further than Michael. HSA is ready to move to the white middle class where test scores come easy. My racism detector has been activated. Just like I reported the other day when Eva (rich white woman) organized poor Black people to oppose the NAACP law suit against closing schools and charter co-locos. (Eric Grannis supposedly reads ed notes so he should be happy to see his name in print.)
Maybe we'd serve minority students better if, instead of creating good schools for minorities to make up for the bad schools minorities have had for so long, we just created good schools for everyone. As the Supreme Court has said, "he way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
Gee, Eric, how disingenuous of you. If you wanted to integrate your charter schools why don't you offer buses to all those white parents who want to attend HSA and bus them into Harlem at your local HSA schools there. Let's see how attractive the white parents consider your schools then. Or is it just about Brandeis or Bust?

I posted a video over the weekend where you can see the new (white) faces HSA is looking for snickering at the Brandeis HS press conference where parents and community opposed the HSA takeover of whole sections of public real estate. What next Eric, HSA condos?

Brandeis HS - Opposing HSA Invasion - May 26, 2011
A PS 241 teacher describes the impact on her school from having a Harlem Success Academy school in her building. I challenged and captured some comments from HSA future parents, the face of the attempt to gentrify charter schools on the upper west side.


Also this video of Julie Cavanagh savaging charters:


For those of you who don't read the comments, here is a very valuable follow-up:
Michael Fiorillo said...
Norm, you are are absolutely right: one of the unspoken dynamics in charter expansion in NYC is that they are a real estate play. Whether it is the expropriating of public school facilities, or as a prelude and anchor for further gentrification of communities (i.e. Gideon Stein, Success Charter Network Board member, and head of Argyle Holdings, "Developers of premier properties in Northern Manhattan").

As with Geoffrey Canada's incursion into the St. Nicolas Houses, while public housing units all over the city are being allowed to become run-down and (reputedly) units are being warehoused, the people pushing these schools are also tightly aligned with real estate and urban redevelopment interests in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods. It's possible that, rhetoric and PR aside, this is what Grannis has in mind when he writes about "integrating" charters schools: at current rates of demographic change, Harlem and Bed-Stuy will be increasingly white neighborhoods. Maybe the black families being recruited are just placeholders until the neighborhood "tips" sufficiently. Of course, even then you will still see the faces of adorable black children on all the 4-color, glossy promotional materials.

Finance and real estate, the twin electromagnetic poles of urban political juice, see mutual benefits from charter expansion. They continue to grow because, despite the fact that they are educationally inferior to public schools and an economic drain and diversion away from them, they represent a coalition of powerful interests.

Remember "synergy," a Wall Street/consultant/B-School buzz word from a decade or more ago? The idea was that assembling disparate companies would lead to new opportunities and dynamism within the whole.

That's some of what's going on with elite support for charter schools, the hoped-for synergy of corporate control of school management, curriculum, instruction, labor relations and infrastructure. It's a gold mine for them, and cold, watery soup for everyone else.

It's happening right now. And it's accelerating.

Rapture in Unity: Caucus will Outlast the End of Days Predicts Harold Camping

Harold Camping has been wrong twice in telling us when the world will end but he says he has a sure-fire prediction that can't go wrong. Even though he has modified his prediction for the end of days from May 21 to October 21, he has issued assurances that the ironclad control Unity Caucus exerts over the UFT will outlast the demise of the earth.

"I'm sure that if we bothered to look closely, we would find proof in the Bible that Unity Caucus will continue to exist in the firmanent," said a spokesperson for The Creator. As a matter of fact, the AFT is already rescheduling its 2012 convention, moving it from Detroit to the heavens as Unity has guarnteed every single delegate to that convention admission through the Pearly Gates – along with a per session job.

Arnold Schwarzenegger will be the keynote speaker at the AFT convention but he will have to use Skype – providing the technology still works with all that heat.

Monday, May 30, 2011

To Charter School Operators: You Want the Truth? You Can't Handle the Truth

Charter schools and charter authorizers try to get charter school parents to attend ITBWFS Brooklyn premiere movie screening Tuesday. May 31.

A lot of people commented when I ran this headline Wednesday night:

Rich White Woman Tells Poor Black People to Rally Against NAACP While Shutting Their Children Out of Their Schools for Hours

'Nuff said!

If you didn't see the short film I posted from the Brandeis HS press conf over Eva's blatant attempt to take over prime real estate on W. 84 st. that we built with tax money, check it out - in particular the arrogance of Moskowitz' supporters http://youtu.be/iYhH-hsztn4
while a teacher at a co-located school list the crimes committed against public school kids in the name of "choice". Of course public school kids in Eva schools are not given the choice to go to a nice bathroom or given the choice to not be put near a smoking boiler room.

I guess the charter school Klones are feeling some of our movie heat. Valerie Babb of the NYC Charter Schools, the DOE partner in crime (too bad Walcott didn't show up at the Comm Bd 12 meeting May 21 to hear NYCCS CEO James Merriman trash Tweed before running off with his tail between his legs to avoid facing off with Julie Cavanagh and Mona Davids) sent this out.
From: Valerie Babb <vbabb@nyccharterschools.org>
Subject: Film Screening Tuesday Night
Date: Saturday, May 28, 2011, 10:15 AM

Dear Parents and Supporters,
Here at the Charter Parents Action Network – CPAN, we believe parents should be educated about the issues, their schools, and their choices. Accordingly, we wanted to inform you about a unique opportunity. A new documentary film, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman, is premiering in Brooklyn this week.
The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
6:00 p.m.
Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street
The screening will be followed by a panel of charter and district public school parents.
The film, written and directed by New York City public school teachers and parents, has been created in response to the highly acclaimed Waiting for Superman (which featured several charter school leaders, including Geoff Canada). It attempts to show how the many educational reforms that have taken place in NYC over the past decade are “actually hurting public education.”
We encourage you to attend the film and make your own decisions. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Valerie Babb
Director, Charter Parents Action Network (CPAN)
111 Broadway, Suite 604, New York, NY 10006
T: 212.437.8317  F: 212.227.2763
New York City Charter School Center
We don't just attempt, we show how public education has been harmed - and we had enough footage to make a 5 hour film (Shoa, NYC style).
Here is a statement from Mona Davids' counter charter school parent org on the NAACP suit with the UFT on closing schools and charter co-locos, which charter school advocated have been trashing.

