Tuesday, June 2, 2009


At City Limits

The New York City public school system has always been led by teachers. Until the chancellorship of Joel I. Klein.

A few subheadings:
  • Product over process- check
  • Teaching and learning downgraded- check
  • 'Contempt for the profession'- check
  • But businesses have gone bust- double check

An excellent article despite the numerous quotes from the ultimate hypocrite and intellectually dishonest UFT VP Leo Casey, who just might check out his boss' comments praising Bloomberg and mayoral control and giving them credit for the rise in test scores.

That former DOE cabinet member who is afraid of personal and professional retribution? I'll bet my union COPE contributions it is Carmen Farina, also one of the most hypocritical people on earth for remaining silent. A supposedly true educator (her silence weakens that argument), she was told by the Kleinites she didn't have the skill set for the job of Deputy Chancellor (they are on their 6th one).

Fear and Loathing in the NYC School System
The article ends with this Editor's Note:
In preparing this article, City Limits spoke with former and current DOE staffers and cabinet members, former and current school principals, academics, and critics on the left and right of the political spectrum, nearly all of whom requested anonymity out of concern for possible detrimental consequences for speaking candidly on the record on a sensitive issue. “The incredible concentration of political and financial power leaves no room f or dissent or difference,” said one person.

Many expressed worry that their schools might suffer or their programs might be jeopardized, given the depth and reach of Bloomberg-funded civic and philanthropic projects citywide. The mayor’s broad and deep connections across political, financial, social and philanthropic networks limit comments to those kept off the record – and, critics say, strongly influence largely favorable coverage in the mainstream media.

The DOE, despite prior verbal agreement to review and consider questions related to this article, declined comment, and would not address the near-universal desire for anonymity.


Chaz said...

It is a pity that educators have no power in Tweed and scary that retaliation is the name of the game if one questions Bloomberg and Klein on education policy.

Karen Horwitz said...

As the Republicans pass the gauntlet of power in education to the Democrats, they have taken care to demonize Linda Darling-Hammond because she was seeking an apolitical solution. Real educators cannot hold this power. It is too filled with goodies for that to happen. Our schools are heading toward a parallel crash to that of the financial world having been controlled by those motivated only by greed. However, when this avoidable crash happens, it will be much worse.

I had heard about the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with Jimmy Stewart, but just watched it today. It is a story about what happened to us in teaching - anyone who did not check their ideals outside the door when they entered that system became a target. Education closes out honest educators, the Jimmy Stewarts of the education world, in the same way. How can we be so foolish to think that it can only happen in Washington, DC? Didn't the priest abuse saga teach us there are no boundaries for evil? Everything is in place in education so no one will hear the good people as it was in place to block Stewart. Only in the movie one of the bad guys eventually felt guilty. White Chalk Criminals are ensconced in arrogance, confident that no one will listen to the good guys, including a Linda Darling-Hammond who actually cares about the purpose of our schools. (She knows about White Chalk Crime; we told her. Did she raise this and now must be crucified as was Stewart?)

It is political suicide for an individual to go up against these organized crooks. The public must learn about the out of control power to bully all involved or nothing will change. I have not seen a movie so on point. It was exactly what those of us with ideals for educating children experienced when we got in the way of the graft in education. Tactics to silence Stewart - sending him off for the day so he would miss the discussion on an illegally planned dam; controlling the media so no truth was printed; forging Stewart's signature on a document to create a trumped up case against him; having "expert" witnesses testify that a fake signature was his; and strong arming those who tried to help Stewart - were identical to what we experienced in education. It blew my mind that there is a 70 year old movie out there that tells our story. Most get that Washington is corrupt but do not consider that the same template applies to our schools. I do know that even if I had watched that movie before experiencing this, I would not have considered it possible in a school system. But when it did happen to me, I would have had a scaffold upon which to walk as I described what they did to me. Although I knew to locate others who could document White Chalk Crime, this movie offers much more. It lays out how political gangsters own a system. You must watch that movie. It is a brilliant lesson. And then go to EndTeacherAbuse.org, WhiteChalkCrime.com.

This movie is a bridge that can link outsiders to the truth so we can fix our schools. Without the truth, all we have is gauntlet passing and power redistributing while our schools implode. More children will commit suicide as they are literally and figuratively dying to tell the world about the bullying that starts at the top and pierces their souls. The choice is: become educated about White Chalk Crime or expect more of the same. Reform will start when those who really care learn to not trust ANY part of a system that has stood by and allowed White Chalk Crime.

Follow me at Twitter@teacherkh as I work to lift us from the EducRAT$ sinisterly constructed vault buried beneath tax subsidized propaganda.

Karen Horwitz