Thursday, December 31, 2009

Whipping up a Delicious Souffle of The Resistance

Even though I can't cook, one of the fun things of this "job" is gathering together the ingredients to make a delicious souffle. A people souffle, of course.

Yesterday I took part in as tasty a meal as I've had in a long time.

I whipped this lunch up for a visit to New York by parent activist Sharon Higgins -Perimeter Primate and The Broad Report blogs. I've never met Sharon, but she has been a blogging buddy. Originally the two of us were going to meet for lunch, but I figured this was a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the break and gather a selection of activists and defenders of public education in the NYC area.

The resistance LIVES!!!

Add a quart of major NYC parent activists.

Toss in a bunch of teachers from some of the active groups in the Resistance:

A dash of ICE

A pinch of NYCORE

A pint of GEM

And for dessert, CAPE.

We were limited to 8-10 people due to the space in the restaurant - Karavas in the Village, which is where we often end up at these small political events. Security was tight. If BloomKlein got wind, an entire swath of resistance fighters refusing to accept their mantra that "resistance is futile" could have been compromised.

Conversation was sharp and tart as I sat there swiveling my head as if I were at a tennis match.

Sharon told us about a salon she hosted for Bay area resisters. (It reminded me of a few parties I had held out here a couple of times.) It's a great idea. People need to get together outside meetings and rallies just to talk. Oakland teacher/activist/writer Jack Gerson attended. Jack was in Another View, the first activist group I ever joined, for a while in the early 70's when he taught in NYC.

Sharon filled us in on doings in Oakland and how she got started trying to take back her daughter's school from the invaders. She talked about what they had done to the Oakland schools (read more on her blog.) Did you think the first through 200th Klein reorganizations were ludicrous (like why drive out experienced educators and replace them with people who know nothing). Well after hearing Sharon's story, it is clear more than ever that this is a national plan. Ahhh, the value of show and tell.

We brought her up to speed on The Resistance in NYC. The parents talked about a national network, just as we are looking to develop one among teachers. We all talked about the actions we have planned here.

I realized on the way home that even though I knew almost everybody there real well, a surprising number of them hadn't met each other. And parents and teachers don't often get to sit down for 3 hours in a non-meeting setting and just talk. And talk. And talk. Three hours wasn't enough. Talk with an action plan takes some time.

My swiveling neck hurts but my brain is exploding from the stimulation.

I can't repeat much of the classified conversation. But Tweed better start battening down the hatches.


Anonymous said...

May I suggest another ending your piece...

We have set the table and Tweed should be prepared to get served!

caroline said...

I wish I could have been there! Sharon and I live across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge from each other, but we've been friends since she was Googling KIPP, found some of my research and tracked me down. And I was privileged to be part of the salon she hosted. I hope this is the beginning of lots more cross-country networking.

Tweed's goose is cooked!

nikto said...

If ever there were a modern-day David versus Goliath situation, this struggle over Public School Privatization epitomizes it.

We all have to try to hold current Charter School operators' feet to the fire over the very same
they used to bring down many Public Schools.

We should tell the country to expect MIRACLES from these charters--Miracles that the beleaguered Public Schools could not achieve, but THEY (Charters) MUST!

They absolutely must.
No escape for the charters.

This might be another place to start--Harrassing Charters about any lack of transparency--What do they have to hide? What REALLY goes on behind their closed doors? etc etc

Major suspicion.

Fair is fair.

And let's be sure to make plenty of lists of EVERYONE involved in the current charter movement, in order to hold them responsible when
the Movement falters and loses favor, as it inevitably will.

Law suits may be in order at that time, investigations, convictions, payouts, even criminal charges!

Let's get the Charterizers' NAMES!
Keep them in accurate, comprehensive, annotated LISTS.

Keep these lists as you would of SS members at concentration camps during WWII.

Handy lists, those.