Subject: NYCPA Statement on the Charter Schools Attack of the NAACP
From: "New York Charter Parents Association (NYCPA)"

Date: Sat, May 28, 2011 2:09 pm
To: "Mona Davids"

A message to all members of New York Charter Parents Association (NYCPA)


Contact: Mariama Sanoh, New York
Charter Parents Association: (917) 340-8987
New York Charter Parents Association Statement

Charter Schools and Charter Authorizers Abuse Power by Delaying School Opening for Political Purposes

The New York Charter Parents Association condemns the exploitation of charter school students by some of New York City's charter school leaders for political purposes this past Wednesday. We were appalled by the abuse of power on the part of charter school leaders when they delayed the start of the school day and required all students and parents -- the majority of whom are African-American and Latino -- to attend a protest rally attacking the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) for supporting charter school reforms.

The New York Charter Parents Association, with the support of groups such as the NAACP, successfully won many charter reforms benefiting charter students and parents. One such reform is the requirement that charter schools establish Parent Associations or Parent-Teacher Associations. These sensible and reasonable reforms were strongly opposed by charter school leaders and their authorizers.

Furthermore, unfortunately, many charter school leaders and their authorizers are now non-compliant with these reforms. As strongly as we condemn the abuse of authority and responsibility on the part of these charter school leaders, we condemn even more the hypocrisy, the patronization and blatant racism exhibited by these leaders.

In this city, the charter school movement has been led by individuals who are white and, in general, privileged. This racial profile includes charter administrators, their institutional supporters, and even a good percentage of their faculty. The racial profile of the student population, however, is overwhelmingly Latino or of African descent. In isolation, this contrast is not necessarily a bad thing. But we are seeing the manipulation of African-American and Latino parents and students by white people who see their less-privileged neighbors as a noble cause as well as
an easy meal ticket. These white hustlers command salaries higher than that of the American President as they preside over education empires that grow at the public's expense, feeding on the tax dollars of the brown people they supposedly serve. In this model, our children are merely the widgets. These white hustlers preach "accountability" and "reform," but they rely on a lack of public scrutiny and old-school corporate discipline to sustain their organizations. These white hustlers talk about what they bring to our children, but they want to overcrowd public school buildings so they can get space for one dollar per year from our billionaire Mayor.

Now, when other organizations who put children first and who have a history of recognizing oppression and exploitation, object to these practices and speak up for charter reforms, these hustlers have the audacity to use our children to attack our true leaders, such as the NAACP. The New York Charter Parents Association is supportive of public school choice and the existence of charter schools, but we will not stand by and allow charter school leaders -- and their authorizers -- to
manipulate, deceive and divide our communities. The NAACP deserves our strong support and gratitude for speaking up when we need to hear its voice.

### About Us The New York Charter Parents Association (NYCPA) is the first and only independent citywide and statewide charter parents’ organization. We are of the parents, by the parents and for the parents.

The NYC Department of Education (DOE), SUNY Charter Schools Institute (SUNY CSI), NYS Education Department (NYSED), NY Charter Schools Association, NYC Charter Center or any charter school do NOT control us.

We are not afraid to stand up for parent rights, student rights, accountability and transparency in charter schools. We are not intimidated by any individual or organization. www.nycharterparents.org

Visit New York Charter Parents Association (NYCPA) at:

Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/. And make sure to check out the side panel on right for news bits.

Two Videos: Brandeis HS - Opposing HSA Invasion - May 26, 2011

 Brandeis HS - Opposing HSA Invasion - May 26, 2011
A PS 241 teacher describes the impact on her school from having a Harlem Success Academy school in her building. I challenged and captured some comments from HSA future parents, the face of the attempt to gentrify charter schools on the upper west side.
Make sure to watch the companion video below posted by Angel: Moskowitz Charter Takeover @ Brandeis HS - Ms Rackmill Speaks


Moskowitz Charter Takeover @ Brandeis HS - Ms Rackmill Speaks


May 31 - Brooklyn Premiere: "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting For Superman"

Space is limited.  To RSVP and reserve your seat, email admin@nycparentsunion.org

Visit the official film website at www.waitingforsupermantruth.org

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Heading to Chicago July 6 - Join Us

Members of the Grassroots Education Movement will be participating along with other NYC activists. This is a follow-up to the conference some of us attended in Los Angeles in July 2009 where we formed a loose coalition of people from various cities, including Chicago and Washington DC. Within a year and a half participants from these two cities took charge of their union local.

Contact me if you are interested. Or just click the link and register below.

National Conference to Fight Back for Public Education

Register online now!

Speak, learn and share with educators on the front lines in New York, LA, Chicago, Wisconsin, Oakland, Ohio, Indiana and beyond. Plan and organize to promote our vision of an equitable and just education system, for unions that fight for and with our communities, and help build a national grassroots strategy to defend public schools.
When: July 6th,  9am to 5pm
Where : Chicago, IL. Teamster City

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Powerful Video: Charter vs. Public School Inequities - HSA Spent $1.3 Million on Advertizing

Last Update: May 30, 2011, 7am

On May 21, 2011 Community Board 12 in upper Manhattan convened a panel to discuss charter schools. Dennis Walcott was supposed to be on that panel but never showed up. Chair, SUNY Charter Schools Committee Pedro Noguera and NY Charter School and James Merriman CEO of the NYC Charter School Center said their piece and left before Julie Cavanagh and Mona Davids said their piece.

Here are two videos I made.

Julie in 21 minutes presents a comprehensive case against the charter school movement.


Here I extracted a 5 minute piece out of the above if you don't have time now focusing on just some statistics. Like Eva spent $1.3 million over a 2 year period to create demand. Julie breaks down how much money that comes out to if divided up amongst the public school children her schools displace.


I have a lot of good footage of the back and forth between Mona and the head of the SUNY Charter School Authorizers - forgot her name.

But here is a short clip of Noguera taking off at a teacher who talked about how out of control the kids were in his school.


Vote for Phyllis Smith at Amazon - one of my fiction writing pals

I Am Livia, by Phyllis Smith, has made the finals of the 


I've been part of a (mostly) fiction writing group for over five years. I actually haven't had the time to write much fiction (though if you are a Tweedie or in the UFT leadership I write fiction every day) but I try to attend as many sessions of the group as I can.

