Thursday, February 3, 2011

Talk Like an Egyptian: Daily News Editorial Calls For Mubarek-Like Response at PEP

Preview of tonight's PEP meeting
The Daily News today called for Egyptian president Hosni Mubarek to resign so he would be free to take the NYCDOE Chancellor position when Cathie Black goes screaming off the stage of a PEP meeting, preferably tonight.

Urging Mubarek to bring his camel riders with him so they could rampage through the opposition speakers and people rallying against Tweed policy, the editorial calls for arrests of people voicing their opinions. "We want the audience to sit as silently as the children are made to do at a Harlem Success School," the editorial stated. [See Steven the Trasher "feeding at the trough of charter schools" sucking up to Eva article in The Voice.]

Rumor is that Black and Bloom have recruited scores of camel drivers for tonight's PEP meeting and pre-UFT led rally at 4:30PM.

Here are some comment on the editorial and Black's crack(up) at the PEP meeting (NY1 report):
This was truly disgusting.  When I read this I nearly choked.  What was she thinking!?!?  What a nasty, nasty, mean thing to do!  The arrogance continues to astound me. It is important to keep the pressure on at these meetings.  The media coverage, like this report below, reaches folks who may  not know the horrific nature of what is going on in our public schools and it is an important education tool.  We can build a movement to fight back united and widely.  I hope folks will consider coming to the next GEM meeting; parents, educators, students, and community members... all are welcome!  Check in at the GEM site for upcoming meeting information over the next few weeks.
Julie Cavanagh
She didn’t “talk back”—she mocked them. It was a disgraceful performance, worthy of a high school girl, not a public official. But about what you’d expect from someone who began her public career by gushing: “I feel fantastic. I just went to a couple of parties and people said, ‘How wonderful. Thank you for doing this for the city.’ And I feel great.”
What a difference being forced to listen to the populace for a few hours a month can make!
Paola de Kock
And not a word about the other side of the social contract for a public hearing: that the officials at the hearing hear, engage, integrate, and consider what folks of all opinions are contributing to the debate.  Or, does the Daily News feel  that a hearing is some bankrupt liturgical exercise in its own right whose sole content is in its form. Meanwhile, we need to ask ourselves why we line up 350 people deep to participate in this charade.
JMB it is all we have. 

It is our only form of expression, the only place victims can tell their side of the story. It is a charade, it is a rubber stamp for pre-made decisions by faceless powerful bureaucrats, but it is the only locus where people can come together to express their thoughts, concerns fears, and hopes. Collectively.
The act of sharing our stories humanizes these very human problems that the bureaucrats have reduced to spreadsheets and dispassionate formulas, that are in truth our children, our jobs, our schools and our communities. Furthermore, this charade also helps us to connect the dots.
 Through these exercises of expression, thousands of victims have come to understand that this is failure by design, in the aim to privatize public education. Thank your electeds- thank Squadron and Padavan, who concocted this sham, and all the legislators that voted for this charade.
Thank the UFT and the Campaign for Better Schools that fought to get  this charade enacted into law. And most of all, thank Mayor Bloomberg, the emperor with no clothes who parades behind  this charade. Without this charade what would we have?

 Isolated problems in hundreds of isolated schools?
 or Cairo?
Lisa Donlan
Here are Leonie Haimson's comments on the real Daily News editorial which is not far off my imaginary one.
Daily News editors want rowdy protesters at PEP meetings arrested; martial law anyone?

Full piece below, which is shocking in its stupidity and arrogance:
First they that “When the Legislature renewed mayoral control of the public schools two years ago, lawmakers were oh-so-concerned to give parents an opportunity to be heard about school decisions. So the pols mandated public hearings on seemingly everything down to clapping the erasers.”

Oh yes, we get hearings on erasers, right?  The DOE changes policies and reorganizes constantly without holding a single hearing. They don’t even tell the PEP members most of the time, who are left in the cold.

Then the editors proclaim: “The panel must set strict rules of procedure, including a prohibition on vocal disruptions. Audience members must be required to sit and politely listen to all opinions. Those who do not must be ejected.  If parents want to protest, they can do so outside. If they choose to bring it indoors, they can tell it to the desk sergeant at the stationhouse.”

Talk about the huge outcry that would occur if the police started arresting people in mass.  Then Bloomberg would really have  a PR disaster on his hands; which even the Daily news could not help him tamp down. 

In a dictatorship, which is what our education system has become, the public must use what tools that it has: peaceful if vocal protest.  The world recognizes this in the case of the Egyptian protesters, but the Daily news editors would apparently deny this to NYC parents, teachers, and students.
Meanwhile NY Post starts its tiresome drumbeat to eliminate teacher seniority protections, and runs three different pieces today about it -- similar to their push last spring to eliminate the charter cap when the paper became a full-fledged propaganda rag. 

Clearly Klein and his “close friend” and now boss, Rupert Murdoch, along w/ Joe Williams of ERN, have this as their current legislative goal.  Not to prevent budget cuts, since the charter schools have gotten their big boost in pay, and are draining the public schools dry,  but to ensure that there is an end of seniority and they can engineer the deprofessionalization of the teaching force, under the guise of improving its quality. The Post editors write: “Bloomberg's legacy -- and the city's future -- depend on public-education reform. Repealing LIFO has to be the mayor's No. 1 priority.”

Read more:

This drumbeat includes the second piece of the week, featuring Jonathan Bing, the favorite pet of the hedge fund privateers and the sponsor of last year’s bill to eliminate these protections. (Post)  I hope Upper East Side parents, who don’t  usually read the Post, pay attention .

Leonie Haimson

Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: And make sure to check out the side panel on right for news bits.


  1. What documents and proposals has she been studying for the last 2 years? She just officially began this job on January 3, 2011. She was working at Hearst Publications 2 years ago. Did they give her the documents while she was over at Hearst?

  2. I hadn't actually seen what she did until I just now went and watched the video. I honestly don't think it was 'disgraceful' or disgusting or any of that. It was a frustrated person responding to a frustrating situation.

    Yes - we can all agree that Cathie Black has no idea what she's doing and DOE policies are hurting a lot of poor kids. But if we blow every misstep she makes out of proportion, we look like we don't have more important things to talk about.

  3. Reflective Educator- I admire your very fair and balanced perspective.

    Perhaps if the Chancellor had any experience teaching in a REAL NYC classroom, she would have known how to finesse the angry crowd professionally, without becoming a "frustrated person in a frustrating situation".

    Isn't this what NYC public schools teachers do each and every day? Apparently, the woman is lacking management skills with people....

    As it was, Cathie Black came off as Marie Antoinette- in tone and action, Ms. Black might as well have said to the attendees at that PEP meeting: "ALL of you can eat cake"....

    P.S: Yes, I DO know that Marie Antoinette NEVER actually said that line.

  4. I appreciate your thought Reflective Educator - the blog name fits. I used to be more reflective but now realize we are in a war with enormous money arrayed against us. So we use propaganda to disparage and discredit everyone they throw against us. Will it be unfair? Sure. They are unfair in every single way.


Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.