Friday, July 18, 2008

Planning to Change the World

From NY Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE)

Planning to Change the World, the social justice teacher’s plan book published by the network and NYCoRE, is an enormous success. In the first six days of sales, we have sold more than 550 planners. We are well on our way to making this book an underground hit!

I have attached a flier that you can copy and put in teachers’ mailboxes or pass out at relevant events.
We also have a new Facebook page (

You can help spread the word by checking out the page and becoming a friend. If your organization or school would like to place a bulk order, please contact or

Remember, all proceeds from sales of this planner support the work of the network and NYCoRE, so we very much appreciate your participation in this exciting project.

Bree and Tara

Planning to Change the World: A Plan Book for Social Justice Teachers
Order your copy today at


  1. __________________________________

    Re: Planning To Change the World,

    From the NY Collective of Radical Educators ( NYCoRE)

    And To Think I Never Knew I Was An Honest To Goodness "Radical"

    Before I write another word, let me state that I just used my Pay Pal account to order not 1 (One), but 2 (Two) copies of that fabulous, "MUST have for every teacher in America", weekly plan book.

    How could I resist owning a book so critical and necessary for the proper educating of our young.

    But another reason I was anxious to get my hands on a copy, or two, was because in all my 37 years of teaching in New York City, I never, let me repeat that, never knew I was a: (Trumpets please), Radical.

    I began teaching, in 1968, at the height of the Iraq, oops- I mean Viet Nam War- (you know- the war that to this day has never been declared a "war"- it was just/simply a "conflict").

    At that time, anyone who was against the Viet Nam War, er, "conflict" I meant to say, (darn that "politicly correct Spell check program), was labeled a G-d damn, S.O.B. commie sympathizer who was obviously therefore, a never, ever, ever, to be trusted, (Trumpets again please)"RADICAL".

    Well sir, actually I never felt like a Radical, a Communist, a Socialist, an Anarchist, or any other kind of "ist"- except maybe an "art-ist"- which is what I did call myself from the time I started scribbling on sheets of paper at the tender age of two.

    And by the age of three my future Artistic career had taken off in earnest. And just a mere half a century later, a snap of the fingers, the blink of an eye, compared to the age of the Cosmos, the internet had come into being and I could let the world see what I had produced during the minuscule time span of fifty years.

    But other than considering myself an "Artist", the only other thing I ever considered myself as being was a Teacher and thus may I pose the question as to whether that makes me a "Teachist" or perhaps "Teacherist".

    But a "Radical", no, I can't say I ever considered myself as being what people, (at least those who voted for George Bush-twice)would label a "Radical". Not from the first day I set foot in a Bronx classroom til my last day, 37 years later when I was most unceremoniously removed from a school building on the East side of Manhattan by "security people" who were in the employ of a person who has been blamed for the "deKlein", oops, decline of the NYC public schools system.

    It was at that pivotal point, apparently, despite three decades of suits and ties, that a certain former Federal Prosecutor named Joel Klein, Esq. and his enforcers, after due deliberation concluded that I was a dirty, rotten, no good "Radical" after all.

    Well I suppose one cannot escape the long arm of Justice in this world. Mea culpa. I have to admit that for 37 years I spoke to my students about "Social Justice", about what our beloved United States Constitution stood for (in theory), although it was not always carried in practice.

    No matter what the specific subject was that I was teaching, whether it was 5th grade reading, or, a few decades later, Medical Illustration on the Graduate School, College level, to my intellectually gifted High School classes, I always felt that the bigger subject that had to be imparted and understood, was the subject of, yes you guessed it, you fast learner, you,- Social Justice.

    And that meant Social Justice for all people in a society- not just some of the people or most of the people, and certainly not for just a privileged few- but for everyone.

    Such was my belief that the topic of "Social Justice" and being sure one's students knew what that term stood for, that simply "educating" students in the conventional sense of helping them "master" a subject and even receiving a perfect score on a State Regents Exam was never quite good enough for me. And certainly not good enough for them.