Brooklyn based author Phyllis Smith joined the group over three years ago. She specializes in novels of ancient Rome. Her meticulous research teamed with her great story telling make for compelling novels. We are so excited to see one of our own reach the finals of this contest. Which is why you have to trust me that this is going to be a breakthrough novel for Phyllis and go to Amazon and vote. Try this link - you have to sign in. Or try this:

It may say Young Adult but Phyllis is in the general fiction category.

Which is the real Livia? The reason I never eat grapes figs
When we started reviewing Phyllis' fictional first person account of Livia, the wife of Augustus, I was thrilled as a fan of the I Claudius series on Masterpiece Theater (I had also read both of Robert Graves' novels when I was in high school - and not as an assignment). I actually bought the entire taped series with the intention of watching all 10 tapes (20 hours) as a marathon retirement present to myself. I still haven't gotten to it.

When I went to Rome a few years ago (my first visit) my wife and I made sure to tour the remains of Livia's house and visit the bust of Livia where I took a "separated at birth" photo.

Among a gaggle of fascinating characters in I Claudius, Livia rises to the top, coming off somewhat as a monster who supposedly killed Augustus by poisonning his favorite grapes figs (thanks to Michael Fiorillo for the correction).

Phyllis informed us that the Graves characterization was totally false. I looked forward to each submission of the chapters over a period of a year. When she submitted the final chapter a few weeks ago I refused to read it. I want the pleasure of reading this baby all at once.

Must See: Los Angeles Teachers Produce Fab Video on High Stakes Tests

Two Teachers and a Microphone Productions

We are both products of LAUSD schools and have spent our careers teaching in LAUSD schools. We love what we do, and we feel that our public school teachers are compassionate, creative and critical to the intellectual and emotional success of our youth.

If you feel the same, please call the school board members and demand that they rescind all pink slips immediately: 213-241-6389

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE: Contact your state legislator and demand that Gov. Brown's budget proposal is placed on the June ballot. In this time of crisis, the people's voice must be heard. Let California voters decide! Follow the link to find your representative and compose a message: http://capwiz.com/nea/ca/issues/alert/?alertid=31012506&PROCESS=Take+Action


Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/. And make sure to check out the side panel on right for news bits.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stuff for Today

The UFT web site is down. Eva sabotage?

Stop the Squeeze!
I'm heading up to Brandeis HS for a press conference at 5. I can't stay for the meeting at 6 because I have a ticket to see the movie about teachers narrated by Matt Damon, who is an anti-ed deformer. One of the teachers who we've worked with over the years is in it - elem teacher from Brooklyn. See below for the info for the Brandeis event from Noah Gotbaum in case you're in the area. Eva will be making political use of young children and their parents again. Call it a twofer for today.

Is quasi Ed Deformer John Merrow beginning to get it:

This week at Taking Note, John Merrow looks at the international education divide.

"Is it possible that the US has been heading in the wrong direction for most of the 30 years it has been focused on school reform? That's the conclusion a reader of "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants" would be hard pressed not to draw. The paper, written largely by Marc Tucker of the National Center for Education and the Economy, contrasts the approaches taken by five high performing (but quite different) entities -- Toronto, Japan, Norway, Shanghai and Singapore -- with what we have been doing here.
The essential message: those places aren't doing any of the stuff we have focused on -- charter schools, alternate certification, small classes and pay for performance, to name a few of our 'magic bullets.' Instead, they have developed comprehensive systems: their teachers are drawn from the top of the class, are trained carefully and, if hired, are paid like other professionals." KEEP READING

But then again there's this:

ATTEND LIVE: Get your tickets to see John Merrow and Wendy Kopp in person

Is Wendy Kopp really a person? I thought she was some kind of wind-up doll.

From Diane Ravitch: 
please distribute: Newark youth speak out

Comment on Our film:
Native New Yorker now 20 years into my Public Education career, the last 15 here in North Carolina.  Things are horrible for teachers everywhere these days, especially in the NO UNION south!  They aren't just trying to screw with what we've always had like they do to you up there.  We've never had any of the positives that you are trying to hold onto.  We are now looking at our fourth consecutive year with literally no salary change (cost of living? Ha!) and reduction in benefits.  Four years!  By next year we will be back to 46th nationally in teacher pay.  (We actually made it into the middle of the pack under progressive governors in the 90's)And the layoffs are well underway, likely to the tune of 20,000 state teachers/education employees this summer in a state with a rapidly GROWING student population.  The move to dismantle public education as we know it is well-underway here, courtesy of our new "Tea-flavored Kool-Aid Party" legislative majority.  Because, of course,
"business knows how to do it better!"  Our long-standing cap on charter schools is likely to disappear, or be greatly increased. Morale is nearly on "E".
Our whole profession is under attack, and we can only overcome this if ALL of us get together- union and non-union, Northeast, Midwest, West and South alike!  Please let me know if there is any thought so far in your group of expanding to the national level. If so, I am ready to roll up my sleeves for GEM. And thanks for what you are all doing to change hearts and minds there.  My nephews are NYC public schools students and my parents were graduates. Just try to remember what I tell my friends and family there constantly as we talk about almost any topic that is national in nature-You live in NYC, which means that you don't really live in "america". The tone and generalized stupidity is nearly incomprehensible out here.  But without creating understanding all across this country, you will never see the change you hope for in your own unique environment.  Keep up the good work!!

From John Beam

Some folks on this list know or at least follow the commentary of Lance Hill, a long time New Orleans activist; Tulane faculty member; and, most recently the chronicler, analyst, and public scourge of the post-Katrina privatization of the Crescent City's public schools.  JMB   

Subject: Rap Blasts TFA on HBO's "Treme" Series
Date: Thu, 26 May 2011 12:02:42 -0500
From: "Hill, Lance" &lt;lhill@tulane.edu>
To: "Hill, Lance" &lt;lhill@tulane.edu>

I don’t watch this series since in the first season it somehow managed to virtually ignore the school take-over and the infamous “greenspace” plan that proposed demolishing 80% of the black community (and was editorially supported by the local daily media).   But a few friends who are fans dutifully report parts that they think would interest me and this excerpt did. 

