Sunday, June 17, 2007

Meet Martine

In response to the Feb. 28th '07 anti BloomKlein rally, on that very day, the cynics at Tweed appointed Martine Guerrier, former PEP (the phony replacement for the old DOE) rep from Brooklyn, who had been billed as a critic of BloomKlein (way, way overrated in that characterization) as the CEO of Parent Engagement at $150,000 a year. No, this does not mean she runs parties when parents get engaged. But she might as well.

We predicted Martine, who we've always thought very highly of, would disappear into the jaws of the Tweed PR machine in our "Say It Ain't So, Martine" post back in March. And so she has. Her coming out party took place at Brooklyn Tech HS Saturday in a "Meet Martine" event. Parent Eugene Falik, a Rockaway resident, posted this report on the nyceducationnews listserv.

Well, it was a standard Education Department show.

Department employees flagrantly violated the "no cell phone" policy which prohibits faculty and staff, as well as students, from bringing such contraband as cell phones and iPods into school buildings.

Parent Engagement staff allowed the police ("School Safety") people and custodian staff to run the show.

Questions were censored, by requiring them to be submitted on index cards.

Brooklyn Tech, as usual, had a host of fire code violations. Requests to Parent Engagement staff as well as Deputy Chancellor Grimm to correct the violations, and render the building safe for the invited public, were met with stony indifference.

Attempts to warn potential attendees of the danger were blocked and shouted down by the NYPD employees. It's easy to see how students confronted with this behavior would lose their cool. It's also a good justification for cell phones because requests to Ed Department staff for assistance, and compliance with the laws requiring the owner of a telephone to make it available for assistance calls had no result; only threats of punishment, including arrest, and assault.

The one good thing that came of the day is that there is now a paper trail that will require the SED to close the school until it is brought into compliance with the fire code.

Eugene Falik

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