    No sir! My students had to know the value of their Education in terms of its relationship to the overall Social fabric around them.

    And my students had to know about every man and woman who ever lived who shared my philosophy of what constitutes the real and true and most important, overriding, overarching purpose of "learning".

    In short they had to be able to define what was the chief reason why we were hitting those books so hard every day.

    They had to understand what, in the final analysis, is the end goal of "Education".

    Surely not just to make a mountain of money or live in a bigger house than one's neighbor, or drive a more expensive car than one's neighbor, or take more and longer vacations to countries where people possess neither houses nor fast cars.

    No sir. One teaches and hopes and prays to the Stars that his students will understand, that one learns so that the world may become some day a better place, a fairer place, a place where no child must go to bed hungry and feel cold.

    A real educator, the true educator, ensures that no matter what the lesson he is teaching, there is always embedded in that lesson, even if it is only in the tone of his voice, or a remark made in passing, the bigger lesson that we are all in this together.

    That the peoples of the world will swim or sink together. That, as a Son of the American Revolution so correctly articulated: "If we do not hang together, we will most assuredly hang separately".

    One people, one Nation, one Earth.
    That is what the true teacher is careful to make sure his students leave school every day thinking as they board the buses and trains to take them on their long journeys home.

    So I must fully congratulate those great and noble educators who have put into "Weekly Plan Book" form all the material, the people, the historical names, the dates, the key events, which I did my utmost to weave into all the lessons I sought to deliver as best I was able, to the limits of my simple mortal power, for 37 years.

    How fast all those years went by.

    And I would suspect, that no doubt, the very people and forces which are trying their best now to finish me off, once and for all, will jump all over and seize every opportunity to try to discredit those people who are responsible for this splendid new "Weekly Plan Book". "A plan to change the world". A plan to call student's attention to the meaning of Social Justice- for All.

    Oh- they will jump all over that term "Radical". And one can be certain that they are burning the Midnight oil downtown at 52 Chambers Street, right now, over at "Boss Tweed's" former stately, Palatial marble hangout.

    I can imagine, if one were a fly on the wall, one might hear remarks like:

    "What have we here now in our midst- these self proclaimed Radical Educators, (cough, cough), snuff 'em out I say- stamp 'em out before they breed and infect the whole lot of our children with some high faluting, "commie" ideas about Equal Rights and an "even playing field".

    "We'll give the buggers an even playing field, we will"- just as even and flat and quiet as any cemetary in this land can be".

    Well, you "Radical Educators" out there, listen up. Pay no mind to those old bald, deaf and dumb geezers hiding behind the curtains at the old Tweed Court House.

    Because this isn't Kansas and the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy and Toto have long ago moved on to better and brighter places. They are all up there in them there puffy white clouds looking down on all you Radical Educators right now and they are saying- at least I hope they are saying:

    "You know, you Radicals, you,- that poor old artist who goes by the name of Pakter never knew or realized that he was really and actually a "radical" just like you.

    "But for 37 years he did what you are advocating now and his heart was always in the right place, may the gods bless him and look out for him.

    "So, just this once, mind you, cut him a little slack and allow him to become a card carrying Member of "The New York Collective of Radical Educators".

    "After all he did order not one but two copies, of that famous Weekly Plan Book. And he was never trying to upstage you people by starting to try to change the World almost four decades ago, way back in 1968- probably before any of you were even a twinkle in your Mother's and Father's eyes.

    "The poor bugger was just a little ahead of his time- maybe should have owned a watch business."

    David Pakter, M.A., M.F.A.