What I have found ironic is that, unlike the rap artist who allows that TFA teachers did not know that they were taking jobs from qualified veteran teachers, I talked to many TFA candidates before they enlisted and they understood exactly what the consequences of their actions were for teachers who were Katrina victims.  The TFA teachers’ intentions were both good and bad: good that they wanted to help; bad that they did not respect the rights of the black community and veteran teachers, nor respect the professional standards of teaching.  Nonetheless, are we not morally responsible for both our intentions and for the unintended consequences of our well-intended behavior?  It is important that we understand the rationalizations and psychic defense mechanisms that  people use to fulfill their emotional needs and ambitions at the expense of another person.       


From a Rap Song on the last Treme Episode:

Four years at Radcliffe, that's all you know
A desire to do good and a four point oh

You're here to save us from our plight
You got the answer 'cause you're rich and white
On a two-year sojourn here to stay
Teach for America all the way
Got no idea what you're facin'
No clue just who you're displacin'
Old lady taught fathers, old lady taught sons
Old lady bought books for the little ones
Old lady put in 30 years
Sweat and toil, time and tears
Was that really your sad intention?
Help the state of Louisiana deny her pension

Lance Hill, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Southern Institute for Education and Research
Tulane University
M.R. Box 1692
31 McAlister Dr.
New Orleans, LA 70118

“It is quite certain that in the process of trying to save our world or some part of it from its present confusion we run the risk of planning it into the likeness of hell.”
Aldous Huxley


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rich White Woman Tells Poor Black People to Rally Against NAACP While Shutting Their Children Out of Their Schools for Hours

'Nuff said!

Norm Scott
Education Notes
Grassroots Education Movement
Education Editor, The Wave
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Report from the Field: Is Harlem Success Academy Postponing the Opening of School Tomorrow to Make Political Use of the Children and Parents?

Why are charters rallying to demand that other children's schools close? How does the closing help them?
-----Diane Ravitch

HSA is taking the morning off from school until 10am tomorrow to use their kids as political pawns at the state office building.  Whose needs is Eva Moskowitz serving now?  What do the children already enrolled at HSA get out of this?

Eva Moskowitz is the only person who will gain from this tomorrow.  She is using children to open more schools and make more money for herself.

“We never miss school,” said a teacher at Success Charter school who contacted GothamSchools about the rally. “It could almost be a blizzard outside and we still come to school so the fact that we are getting a delay on Thursday is a big deal here.”

"HSA 1 will not open until 10 a.m. Thursday, allowing students to attend the rally with their parents, the flyer says. “Bring your scholar to the rally,” the flyer reads, later saying, “Parents need to take children back to school after the rally. We know it’s hard, but we want all children to be safe.”

Why Increasing the Number of Teachers of Color Matters

Blog of the day: Don't Settle
I am a minority.
With all due (dis)respect to Michelle Rhee-ing my own lips, after seeing the world premiere of the wonderfully-done The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman, I am left thinking about where I stand in regards to the conversation about public schools, about teachers, and everything in between.
Teaching in a heavily Dominican and Mexican populated neighborhood, I teach in a school that reaches out to the new minority (and will become the new majority in a few decades). However, I am that new minority myself and, in some ways already, becoming part of the new majority. Let me explain.

Read on: http://bniche.tumblr.com/post/5659695076/iamaminority
It was quite interesting to read 23 year old 2nd year Teaching Fellow Brent's post about being a Puerto Rican/Hispanic teacher in New York. I'm proud of the fact that our film triggered this response and I sincerely hope that when Brent is ready he joins the Real Reformers in GEM in the work they do. Calling for an increase in the number of teachers of color is one of the planks of just about every reformist activist group in NYC. The UFT also supports this demand. Our question is often what we can do about it.

Since Bloomberg took over we have been reporting on the drop in the number of teachers of color every year - Black teacher, in particular from around 27% in 2002 to around 12% in 2008. Well, if your main area of recruitment is Teach for America what do you expect? Just look around the schools loaded with TFAers. The schools at CUNY are not high on their list for recruiting. With 75% of the grads of the schools WalBlack'nBloomKlein run needing remediation at CUNY schools it may take students a little extra time to graduate and TFA is just not interested in that population. Don't get me wrong. TFA and even Tweed are desperate for people of color recruits - as long as they are from the "right" places. It's just more likely that the very people of color TFA and Tweed want are also heavily courted by business interests.

I worked in a school with many neighborhood people who worked their way up the career ladder - often starting out as a para and eventually becoming a teacher. They were rooted in the very communities the kids came from. But the ed deformers are out to destroy the neighborhood concept of a school, so don't expect to see this type of recruitment.

I was out with a group of Real Reformers last night and this issue was one of the main ideas we discussed. I found it interesting that even progressive white people have so much diversity in how they view race. I admit that I often don't get the subtleties which I unfortunately don't have time to go into now. Besides, I haven't sorted it all out yet myself. But I am learning a lot from my younger activist brethren.

Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/. And make sure to check out the side panel on right for news bits.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Inconvenient Truth About Reviewing Your Own Film/ Principal for a Day: I Finally Sell Out

Brian De Vale working on his upcoming music masterpiece

I decided to make this post the basis of my Wave column for this Friday and I also sent it to George Schmidt for posting at Substance in Chicago. So here is revised version of what I posted earlier

The Inconvenient Truth About Reviewing Your Own Film

by Norm Scott

Let me make this quick about our just released movie, "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman", made by our production "company" Real Reform Studios. The movie made by NYC teachers, parents and students in response to the recent attacks on public education, teachers and their unions and specifically the "Waiting for Superman" movie lauding charter schools, in a few short days since its world premiere in front of an audience of 700 people at Riverside Church, is going viral. Our guest speaker, the always awesome Diane Ravitch, tweeted to 13,000 people how great the movie was and we have distributed a thousand dvds in 4 days. Requests have poured in from all over the nation - and from Canada, Mexico and Israel too. We are ordering 3000 more. We are not looking to make a dime on this (though we encourage contributions to cover our costs) and we tell people to "steal our movie - go forth and make copies and distribute widely." I'm hoping I can arrange a showing here in Rockaway real soon. Look for info in The Wave.

One of the ironies so far is how strong the response has been from some NYC public school principals while we have heard little from the UFT. We'll keep tracking that story. Since the film was made by members of the Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), a NYC based group fighting to defend public education, I wonder if the UFT sees the movie made without a budget (using my cheapo camera, imovie to edit, etc.) as a threat. After all, as a 100 million dollar plus organization, the UFT certainly had the resources to do such a movie. Here is a tale of how this movie has led me to sell out. Yes, I was asked to be principal for a day.

