Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Praise to Politicians (a few at least) on Wanting to Put a Stake in the Heart of Mayoral Control

UPDATED 7/29 -6am

Anti-Mayoral Control Press Conference Small But Significant

State Assemblywoman Inez Barron organized today's press conference condemning the deal, or sellout, by some of the very same people in the state senate who stood on the same steps just last Thursday claiming they would stand firm on getting parents a real role in the governance scheme. Her husband, city councilman Charles Barron, made his usual powerful speech.

Charles Barron attacked the senators leading the conference last Thursday while it was going on. When asked why his wife Inez was standing with the senators, he said she was her own woman.
See our report here , some videos of what some of the senators Adams, Perkins, Huntley, Kruger and Diaz said here and a video of Barron laying waste to Monserrate and Espada at

Today the Barrons were totally on the same page.

What's been interesting in this process is the tenuous but growing relationship between the Grassroots Education Movement (GEM) and some politicians.
Now you know what I think of politicians but some of these guys (and gals) have been on the money standing firm against mayoral control. No tweakers here. We've gotten to feel real comfortable with Barron and his staff and Bill Perkins has made his office available for organizing meetings in Harlem. The staffers we've met seem to be very sharp.

The Barrons of Brooklyn today were no less than spectacular.
I came in the middle of Inez Barrons wonderful speech but David Bellel got it all. Don't miss one second.

Inez spent over 30 years in the NYC school system so she knows whereby she speaks. As Leonie said tonight over at the NYC Parents blog,
"From class size and "creative confusion" to the NAEPs, Barron tells the real story behind the Bloomberg myth. She even quotes John Dewey and Martin Luther King Jr. on the meaning and purpose of education. Inez Barron for Schools Chancellor!

What a great idea! Inez Barron for chancellor.

Could hubbie Charles top her today? He said he doesn't want parents to have just a role like parent training centers and other fluff in the bills. He wants parent power, not mayoral power. And power for educators. I'll call it a tie but see for yourself.

Now, the surprise to me was the appearance of City Council Ed Committee chair Robert Jackson, who has said numerous times he supports mayoral control with controls. So what was he doing at a Barrons of Brooklyn total-opposition-to-all-forms-of-mayoral-control event? Jackson, who was not well received at the rally at Tweed a few weeks ago where Barron (Charles) stormed the steps of Tweed, seems to have had a change of heart – on the surface, at least.

After all, Jackson is so tied at the hip to the UFT which supports the mildest form of tweaks. But there he was thanking the Barrons for opening his eyes. At the end of his speech, there was an awkward hug with Charles Barron, who is seizing the reigns of the anti-mayoral control debate in sections of the black community. (See the Jackson video

And why not? What happened to the movement in the 60's calling for black parents to have a say in the control of their communities? We know what happened as local political forces in the white and black districts, with the help of the UFT, turned that movement into patronage mills where may white and black activists throughout the city were bought off. Now it's been Bloomberg doing the buying off. But that game is beginning to wear off as the calls for community power, BloomKlein's worst nightmare, are reemerging and slowly taking hold.

Tweak This
In the we'll take anything but going back to the old system of community control caucus, there are still serious anti BloomKlein forces supporting the Huntley bill which will supposedly forge a parent partnership with the mayor. If anyone has looked recently, you can't forge a partnership with this megalomaniac.

The Brilliant Barrons of Brooklyn are talking about really changing governance, not throwing tweaks at it. Let's go back to community control and tweak that.

The recent uprisings in the black community against BloomKlein must be making them sweat. They're even sending out their champion Geoffrey Canada to debate our champion Sam Anderson this Thursday on WBAI at 7 AM. Kick his ass Sam.

I'm heading out to LA early tomorrow with a NY contingent to meet with our teacher counterparts from other cities, so blog posts may be sporadic over the next few days. Unless Sally Lee let's me use her cute Macbook Air.

And don't forget to check the sidebar for some important events coming up. Teacher activist Mark Torres has sent a big list to keep people busy.

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