    Decorated by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani
    in New York's City Hall as
    "Teacher of the Year"

  2. If opposing White Chalk Crime makes us radicals, then what does this say about our country?
    A. We think crime is a fine perk for those leading our schools
    B. We don't care about our kids who suffer institutionalized child abuse rather than become educated
    C. We label people who get in our way of our special interests
    D. We eliminate any possibility of having teachers as described above - brilliant, insightful, dedicated and able to make a difference.
    E. All of the above.

    Thanks for inspiring me to start a blog on here:

    It is time people figured this out.

    Karen Horwitz, M.Ed
    Author of White Chalk Crime: The REAL Reason Schools Fail, available at or

    We are making progress when we are labeled radical rather than crazy!

  3. __________________________________

    Re: Comment of Karen Horwitz, M.Ed

    I read her recently published blockbuster expose:

    -The REAL Reason Schools Fail"

    This book is a mind bending, life changing, perception altering experience.

    For those interested I posted the following FIVE STAR Review on
    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:


    By David Pakter "artist / educator" (New York, NY USA) -

    A shattering expose of how the multi-billion dollar world of education in America has been turned into a business. This seminal work by an expert who has spent her entire life in the field of education pulls back the curtain and exposes the almost unbelievable degree of corruption that exists in the Wizard of Oz world of educating our nation's children.

    It has become less about what is good for children and more about how tens of thousands of people, reaching to the highest levels of government have found countless ways to skim and milk the system of money that should be going towards helping educate children in the classroom.

    Teachers nationwide who dare to expose this corruption, that manifests itself in countless different forms, (both within schools proper as well as inside the labyrinthian bureaucracies that control the funding), are dealt with swiftly and harshly.

    I myself was one such Whistle-blower who attempted to report massive corruption, financial mismanagement and ongoing Federal Civil Rights violations occurring in schools in New York City. My reward for doing the right thing was that I was removed on trumped up allegations and found myself fighting a "David versus Goliath" legal battle for the past four years and counting.

    Should anyone wish to know the real reason/s I was removed from my position, it is only necessary to visit the United Federation of Teachers website:

    There one will see a photograph of me being decorated by former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in New York's City Hall as a "Teacher of the Year" for Exceptional Achievement in Education. I had designed, built from the ground up, and personally funded, the first premiere Medical Illustration Program in the United States for gifted Minority students. The goal of the program was to serve as a launching pad to propel those highly intellectually gifted students from socio-economically deprived backgrounds into Ivy League Universities and into careers including Medicine, as Physicians and research Scientists.

    The success of this unique program was such, that it attracted the attention of Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist, Clara Hemphill.

    But once I became a Whistle-blower the New York City Board/Dept of Education went after me with a blistering degree of vengeance and retaliation not witnessed in decades and has led to the Legal arm, known as NYSUT, of the United Federation of Teachers, filing a $ 30,000,000 (thirty million) NOTICE OF CLAIM against schools Chancellor Joel Klein, Esq. and the New York City Board of Education on my behalf.

    My case, in the way the press and other assorted news media have reported the above story, in the most skewed and distorted manner possible, makes the case one of the poster children of Karen Horwitz's amazingly factually detailed book. Ms. Horwitz recounts dozens of stories, like my own, all part of an ultimately shocking and illuminating expose of how the world of Education has become a form of billion dollar "piggy bank" for those in a position to raid and feed at the trough of publicly funded Education budgets.

    The countless stories of the fates that have befallen teachers nationwide and the abusive, often sadistic and illegal methods that have been utilized to retaliate against and silence teachers who have tried to report egregious wrongdoing and outright theft of taxpayer money is ultimately heartbreaking but a story that must be told.

    This is a landmark and seminal book, painstakingly researched over a decade, that will hopefully serve and assist the long overdue need to expose the rampant theft of the enormous financial resources that are intended to educate our children. This monumental work will also hopefully call the public's attention to what has happened to the lives and careers of hardworking, dedicated educators nationwide, who at great personal and professional risk to their careers, have spoken out about WHITE CHALK CRIME: The REAL Reason Schools Fail.