Brian De Vale, Principal of PS 257 in District 14, made me an offer I couldn't refuse – a parking spot in his schoolyard, lunch and a serenade from him – if I would come to the school May 23 and serve as principal for a day. Ahhh, the power. I would cancel all the high stakes tests. I would rate teachers on how they relate to their students and on the responses I see from their students to their lessons and not on tests. I would ban all bureaucratic officialdom from the school. And away with all the useless paperwork that feeds the data monster. What glory!

Brian for some reason wanted to honor me for the work I've been doing battling the ed deformers through my Ed Notes blog and GEM. He was my guest at the premiere of the ITBWFS on Thursday night and was thrilled to meet Diane Ravitch. Brian is a guy who really gets it. Before a recent District 14 CEC meeting, he held a pizza party attended by a bunch of other principals. Brian made one of the most incisive statements about what ed deform is doing to education - a total condemnation of the neo-liberal agenda though that is not the term he used.

Brian told me to arrive at 10:30. When he introduced me to the security guard as principal for the day, she laughed and said, "My principal gets here at 7AM."Nice!

Brian's aim was to use our film to educate his own staff about the ed deform agenda. I got to show a piece of the film at different lunch hours. The first thing I told them was I will uphold their right to a duty free lunch hour so they should leave if they want to. I was pleased to see Elizabeth, a former student from my 1975 6th grade class and a teacher at the school. Elizabeth is already a grandmother. Oy!

Many of the teachers seemed truly unaware of the threat they face from charters and privatization. I learned something myself from the experience of watching the film with them.

You know our theme at Ed Notes - and in GEM- Educate! Organize!! Mobilize!!! - each action building upon itself. I assumed our film would reach people who were already aware of the attacks - already educated on many of the issues – that it would help move them to the next steps of organizing and mobilizing. But here was a group of teachers who have been somewhat insulated by a great principal who fiercely protects them as much as he can. There is no charter pushing into their space and they are not threatened with closure. So I saw for myself their reactions as they watched even a small portion of the film. They truly seemed shocked.

Then I was invited to chair the School Leadership Team (SLT) meeting over a delicious lunch. What? SLTs still exist? Brian explained that at PS 257 the SLT makes real decisions. The discussion ranged over the Tweed attitude towards parent involvement - their aim is not to get input from parents but to explain their policies to parents and use them politically.

After the meeting I was invited by a teacher to observe a science lesson on plants. I was told this was a difficult class. The kids were gathered around a table with soil and plants. They were enthusiastic and every question led to a gaggle of eagerly raised hands. I was impressed.

Then the school tech person asked me to try to solve a problem in getting a triple dvd burner to work. Ahhh, now I was into the meat of what I used to do in my last decade in the system. After an hour I still hadn't gotten it to work. Looks like when it comes to tech stuff, nothing has changed. I just know enough to get into trouble.

It was interesting how slow the internet was and how some of the DOE filters made trying to get stuff done quickly so frustrating (I was trying to download drivers and software for the dvd burner.) I had forgotten the nitty gritty aspects of trying to manage tech in a school building when you have teaching and other duties. You might as well move in for the week. Actually, I would say from this narrow experience, tech at the DOE has gone backwards since I left the system.

I stopped by Brian's office to thank him and he serenaded me with a song. My hearing may be off bit - I think I heard the words "Waffles Walcott" – Brian reminded me of the day Walcott became chancellor he did his waffles PR stunt at PS 10. Brian also made waffles for the kids that same day. There was no massive press corps to watch him.

Then it was off to a rousing GEM meeting where my job was to bring a video montage of GEM's work for the past year. I had spent all day Sunday working on it and burned a dvd. I got there early to see if it would work with the equipment. It didn't. My 2nd tech failure of the day. Of course it didn't help that there was a crack in the dvd. Lesson: Make TWO copies next time. But at least I will share the montage with you when I put it up on the GEM vimeo site.

All in all, a loooooong day for a supposed retiree.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Plea for Help From Friends of a Teacher With a Devastating Diagnosis


IN THE MEANTIME EMAIL SARA: nutmeg74@msn.com.

Hello everyone,
The last few weeks at PS 15 have been a whirlwind as we found out our dear friend, colleague and physical therapist, Katie McGloin, mother of two young children, has been diagnosed with brain cancer.  All of our thoughts and highest hopes are with Katie and her family right now.  She has a long road ahead of her, but with the support of her amazing family, the PS 15 community, and our extended communities across the city, we know she can fight this.
I hope no one minds me bringing this issue to our listserves; I know everyone has their own struggles, but we want to support Katie as much as possible and given the attacks on teachers today, I thought it proper to bring this issue into the consciousness of folks outside of our community.  None of us knew the DOE policy on sick day donation, and we were shocked to find out that you have to have 50 days banked in order to give at all.  In addition, you have to give two days in order for Katie to get one. The PS 15 community is majority female and the vast majority are caretakers, so having more than 50 days banked is not our reality.  Plus, you would have had to work for five years and never take a sick day to even have 50 days at all.  This horrific policy highlights one of the many ways in which teachers and teacher union members are NOT raking in the cash and benefits on the backs of taxpayers as the national discourse would have folks believe, and quite to the contrary, the treatment of woman in the workplace is still far from where it needs to be.  Educator rights in terms of maternity leave and sick leave fall way behind what the humane expectation should be.
This is just shameful.
If you are a DOE employee and are able to donate sick days to Katie, please see your school secretary (just tell them you want to donate days to Katie McGloin from PS 15K, if there are any problems you can contact your UFT rep.  The UFT has done an AMAZING job supporting Katie and her family and I want to thank Leo Casey who went above and beyond to get speedy assistance for her).   
In addition, we are having a fundraiser for Katie in Red Hook that our occupational therapist, Sara Folland, put together.  The information can be found on Facebook here:  http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=187410017976534.  If you are unable to attend this fundraiser, but wish to help, please contact Sara at:  nutmeg74@msn.com.  You can of course feel free to contact me as well.  Please share this information with anyone who cares!
I thank anyone in advance who can help!
All the best,

Julie Cavanagh

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Jamaica HS Student's Outrage Puts Dennis Walcott's Hypocrisy to Shame

Updated: Sunday, May 22, 8AM

I wrote on Friday night, on the eve of a supposed panel where Dennis Walcott would have to be face to face with teacher Julie Cavanagh and parent Mona Davids
The idea of Walcott actually having to face a classroom teacher whose school has suffered a charter invasion by the son of a billionaire contributor to Bloomberg is less likely than the end of all time.
Well I was correct in my assumption as Walcott didn't show after the event was widely advertized.

