Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 5 Rochester Parents/Students Travel to Malcolm Smith's New York City Offices to Demand Autonomy and No Mayoral Control

UPDATED - Sun, July 4, 11pm

In NYC, mayoral dictatorship has led to parent voices being shut out; growing class sizes, manipulation of data and statistics, massive chaos and school overcrowding; school closings and privatization as charter schools are given space in district school buildings. Arbitrary and damaging decisions are repeatedly made for our kids by people who have never sent their own kids to public school.

Please join Rochester parents if you can;

Thanks, Leonie

July 5, 2010



What: Press conference and rally with The Rochester Community Education Task Force. Rochester parents, students and community leaders will travel six and a half hours to Queens and Manhattan to express opposition to Senator Smith's high pressure tactics pushing mayoral control in Rochester. Senator Smith introduced a senate bill for mayoral control last month at the request of Governor Paterson. Both Rochester area senators Joseph Robach and James Alesi have refused to sponsor mayoral control legislation, as they are well aware of the overwhelming opposition to mayoral control of Rochester schools.

The Rochester delegation will be met by New York City education activists who will express solidarity based on years of failed reform under mayoral control. They are anticipated to express concern with Malcolm Smith's involvement in charter school scandals in Queens.

Part One: Visibility Event / Rally at Queens Office

Where: 205-19 Linden Blvd, St. Albans, outside Malcolm Smith's Queens office

When: 12:30pm Monday, July 5

Part Two: Press Conference at Manhattan Office

Where: 250 Broadway, opposite City Hall, Malcolm Smith's Manhattan office

When: 3:00 pm Monday, July 5

Contact: Mary Adams, representing the Community Education Task Force

Parent of two current RCSD students

585 317-2367 or 585 615-1626 (no access on Monday, use phone)

About the Community Education Task Force (CETF)

The task force of students, parents, grandparents, teachers, community leaders and education activists assembled in January 2010 as a coalition of groups responding to the Mayor Robert Duffy's announced plan to eliminate the elected Rochester City School District School Board and take control of the city's public schools.

Addendum from Leonie
See below message from Rochester parent activist Mary Adams; all NYC parents are invited to join her and other parents and students who are travelling all the way from Rochester to protest Sen. Malcolm Smith’s introduction of a bill in the legislature to impose mayoral control on their schools.

Right now Rochester has an elected school board (lucky them!), and neither of the Rochester State Senators could be convinced to introduce such an unpopular and un-democratic bill.

Instead, in violation of long-standing practice to allow local legislators to have priority over laws that will be imposed in their districts, Queens State Senator Malcolm Smith has introduced a bill modeled on the law that extended mayoral control in NYC, creating parent community councils with only “advisory” powers (we know what that means), and a rubber stamp board that the mayor would control through a majority of appointees.

Smith has declared that the State Senate would vote on this bill as early as Tuesday.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Smith has also received thousands of dollars in contributions from the hedge fund privateers and charter school lobby, and is under investigation for numerous ethical and legal violations.

All NYC parents are invited to join Rochester parents in protest at one or both the two events listed below; the first in front of Smith’s office in St. Albans, Queens at 12:30 PM; the other in front of his office at 250 Broadway in Manhattan at 3 PM, near City Hall. A special invitation goes to Smith’s constituents to attend these events. Let him know how you feel, about his standing in the way of democracy and the rights of Rochester parents to have a say in their children’s education.

From Mary:

We welcome SOLIDARITY SPEAKERS at either or both locations, and have not yet confirmed any for certain -- if you have a story to tell about mayoral control or about public school issues in NYC , or the Senator's charter schools, etc. we would like to have you make a brief press statement of solidarity with us. We would also like to get to know you, so maybe we can plan on a brief debrief after the event at a nearby park or coffee shop.


Mary Adams (parent) at
for the Rochester Community Education Task Force

585 615-1626 or 585 317-2367

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