    David Pakter, M.A., M.F.A.

    Artist and Instructor of Medical Illustration

  4. Lighten up M.A., M.F.A. man, you don't have to drop your credentials everytime you post. Why the resume? It comes across as pompous and it doesn't make me think any more or less of you, instead I'll infer what I want based upon your post. Maybe something you're not aware of...every tenured teacher in NYC has a Masters degree too and I would imagine most don't feel the need to sign with it by their name everytime they write something.

  5. ___________________________________
    Re: Comment by "anonymous" at 8:37

    Dear Anonymous:

    Thank you for taking the time to share your wisdom- something I am always searching for in this Life.

    May I also share some information with you?

    If you have read my previous comments with care then you would be aware that my case/s will be heard by a Judge and Jury at some time in the immediate future.

    While the fact that I note my various Degrees at the end of all my comments may appear "pompous" in your words, I am more concerned with the fact that in taking on the NYC DOE, a vastly and totally corrupt 18 or is it, 19 billion dollar business comglomerate, I will need to establish as much credibility as possible with those who will be deciding the outcome of these legal proceedings.

    It has perhaps not occurred to you that my attorneys may very well choose to introduce into evidence some of things I say here and without regard to conferring with you and seeking your expert legal advice.

    Between offending your infinite sensibilities towards other people's writing styles, and emerging victorious in my upcoming Lawsuits, I believe I will have to give the latter consideration my biggest priority.

    Since you took the trouble to educate me regarding something you believe I was "not aware of" allow me to return the favor by apprising you of something which possibly you "are not aware of".

    While virtually all tenured teachers must have at least one Masters degree I rather doubt all tenured teachers have two Masters degrees.

    You are of course quite entitled to "infer what you want" from the comments you read here at Education Notes Online. However I would respect you far more if you accepted responsibility for your unsolicited expert opinions by signing your "comments" with a real name.

    And BTW, Why don't YOU lighten up.

    Yours etc, etc

    David Pakter

  6. What, no M.A., M.F.A. this time?

    My initial post was to express MY OPINION that you sounded pompous, and yes, you still sound pompous.

    Sorry, I haven't read your previous comments with care. I just didn't find it important enough to do so. To suggest, as you did, in your above post that I should have is in my opinion...drum roll please...pompous.

    Another thing, again just my opinion, I don't think that posting on Ed Notes will establish credibility in anyone's eyes. No offense to Norman but that's like saying a Facebook page could help establish credibility.

    And it did not occur to me that your attorneys may choose to introduce what you post here into evidence because I have not been following your situation. If your above post is implying that I should have, well then that's just...wait for it...pompous.

    I never stated I had expert legal advice either. Actually I never mentioned anything about law as that's not my forte, but thanks for that condescending remark that reads as being very superior and...can you guess?...pompous.

    Something else, sorry quite a few teachers in NYC have dual Masters degrees. You're in good company but it's not as exclusive as you would like to think. No reason to be elitist or...wham, bam, thank you ma'am...pompous.

    And I will infer and write what I want (within reason of course), that is freedom of speech. My opinion, so accept it for what it is.

    Want to keep going?

  7. a bystander just reading the blog..seems like the person in the glass house, has plenty of stones to throw at who "he/she" deems pompous. While I don't know either of you..I find the stone throwers comments humorous and well....pompous! Who is laughing now? Mr Parker seems eloquent and distinguished in his profession but you..oh stone thrower....seem....pompous and vengeful! It seems like you need to read the book White Chalk Crime... sounds like you may just be one of the rat$ written about in the book. If not...why would you be so bent out of shape? Seems like a nerve has been touched. Perhaps..rightly so! Perhaps Mr. Parker can "teach" you a thing or two...after all..he has two masters degrees and I beg to differ...not MANY NYC teachers have them..lets get real!
    P.S. why shouldn't he state his credentials, he has earned them. Where are yours?????


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