The back story is that we heard there were attempts to have Julie and Mona removed from the panel. When that failed, attempts were made to divide into 2 panels, thus insulating Walcott. When that failed, he just didn't show.

Not that NY Charter Center shill James Merriman and SUNY's Pedro Noguerra did an better. Both left for "other" engagements before Julie or Mona got to speak.

Walcott has the nerve to attack the union law suit on closing schools as being all about adults and not students? Walcott's slap in the face of Community Board 12 by not showing up at their conference yesterday was all about an adult - Walcott - who clearly feared facing a teacher (Julie Cavanagh) and a charter school parent (Mona Davids) who would have punched a thousand holes in his claim to be about children first. Ditto the other Tweed slugs like Shael Polokaw-Suransky who made sure I couldn't tape his "debate" with Leonie Haimson where she kicked his ass all over the place. These Tweedies won't face anyone with a brain and a vocal chord. If they saw Diane Ravitch walking down the street they would run the other way.

Listen to this Jamaica HS student defend her school in a video I shot on Jan. 20, 2011. This child was so powerful in her presentation, we wanted to use a lot more in our film but just couldn't manage to get it in. She is such a force that we put her into the first 30 seconds of the movie.

Walcott and ed deformers talk about choice. What choice is this child being given?


Links to Saturday's blogs from Community Board 12 meeting

Come to the GEM Meeting Monday, May 23, 4:30PM

GEM just premiered "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman" to an audience of almost 700 people.

Watch a Sneak Peek here: http://www.waitingforsupermantruth.org/

And watch some reactions to Thursday's showing as well as Diane Ravitch speaking on the panel after the movie here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W86XBS9llvM


After a highly successful film premiere of "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman" Thursday night at Riverside Church, come to a GEM organizing meeting on Monday. Julie Cavanagh and Brian Jones will help to facilitate a discussion on what we can do to take the movement forward. The discussion will be followed by breakout sessions.

Our unions and schools are under attack!
Join the fight to defend public education

Bring your ideas to a meeting and a strategic discussion with the Grassroots Education Movement (GEM)

Monday May 23 4:30 p.m.
CUNY Graduate Center 34th Street and 5th Ave Room 5414
Bring Picture ID

All across the United States, from Florida to Wisconsin to California to New York, schools face severe budget cuts, teacher unions face vicious attacks, standardized testing broadens and intensifies and the privatization of our public education system continues in the name of "reform". But groups like the Grassroots Education Movement have been organizing to fight against these attacks and for a positive vision of what education should look like. At this meeting, we are going to take a look back at an exciting year of activism, and make plans for an even more exciting year, and we want your input.

The movie was shown to overflowing SRO crowd at Socialist Party sponsored event on
Saturday, May 21, followed by a panel consisting of GEM's Julie Cavanagh, CPE's Sam Anderson, UFT's Leo Casey, and Stanley Aronowitz.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Public Forum - Queens

The Bloomberg/Banker Attack on Public Education

Wed., May 25th, 7pm
The Diversity Center of Queens
76-11 37th Ave, 2nd Fl (btwn. 76th and 77th Sts.)
Jackson Heights, Queens - E,V,R,M or 7 to 74th/Roosevelt

Speaker from the Grassroots Education Movement (GEM) and NYC public school teacher
Danny Lucia, Columnist for SocialistWorker.org and PS 69Q parent
& clips from the documentary "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman" 
            From Bloomberg to Bill Gates to the Obama White House, we're told that the key to fixing education is getting rid of ineffective teachers.  Teacher's pensions and benefits are also being blamed for gaping budget deficits across the country.  Behind these attacks is a plan to privatize and corporatize public education through non-union, privately-run charter schools, school closings and a punitive high-stakes testing regime.  
            But teachers, along with parents and students, are the most reliable allies in the fight for decent public education for all - including  public control over education, smaller class sizes and an enriching curriculum.  Internationally, teachers find themselves at the forefront of a battle against austerity and an overall attack on working peoples' living standards.  Come to a forum to learn how public school teachers and families are fighting back against billionaire-backed education "reform", and how the fight to defend public education plays a leading role in the struggle for a better society.

Sponsored by the Grassroots Education Movement (GEM) -
& the Queens Branch of the International Socialist Organization - isojacksonheights@gmail.com / (646) 421-2035 
(look for us on facebook: western queens socialism)

CB12 Blog

Julie presentation awesome. Nailed charter issue from general and personal pov. Loved how she takes on "choice" and rebrands it. Noguera and Merriman not here to hear it. Will post video by tomorrow.
Mona on now. Was delayed by balky 3 year old. What's Walcott's excuse for insulting this community? Still no Tweedy here.
Mona a pissed off charter school parent. Her child's CS failing. Talks about lack of oversight and info for parents. Founded NY Charter Parent Assoc. Only indep CS parent advocacy group.
Reason for CS is mess Tweed makes of system. Should mention mess is intentional to create need for charter.
Talks about her work in changing law but charters not complying. Challenged Suny bureaucrat who is looking nervous. She may find she had an appointment when Q and A starts.
Sue, sue, sue to get attention to comply with law.
Looking forward to Q and A.
I don't want to be a hog with my questions as locals should get first crack. Break time.

Norm Scott

Education Notes
Grassroots Education Movement

Education Editor, The Wave

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Blogging from Comm Bd 12

Funny how pro charter people go first and Noguera and Merriman have to leave early.
Merriman didengenuous. Attacks Tweed management as way to defend charters but he doesn't exist without Tweed support. He is a Tweed partner. So trashing them.

Mona is here. Her voice will be needed. Still no DOE rep. Their trying to dig one up. Hey, send Cathie Black.

Suny bureaucrat Sue Miller Barker. I don't follow this closely and how I wish the late Dee Alpert were here.
Jeez. It's all about how kids perform on state exams. No other factor mentioned. Pathetic. Talking about how failed charter school - Harlem Day- turned over to Democ Prep. Why not back to the losers at Tweed, also your partner? Oh that's right, maybe because a union involved? Ignore that issue. Another sickening performance. "We care about high quality schools for kid.

