Friday, August 27, 2010

Coalition for Public Education (CPE) Convention Sat. Aug. 28

*8am-5pm. DC-37, 125 Barclay St. Manhattan. The meat of the event, the Caucuses, will occur from 1:00-3:15pm. The convention is aimed at creating a Human Rights based People's Board of Education. Transform America will be part of the parents Caucus to help parents create the root and base for the People's Board of Education; "People's Community Councils" at every school. Free to attend.
Aug. 27, 2010, 8am

I reported last week on activist community/parent groups:

Parents and Teachers Prepare for the Gathering Storm
CEJ Front and Center

...but did not get into the CPE because I wanted to wait for their convention which is tomorrow - free and open to all.

I attended the CPE founding convention a year ago and will be attending again this year.A number of politicians were present last year, including John Liu who made a strong statement against mayoral control.

I am scheduled to be on one of the panels between 1pm and 3. I believe Leonie Haimson will also be on one of the panels. I'm not sure who else. I am supposed to speak about the union role in education. Heh-heh-heh! I'm twirling my imaginary mustache. Should I lay my Vichy analogy on them? (UFT/AFT: Think Like Vichy).

For one CPEer view of the UFT (not necessarily the official views of the CPE), see co-chair Mark Torres' analysis posted on Norm's Notes: CPE's Mark Torres' View of the UFT. Mark is a chapter leader in the Bronx.

I've been mentioning the CPE - Coalition for Public Education - over the last year without getting into historical details.

The CPE was founded a year ago out of a coalition of community activists, parents and teachers who were trying to end mayoral control of the schools. They held some rallies and other events. Last August they came together to form the CPE. You see, some good has come out of Bloomberg's naked grab for power.

The CPE developed somewhat along parallel lines with GEMNYC  (Grassroots Education Movement) whose founding preceded CPE's by a few months. GEM so far has been more focused on teachers than the CPE which does have a teacher component.

There have been lots of opportunities for CPE and GEM to together and even better possibilities for the future. The two different focuses of the groups increase the organizing capabilities of both.

CPE is very oriented towards the communities of color, as is CEJ (and be careful not to confuse the organizations), which is rooted at the Annenberg Institute with some funding support. CEJ is also a coalition of different groups.

Personally, I've gotten to know some superb activists in the CPE and many of them send a lot of love towards Ed Notes. They have some excellent ideas and some very articulate people who have a vision for a future school system without mayoral control and under community control - a system that worked for many districts pre BloomKlein but was vilified by the ed deformers so they could seize power. That system could have been fixed in a much easier way than the conflagration of disaster ed deform that has ensued.

CPE is calling for a people's tribunal examining the failures of BloomKlein and a People's Board of Education - their own version of the PEP.

It will be interesting how well they and CEJ play together.

Tomorrow, Saturday Aug 28th, the Coalition for Public Education will be holding their 2nd Annual Convention come on down. Here is the flyer and below is a video I shot of their March 4 press conference at City Hall.

CPE Blog:

CPE holds press conference at City Hall- March 4, 2010

I was there to tape it. Watch Klein walk by and the place erupts in boos.

This from a mostly black audience toward that great fighter for civil rights. It may play slow in this window so here is the direct you tube link:

I will be there with a video camera to interview some people for a film I am working on with other NYC ed activists - our response to the ed deformers. So if you are there put on your makeup.


Anonymous said...


You are a hero!

Personally, I'd tone down the Vichy thing. Power likes peripheral resistance, it likes to feel it's squashing something substantial that needed to be squashed, and collusion has no conscience but would welcome any sort of diversionary side arguments. FULL FRONTAL ATTACKS! Stupidity, self-defeat, ignorance, failure, inaction, corruption, lack of transparency, lies, etc.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for so many great details about the CPE , we think reporters
need to do a better job at covering our story about the CPE. You take time to get all the facts to tell a honest story about our movement,thank you. Radio Rahim