Sunday, May 9, 2010

Rally/Hearing to stop the charter co-location of Clinton Middle School - Monday, May 10, 5:45PM, Followed by Public Hearing

Please Forward Widely!

MONDAY MAY 10th 4:45PM

Rally/ Hearing to stop the charter co-location of Clinton Middle School.

Last chance for public comment before co-location is put to a vote at the next PEP meeting on May 18th.

The American Sign Language School

223 East 23rd Street between 2 & 3rd Aves.

PS347/47 is the only dual language American Sign Language and English public school in the country. It is a school with a long history of servicing the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community. The school is broken up in 2 parts a High School (47) and a lower school for grades pre-k - 8 (347). In addition to these school the building currently houses PS138 a school for students with disabilities and is partly occupied by Quest to Learn, a small middle school of about 70 students, which will be vacating its spot this year.

The DOE is proposing that The Clinton Middle School for Writers and Artists, a school of about 300 students replace Quest to Learn. The proposal has The Clinton School occupying the science labs which would mean required Regents science classes could not be offered to students. This would also cause issues of safety as grades K through 8 would need to occupy the same floor and share a total of 3 toilets, increase congestion in the hallways, and have classroom size increase while classroom space would be decreased, since the proposal calls for small conference rooms to be made into classrooms.

The students, teachers and staff need the space to communicate. ASL is a visual language that requires movement through space. One needs to be able to see the speaker in order to understand and respond. This is not possible by sitting in rows. Why is the DOE making 4 schools suffer at the will of 1?

See Kolodner piece in the Daily News

The Take Away
These attacks are continuing and GEM is fighting back.

What can you do?

GEM meeting of schools organizing Committee: Tuesday 5pm Cuny Grad. Center

WHAT: GEM school organizing Committee

WHEN: Tuesday May 11th, 5pm

Where: CUNY grad. center ROOM 5409 BET. 34/35th street on 5th ave. TRAINS: 6, R, N, F, D, Q, B, V

Folks, things are getting serious and we need to step up the pressure and the actions. Our union is not doing the organizing work a union should be doing so it is up to US!

GEM(grassroots education movement: is working on organizing on the school level to fight back against the attacks on public education and to fight for a more just, equitable and community based education system in our city.

We are working with any teacher who wishes to start a fight back committee in their school, or just wants to get discussion going among staff and parents about issues affecting their schools.

GEM members are planning for a pre school picket early in June against budget cuts and are inviting others to take action the same day in a show of solidarity across the city. If you are interested in learning more about this action or about how to start conversations among your staff or just want to learn about what GEM is up to and how we can support you in your school please come on Tuesday. If you are interested but can't attend the meeting please respond by sending an email to

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