Moderator. Allow 2 questions for each from audience. But of course they will leave before hearing other side from Julie and Mona.

Norm Scott

Education Notes
Grassroots Education Movement

Education Editor, The Wave

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Gutless Walcott Chickens Out

Slap in the face of parents and community.

I'm at the Comm. Bd 12 (Wash Hts) panel on charter schools. As I said in last night's post there is a greater chance of the earth coming to an end than of Walcott showing up to face Julie Cavanagh (one of his employees). And so it has come to pass. Walcott is sending a rep.

I'll post from my Blackberry as things go on. I'm video taping.
Walcott rep still not here.

Pedro Noguera talking. Making some good points but also some I disagree with.

James Merriman- charter school lobbyist supreme. Push comes to shove he will defend charters run by serial killers though pays lip service to blah, blah, blah. Just threw anti union bomb.

Still no Doe rep but Mona not here either.

More later.

Norm Scott

Education Notes
Grassroots Education Movement

Education Editor, The Wave

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Spending the Rapture with Dennis Walcott and Leo Casey

There are a lot of ways to spend your last day on earth but who would have thunk it would be with Dennis Walcott and Leo Casey. Is there any way to move the end of time up a day?

Tomorrow in the AM I'm heading up to this panel where Walcott will be joined by charter school shill Jim Merriman, a man I love to argue with - I just hope the earth shuts down at the exact moment  Merriman turns speechless at the onslaught of co-panelists Julie Cavanagh and Mona Davids. If Walcott and Merriman actually have the guts to go through with it. I will attempt to tape whatever happens. The idea of Walcott actually having to face a classroom teacher whose school has suffered a charter invasion by the son of a billionaire contributor to Bloomberg is less likely than the end of all time.

If we survive, tomorrow at 7PM we head over to the Socialist Party sponsored viewing of our film where Julie will be joined on a panel by Leo Casey and Stanley Aronowitz. If the earth is still around by then, I will be praying for the rapture after about 5 minutes of listening to Leo's defense of UFT/AFT policy of not opposing charters based on the "if you can't beat 'em join them" argument.

You know, I assumed the destruction of the public school system and its replacement by charters had to precede the end of the earth. Look for Eva Moskowitz, who will make HSA students do test prep as the fire consumes the earth, to file a protest. Those who are going to heaven will still be facing the achievement gap.

Friday, May 20, 2011

PS 241 Harlem Success Co-Location Evacuated Due to High Carbon Monoxide Levels In Failing Boiler/ HSA Students Told to Go Back In


Thursday, May 19, 10pm

PS 241, a school noted in the film, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman, as a school which has been squeezed in order to provide space for one of Evil Moskowitz's Harlem Success Academies (IV) in which PS 241 students were forced to locate students into sub-level rooms, were evacuated from their school today.

The sub-level classrooms are directly adjacent to the school's boiler room, which staff and parents have complained is a dangerous location. DOE deemed it  "unfit" for HSA students, but acceptable for the PS 241 students.

For a second time this school year, fire alarms in the building went off due to smoke emanating from the boiler. The first incident occurred months ago, and was quickly assessed as a"minor incident" and students were sent back inside. Today, ironically on the afternoon of the movie's premier, fire alarms again went off, sending the three schools co-located in the building, off into the streets to wait out the seemingly innocuous warning.

PS 241, Opportunity Charter School and Harlem Success Academy IV students were given the "all-clear" to return to the building only to find within minutes of their return that the first floor was inundated by smoke and a foul, burning odor. The entire school was vacated a second time, only to find themselves left out on the neighboring sidewalks for quite a time. School safety arrived, followed by police cars, and lastly- four firetrucks. After what seemed to be an eternity (especially for young students), staff was informed that the building had high levels of CO2 and was not safe for occupation.

PS 241 has a safety plan and was evacuated to a neighboring school site, PS 185/208, where are students were given a much needed late lunch and bathroom facilities. Upon returning to the "aired-out" building, we learned that while, PS 241 and Opportunity Charter School students had gone to neighboring schools, Harlem Success had chosen to stay in the building.

Most of the HSA classrooms are located in an adjacent wing- with open halls ways around the corner from where the boiler room and billowing smoke were. However- there was a smell of smoke all over the neighborhood and even the neighboring school personnel could smell the smoke lingering on our clothing from exposure while waiting on the sidewalks.

Anon. comment
How will Eva and the DOE explain the safety of this sub-level location now? How will the building custodian/engineer explain why students were brought back into the building when clearly a dangerous situation existed? How can EVA explain her "commitment" to students when they did not evacuate their kids from a building filled with smoke and high levels of CO2 which needed to be aired out before the other schools' students were allowed to return safely?

Is it really "all about the children?" Parents of HSA IV students should be outraged at the irresponsible actions of HSA.  They claim to have a brilliant science program?  Are they aware that the curriculum teaches this fact??!! They should lose their charter for endangering those children- not to mention the right to have parents entrust them with the lives and education of their children ever again!!!  If the parents do nothing- then the community should stand up for them-

We heard about this story last night at the film premiere and talked about it in the bar. HSA allegedly brought their kids back into a school with billowing smoke and toxic  levels of CO. Did they bring back everyone or just the kids who scored low on the tests? Maybe they were trying to close the achievement gap through attrition. Or if a child showed drowsiness would they drag the child to the PS 241 side of the building and claim he was a student there?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cavanagh, Casey, Aronowitz - May 21: Film Screening and Discussion- The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman

Saturday, May 21 - 7:00pm • 6th Street Community Center
636 E. 6th Street (btwn Ave B and Ave C), Manhattan

Waiting for Superman created an upheaval in American thinking on public education. But, Superman’s fix-all of high stakes standardized testing, privatization and union busting is not the answer for reforming America’s public schools.

The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman provides an in-depth look at what Superman got wrong. By talking to teachers, parents and education activists, The Grassroots Education Movement exposes the misinformation of Waiting for Superman and offers real reform solutions for the future of American public schools.

After the Movie, a Panel Featuring:

Stanley Aronowitz - CUNY Graduate Center,
Author- Against Schooling:For an Education that Matters
Julie Cavanagh - Director/Public School Teacher
Sam Anderson (unconfirmed) - Black New Yorkers for Educational Excellence
Leo Casey - United Federation of Teachers

Sponsored by: Socialist Party NYC, NYC
Organization for a Free Society, NYC Democratic
Socialists of America, NYC Solidarity (list in formation)

For More Information Contact: socialistpartynyc@gmail.com - 928-308-7563

Fight Back Friday - School Communities Across the City to Participate, UFT Delegates Serenaded at DA

Fight Back Friday at the UFT Delegate Assembly
I know I've been haranguing you about the importance of getting your school involved in Fight Back Friday. I was part of a coalition of groups supporting FBF at yesterday's Delegate Assembly.

