Saturday, June 20, 2009

"The borough president didn’t send me here to be a potted plant" - Patrick Sullivan

“The folks and parents of Manhattan do not expect me to be a rubber stamp,” Mr. Sullivan told the schools chancellor, Joel I. Klein, who serves as the panel’s chairman. As usual, Mr. Sullivan cast the lone dissenting vote. “The borough president didn’t send me here to be a potted plant.”

Manhattan borough rep Patrick Sullivan at the "emergency" - illegal - PEP meeting called on 50 minutes notice on Friday. Read more in the NY Times.

The Panel for Educational Policy in action


ed notes online said...

Thanks, Patrick, for being the lone individual to not only speak up for NYC's public school parents, but to actually care about what happens to their children. Not that anything more was needed to illustrate the complete ineffectuality of PEP as it now stands, and the Mayor's and Chancellor's total disregard for its role, but this last budget-related event certainly paints a disgustingly clear picture of mayoral control and why new and better legislation is needed. Just when you think things couldn't have been any worse than the Bush/Cheney era as regards open and honest government with meaningful debate and (at least occasional) compromise, you see something like this and realize that, yes, it can indeed be worse -- and NYC has it!

I cannot recall reading about a more disgusting, autocratic, public-be-damned display regarding the management of NYC's public schools than this. It would be nice to think it would open the eyes of a few people who should know better than to support the status quo, but I'm pessimistic. Money and power talk, the people can just walk.

Our thanks to you for continuing to be the lonely voice in the PEP wilderness.

Steve Koss (on the nyced news listseve)

ed notes online said...

Bless Patrick Sullivan, the bravest man in New York City. He should be a role model to us all. He is a pillar of moral integrity.

Diane Ravitch (NYC ED NEWS)

ed notes online said...

Patrick Sullivan to NYC Ed News

A few have asked about how PEP bylaws deal with scheduling of meetings. The bylaws are on the DOE web site on the PEP page.

Here is Article 2 which deals with meetings. I would understand Friday's emergency meeting to be a "Special Calendar Meeting" but without the required 24 hour notification.

None of the mayoral appointees spoke at the special session except for one who criticized me for not bringing my questions earlier (I posed them between two week and two months ago). One reason I was so mad was, like many of the readers of this listserv, I am all too familiar with the petty, patronizing tyranny of Chancellor' Reg A-660 governing PTA operations. The mayor's men follow no rules but promulgate endless rules for parents to follow under threat of sanctions.

I think Friday's event should help make it clear to everyone that the proposed Assembly bill will change nothing with regard to the city board. A large majority of mayoral appointees who can be fired at will are not going to stop the administration from ignoring either the board's bylaws or the state laws.


Section 2.1 Types of Panel for Educational Policy Meetings
Meetings shall be open to the public except to the extent permitted by law. The Panel for
Educational Policy may adjourn a meeting or recess a meeting by agreement of a majority of
those members attending a meeting. Upon announcing an adjournment or a recess, the
Chancellor shall also announce an estimated date and/or time for reconvening the Panel for
Educational Policy into public session.

2.1.1 Calendar Meetings
These meetings are held to take official action, in public, on matters for which the Panel
for Educational Policy is responsible. At calendar meetings, business shall be the
consideration of the resolutions, communications and other appropriate matters as
described in the calendar accompanying the meeting notice. No other matters shall be
considered except by consent of a majority of the members present.
At calendar meetings an opportunity may be provided for public comment regarding
action items prior to a vote on such action items.
Meetings will be held at a time to be established by the Chancellor.

2.1.2 Public Agenda Meetings and Public Hearings
These meetings are held to encourage maximum participation of the general public in
the work of the Panel for Educational Policy. At these meetings, the Panel listens to the
views of the public. These meetings may proceed without a quorum present. No votes
are taken at these meetings.
These meetings shall be called at the discretion of the Chancellor.

2.1.3 Special Calendar Meetings and Adjourned or Recessed Meetings
Special calendar meetings may be held on the call of the Chancellor, provided that
written notice of such meeting shall be given to each member, not less than twenty-four
(24) hours in advance and shall state the matters to be considered. No other matters
may be considered at said meetings, except with the consent of all members present.
Meetings may be reconvened to continue the work of an adjourned or recessed meeting.

2.1.4 Change in Date or Time and Cancellation of Meetings
Revised 2/10/04
A meeting of the Panel for Educational Policy may be changed to a stated date and time
at the direction of the Chancellor.

2.1.5 Place of Meetings
All calendar meetings of the Panel for Educational Policy and public agenda meetings
shall be held at a place to be determined by the Chancellor.

2.1.6 Notification
The Secretary shall notify all members of the postponement or cancellation of any
regular meeting or the calling of any special meeting or the holding of any adjourned or
recessed meeting.

NYC Educator said...

What a great quote! It says it all.