Friday, December 18, 2009

PEP Boys (and Girls) December Meeting: Cracks Show in the Bloomberg/Klein Monolith

That was some meeting last night and as usual, there is so much to say and so little time. At least three reporters were there: Gotham's Anna Philips, the Times' Jennifer Medina, and the Daily News' Rachel Monahan so we will be getting reports from them I assume. Thanks to all three for helping guide and escort this old man partway home after the meeting on the #2 train from so far north in the Bronx I thought I was in Canada. They really need to hold a PEP meeting in Alaska where Klein can declare, "I can see data from here!"

One interesting thing was the number of young teachers, some from TFA and the TF programs who stood up for their schools. It wasn't just the older teachers who are outraged. These are the very people the ed deformers were counting on to be their shock troops. I was with some of the reporters on the way home and we ran into one of the teachers, a 3rd year TFA who remained after her commitment to stay at her school. Her school in the first year also closed. She said she wanted to stay in the NYC system and now that is doubtful. BloomKlein first went after the older teachers and now are eating their own young.

There is a lot more to report. The crooked bus company contract. The contract for professional development. And the space allocation bull. Patrick Sullivan was even more magnificent than usual, joined at times by Bronx rep Anna Santos. For the first time we saw the Bloomberg/Klein rubber stamps crack a bit as they tabled some of the issues. The Jan. 26 PEP will be a doozie as the passions and anger are running rampant. No more easy street for this gang.

The number of people defending their schools was awesome. Even Leo Casey wasn't bad, though he always sounds like one big whine. I do find it disingenuous for Casey to complain that closing schools is just a real estate grab (Ed Notes, ICE and GEM should have copyrighted the idea) when the UFT is engaging in its own real estate grab with two charter schools occupying space in public schools.

There was one candidate for UFT president present and it wasn't Mulgrew. James Eterno was there. He didn't bring his 6 month old last night as he did to the Jamaica HS rally the night before. Kara is becoming one serious activist. (See the link on the sidebar to the pics posted on the GEM blog.)

The piece resistance goes to GEM's Angel Gonzalez who took over the meeting as James Eterno and another ICE member held up the ICE/NYCORE banner we used in a demo last year. That video will be coming soon.

GEM and CAPE and others are discussing holding a rally at chez Bloomberg or City Hall on Jan. 21 as a warm-up to the rubber stamps on the PEP. Imagine staff and students from all the closing schools paying Bloomie a personal visit! Let's hope it happens.

Here is the first video I made of a student, teacher and the principal giving a magnificent defense of Columbus HS. Go get em gang!




Leonie put up this video made by the staff of Columbus on the NYC Education News blog.

A wonderful piece of work and I urge other schools on the closing list to do the same.

Save Columbus High School!

Leonie writes:
I hope everyone reads Christine Rowland's excellent piece on the unfair and destructive proposal to close Columbus HS at GothamSchools and then joins the Facebook group to Save Columbus.

Read DOE's totally inadequate "education impact statement" calling for the school's closure, and send in your comments to the DOE. Be sure to email them as well to all the PEP members (their addresses are to the right).

Then come to the PEP meeting where the school's closure will be voted on, along with more than thirty other closings and changes in school utilization, at Brooklyn Tech on Jan. 26, and make your voices heard!


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