Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Pre-PEP Primer: Who Ya Gonna Call?

Jia Lee:
Jia with fans
I bore witness, at yet another Panel for Educational Policy where the Chancellor and other members, appointed by the mayor, pretended to hear the voices of community members, as they lined up to speak, with incredible courage and conviction. I had to leave midway only to hear later that chaos ensued when the PEP ignored or gave lip service to its constituents. The PEP is not a democratic space. Nothing has changed. I see you Aixa Rodriguez Kathy Cole Alexandra Alves Jen Roesch Lydia Ann Norm Scott Jane Maisel Julie Neusner ‪#‎SaveCPE1‬ ‪#‎justiceforMary‬ ‪#‎PS233‬ 
I returned late last night from the monthly Panel for Education (PEP) meeting which lasted past 9 with my head pounding from Farina's constantly reminding everyone how she never breaks a promise. What a pathetic crew most of the PEPs are -- but not all - kudos to Brooklyn PEP Eric Adams appointee Fred Baptiste.

There is too much to digest though I did enjoy digesting the post-PEP meal at a Vietnamese restaurant with the great crew of parents and teachers from Central Park East 1 - hanging with them makes going to the PEP worth it --- they told Farina they will be back to every PEP until principal Monika Garg, who trained under the racist principal of Pan American HS who is under federal charges, is gone.

But let me not get too far ahead of myself --- the video is processing and best to let you see for yourself when it is done.

In the meantime let me tell you about my day yesterday BEFORE I went to the PEP.

It was a big construction day at the Rockaway Theatre Company as we began major construction for the set of La Cage Aux Folles. In the midst of all that I received 3 phone calls from teachers - phone calls that pumped me up to go to the PEP even though I had to leave Rockaway on a beautiful day.

A MORE member called to talk about what she might do after getting discontinued by a vicious and vindictive principal - and I suggested she come down to the PEP and tell them about it to their faces. She did and she waited all night to talk and she was great. I will put up her video and tell her story in a separate post. She is leaving anyway after getting a scholarship to law school in California - I hope she comes back here in 3 years and makes the DOE lives miserable - we sure could use a young movement lawyer. She is an avid social justice advocate.

Another MORE member called - a chapter leader who beat a Unity slug in the election who happened to be the principal favorite - so our gal has faced onslaughts from both directions. It has not been a fun first year as chapter leader. She came down to the PEP yesterday too but the meeting lasted so long she couldn't stay to talk.

Finally, I received a call from a high school chapter leader who is under assault by a new principal, as is the rest of his staff. He is a MORE supporter who I met when I was stuffing mail boxes -- he even helped me. The UFT district and borough reps are less than useless -- I won't get into details. I also suggested he come to the PEP and he met me there and sat through the entire meeting - his first PEP - and couldn't believe what he was seeing. He also made a great statement.

Jia Lee and I met some teachers from a another school with a vindictive principal. They were also MORE fans and voted for us. There is an epidemic of vindictive power-hungry principals.

Addressing this issue must be a major focus for MORE though I don't know exactly what more MORE could do - other than putting pressure on the UFT- which as usual was absent from the PEP.

Here area few PEP pics.

The suits - what do these white guys in suits do?

I took a pic and he took a pic of me

Another group of suits

why not text?

Texter in chief - Ben Shuldiner - too bored and lots of smirking at the heartfelt comments - this guy once came to a MORE meeting and spent an hour in the bar after the happy hour telling me what a great principal he was - a  major ed deformer - de Blasio appointee


  1. Norm,

    To quote Eli Wisel 'The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.'

    'I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.'

    Having spent way too many evenings speaking at pep meetings, the one thing I have learned is that Farina is a very bad person. She has no empathy.

    She is the puppet master and these tyrannical principals are doing exactly what she tells them to do.

    I often wonder if she is even human?

    Perhaps organizing a sit-in at pep would speak louder.

    1. Farina used to sit right next to uncle Joel and nod her head. I prefer Klein to her - no phony. You saw what you got. What is interesting is that this pep crew hasn't yet faced the vilification like the old pep. I went after 7 of them yesterday and felt they are vulnerable to some public pressure. Time to get out the sock puppets.

  2. Hey Norm,

    Too bad the doe removed the audio from the June PEP, I was looking forward to hearing you go after them. Do you know if anyone from the chancellor's office reached out to the discontinued probationary teacher who spoke?

    I wonder how long before teaching is going to be relegated to a temp position for 22 year olds?

    1. I have all the videos. Just been lazy. Will try later tonight.


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