I tried to tell the delegates that a consistent monthly action in front of their schools would have a bigger impact than the mostly uncovered May 12 rally. But rallies are easy. Go, march, go home and forget about it.

Organizing at the school level is hard. Some of FBF supporters have reached out to neighboring schools and are now working in tandem. Imagine a bunch of elementary schools along with the local middle schools affecting an entire neighborhood! The UFT says it wants this to happen but is not actively supporting FBF.

Many of the participants in this action are new to the action at the DA, which was poorly attended. Many of them are young idealistic teachers who haven't yet been featured on the front page of the NY Times - maybe because they actually support teacher rights and oppose the use of high stakes tests to measure teacher performance.

Serenading UFT Delegates as they depart Delegate Assembly
At the end of the meeting, the group serenaded the departing delegates, urging them, most of them Unity Caucus, to join in union solidarity songs. Few did. They seemed embarrassed.

Here is a brief video I shot of the singing (we will not be appearing on American Idol) followed by the FBF press release. Link here to watch directly on you tube: http://youtu.be/EkXNf_Ff6aE

Date:  Friday, May 20, 2011     
Sam Coleman, Educator, PS 24K, NYCORE/GEM:  646-354-9362
Lisa Donlan, Parent, President CEC1:  917-848-587
Yelena Siwinski, Educator, PS 193K, ICE: (917) 628-3588

School Communities Across the City to Participate in Fight Back Friday
Bloomberg and the DOE must stop wasting our money and start prioritizing public education:  No school-based budget cuts and no educator lay-offs!

On Friday May 20th, school communities across the city will take differentiated actions to protest Mayor Bloomberg's destructive education policies, including his latest budget announcement that includes the elimination of 6,000 teaching positions, 4,700 through lay-offs.  Individual schools will hold rallies, sign postcards directed at City Council representatives, disseminate flyers to spread awareness about where Mr. Bloomberg’s spending priorities lie, and they will wear black to, “take our schools back” as well as stickers proclaiming the Real Reforms our Mayor should be fighting for.
$350 Million dollars is needed to prevent educator lay-offs and prevent disastrous consequences for our children including increased class sizes and loss of programming.  Mayor Bloomberg’s budget allocates $700 million for charter schools, $542 million in new technology, and hundreds of millions on testing. Parents, educators, children, and community members stand united in demanding our City Council reject the Mayor’s budget and call on Mr. Bloomberg to stop wasting our money and start to prioritize public education and local community public schools.

Fight Back Fridays began last June when school communities united to fight proposed budget cuts, lay-offs and other disastrous educational policies.  This year, Fight Back Fridays have continued throughout the city.  To visit a school community that is participating in a Fight Back Friday or for more information, please contact the parents and educators listed in this release.

Some Fight Back Friday participants include:
PS 261, Brooklyn, PS 321 Brooklyn, Sunset Park High School Brooklyn, PS 306, Queens, PS 69 Queens, PS 503, Brooklyn, Facing History School, Manhattan, International School for Liberal Arts, Lehman High School, Bronx, PS 368, Bronx, PS 230, Brooklyn, Paul Robeson High School, Brooklyn, PS 24, Brooklyn. MS 136, Brooklyn, PS 193, Brooklyn, Bushwick School for Social Justice, Academy for Urban Planning, PS 157, Brooklyn, Green School, Brooklyn, PS 123, Manhattan, Frederick Douglass Academy 5, Bronx, El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice, Brooklyn, PS 15, Brooklyn, East Brooklyn Community High School in Canarsie, PAIHS, Queens, Neighborhood School, Manhattan, Childrens' Workshop School, Manhattan, James Baldwin School, Manhattan, Humanitites Prep, Manhattan, Lyons High School, Brooklyn, FDR High School, Brooklyn, Goldstien High School, Brooklyn, Jamaica High School, Queens, Bronx international HS, Morris campus, High School for Excellence, Morris campus, Alfred E Smith High School, Bronx Families, teachers, and school staff are also meeting in front of PS 10 in Brooklyn and will march along 7th avenue to join PS 295, MS 88, and New Voices respectively.

Endorsers include: Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), Teachers Unite (TU), People Power Movement (PPM), Teachers for a Just Contract (TJC), New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCORE), Concerned Advocates for Public Education (CAPE), Independent Community of Educators (ICE)
Additional Contacts:
Mark Torres, Educator, Frederick Douglass Academy 5, Bronx, People Power Movement, 646-696-8485
Emily Giles, Educator, Bronx International High School, Teachers Unite, 917-575-2936

Julie Cavanagh, Dennis Walcott, Mona Davids, Pedro Noguera on panel: Charter School Forum on Saturday, May 21 9-12, RSVP TODAY! Reply

Here is an unusual opportunity to see/hear many of the NYC charter school "deciders" in one place at one time.

PLEASE NOTE -- that you must RSVP for this event by today, Thursday, May 19th (see bottom of notice).  Please pass this one to people you think would be interested in attending.


The Community Board 12, M-Youth and Education Committee
Invite You to:
  “Our Children, Our Choices:
An Informative Discussion on Public and Charter Schools Options”
Distinguished Invited Speakers Include:
Susan Miller Barker
Interim Executive Director
at the SUNY Charter Schools Institute
Julie Cavanaugh
“The Inconvenient Truth About Waiting For Superman”
Mona Davids
Executive Director
New York Charter Parents Association
James Merriman, Esq.
NYC Charter Schools Center
Pedro Noguera, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Metropolitan Center for Urban Education
 New York University
Dennis Walcott
New York City Department of Education
Saturday, May 21, 2011
9:00AM to 12:00PM  
Registration starts at 8:30AM 
Russ Barrie Pavilion 1150 St. Nicholas Ave (Near 168 Street) Main Floor
New York, NY 10033  
Lite Breakfast will be served.
RSVP by Thursday, May 19, 2011 by calling Community Board 12  (212) 568-8500 or via email at: fe.florimon@jjay.cuny.edu