Ross is the widow of deceased Time-Warner head Steve Ross, whose bio I read and was a fascinating figure (grew up around Newkirk Ave in Brooklyn- look what his inheritance has unleashed on the world.)
Read Lisa Donlan's account of the meeting as it scrolls over Ross' call to parents to come out.
Here is the you tube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CJTnWjv_cc
Council for District One On Ross Global Academy charter school DoE authorized charter renewal hearing 11/22/20120
Here is what Lisa wrote that is scrolling:
The unconscionably unfair and undemocratic manner in which last night's public hearing on the Ross Global Academy Charter School charter renewal was conducted, has left grave doubts about the integrity of the DoE's charter renewal process. We have material evidence and 5 eye witness accounts that demonstrate the hearing protocol was not respected and that RGACS commandeered the public hearing to turn it into a pep rally and spectacle, rather than the somber review of the school's merit and progress that a charter renewal hearing is intended to be.
The DoE hearing notice (below) made clear that speaker sign up was from 6:00- 6:30 pm, and the hearing would begin at 6:30pm.
Yet the RGACS entrance was covered in signs that declared that the hearing doors opened at 4:30.
Stationed at the entrance, RGA staff in "I Heart RGA" T-Shirts insisted that attendees sign in with them, and give over their personal contact information to RGACS staff.I refused to do so, stating that I would only sign in with the DoE as a speaker but the school principal harassed me until I signed in with RGACS.Thereafter, the RGACS staff began addressing me by name, and shadowing my movements, in an attempt to intimidate and dissuade me and other parents from participating in the public hearing.
Most troubling was RGACS's bold act of overtly lining up their own speakers as early as 4:30 pm, such that by 5:30 pm there were more than 50 speakers, and by 5:45 there were well over 65 speakers in "line."
RGACS staff also wrongly offered to collect written comments from speakers on their index cards. They told attendees that entering the auditorium would nullify their chance to speak, and that only lining up behind the 50 or so parents- to whom snacks, juice boxes and T-shirts had been provided- would allow an attendee an opportunity to speak.Furthermore, those of us who waited in the auditorium for DoE's arrival with the real sign up sheet were pushed aside by a gentleman from RGACS with a walkie talkie who blocked all access to the sign up sheet except for his group of 60 odd RGA supporters.
Attendees that arrived at hte hearing shortly before 6 pm were thus placed in the mid to high 60th place on the speaker list, due to this subversion of the sign up process by RGACS.
The DoE Charter School Office staff was duly informed of these antics and agreed they were unacceptable.However, the DoE employees refused to do anything to correct their own inability to manage the process, effectively handing over the hearing to the RGACS staff.
At that point 6 of the non RGACS parents and electeds who had come to testify deemed the hearing a farce, and we chose to leave, rather than participate in a tainted hearing.
It is interesting to note that the founder of RGACS, Ms. Courtney Sales Ross was allowed to speak first, and at length. while all other speakers were alloted 2 minutes apiece. Had we deemed to stay through the hearing, those of us with numbers in the high 60's would have had to wait another 2 1/2 hours or more, past 9 or 9:30 pm, in order to speak at a hearing we'd arrived at at 5:30 pm.
I attach here the testimony I would have delivered on behalf of the CEC for District One, and am counting on all those copied here to please ensure that it is registered and duly recorded.I look forward to hearing back from all of you exactly the remedies and consequences you will prescribe to ensure that a democratic and safe hearing for this and all charter sitings, revisions and renewals will be the rule, as called for by law.Without your oversight and correction, the charter hearing process, and thus the results, are a mere sham.
Lisa DonlanCEC OnePresident
Lisa Donlan also has done some research:
Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/
MORE SCANDALS at Norms Notes