Friday, July 24, 2009

The City Hall Press Conference on Parent Power, Round 1


It was a fun afternoon around Chambers Street yesterday. The press conference at City Hall was a highlight. (Photo from Epoch Times.)

I went over to the press conference at City Hall after spending some time at the David Pakter hearing (what a hoot!) across the street and taped most of the speeches. There was lots of disdain on the faces of DOE people and many reporters (CBS' Marcia Kramer was priceless) as the much disparaged State Senators Hiram Monserrate and Pedro Espada led the parade in calling for more parent power with a large crowd behind them on the steps of City Hall.

But there were also good speeches by very reputable state senators Shirley Huntley, Bill Perkins and Eric Adams. GEM's Brian Jones and PS 123 parent activist Bill Hargreaves also spoke. I'm working on putting up videos of the non-scoundrels. The Epoch Times has a report with a quote from Brian and a counter quote from the UFT:

Brian Jones, who has been a teacher in Harlem for six years, said that the states’ allocation of funding to create and remodel charter schools is an attempt to privatize education. He is a member of the Grassroots Education Movement (GEM), which seeks to “save our schools from privatization,” said a flier.

Ron Davis of the UFT denied the threat of privatization posed by charter schools by saying that charter schools are public schools that have specialized programs.

The full story is here:
Senators and Parents Protest Mayor’s School Control

City Councilman Charles Barron had a different angle, despite the fact his wife, Assembley woman Inez Barron joined the others:

Barron On Amigos' Mayoral Control Battle: 'A Front' And 'A Fraud

Charles Barron talked to Elizabeth Benjamin at The Daily Politics:

"accused the amigos of trying "to undermine black leadership," adding: "We should have left their behinds over there (with the Republicans)."
"I'm down with stopping mayoral control; I'm not down with Espada and Hiram Monserrate and Kruger and Diaz," Barron continued. "They betrayed the cause for them to go over and try to empower Republicans until they got their little personal agenda satisfied."

"This ain't about mayoral control for them; it's not about decontrol, vacancy decontrol. It's not about the people's agenda. He finally got, Espada, a position he should not have had, and Hiram probably cut some deal somewhere, too. This was never about what they're trying to front about now...It was about Hiram's agenda and Espada's agenda...This is a fraud."

Wayne Barrett in The Voice on a pending deal - Holy Cow - Debbie Meier was the sticking point!

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