Thursday, March 31, 2011

Voices of Parents, Teachers and Principals at Feb. 28 District 14 Meeting with Cathie Black

Coming soon: report of Mar. 30 meeting of Black with CEC 14

Must see video highlight:
A principal questions Santiago Taveras:
Do you believe that when the parents (opposing Eva's school) go to the PEP meeting at Brooklyn Tech everything is predetermined or are they going to listen to the parents?
Taveras answer is such obvious bullshit the principal follows up with: You are an educator, right? You sound like an educator. You actually believe when they have these massive meetings this mass of  people opposed to what they are doing, you actually believe the system  are putting these schools in without any care for what the community believes? You actually believe that? I know what you have to say, but you are an educator.
Taveras says he stands on his integrity as an educator and his work over 22 years.  Then he pulls a card by shifting the issue and goes on the attack claiming someone asked him earlier why they couldn't fire kids and says he is highly insulted because he has a special ed kid. What a piece of crap this guy is turning out to be.
The principal is incredulous and doesn't give up. He says he himself has been in the system for 33 years - points to parents and professionals on the CEC - they don't believe it either. (The video ends with me asking him: Don't charter schools fire kids all the time?)

CEC 14 pres. Tessa Wilson
Just a note: this principal is one of the tops in all ways and runs one of the very best middle schools in the city - a school he taught at. I know him for 30 years. If Tweed retaliates there will be a massive reaction.

To better understand the backdrop of my report yesterday about the stealth meeting hastily set up for Cathie Black with CEC 14 (Cathie Black's Stealth Visit Today to District 14 (Williamsburg) With a bit of Skulduggery Thrown In) I have put together a half hour video of extracts from the raucous Feb. 28 meeting in the District. I know it is long but there is some remarkable comments and challenges and lots of anger - a microcosm of a system expressing absolute disgust at the insanity emanating from Tweed. It seems that Eva Moskowitz's entry into the district, which already has a number of charter schools, inundating entire neighborhoods with posters, fliers, doorknob hangers, etc,  has been a trigger point.

You can scroll though it but I urge you to try to watch it all.

Here are some more highlights:

The CEC when it was formed was told it would be given an opportunity to have a dialogue with the chancellor...we are the foot soldiers who walk through our schools...the reason you see such anger is because no one hears those voices. ---- CEC 14 President Tessa Wilson (first minutes of video)

We are for educational options but we are very much for district schools - former school board president Juan Martinez (from 5 minute mark)

Questions from audience: your background demonstrates your total unfamiliarity with public schools-- how do you justify your ability to run the largest public school sysem?

Why are charter schools exempt from the disciplinary code public schools face?

The video of the principal starts at the 28 minute mark and runs 3 minutes.

For those who are not familiar with what CECs are, they are the remnant of the old school boards pre-Bloomberg years but basically toothless. Margianalizing parent voices is a major plank of the ed deformer strategy of privatization.

Use this link directly for better video and if it plays slowly on ed notes.

Cathie Black and Santiago Taveras at 2/28 CEC District 14 Meeting Face Intense Questioning

Grassroots Education Movement on Vimeo.

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.


Anonymous said...

Norm, I wanted to fire eggs at my computer screen! I didn't hear the interchange between Mr.R and that slime, Tavaras as I was already outside. Thank you to Ms. Wilson and Mr. R for their persistance and for standing up for our public schools. Thank you for documenting this outrage.

Cheryl Witt said...

Thanks for posting this video. I was ill and missed being there. I am still shaking my head in disbelief that Cathie Black is our Chancellor. Just imagine getting a job as the director or chief of something based on the qualifications of your subordinate. This could not happen in any other profession - its like hiring the chief of surgery because his nurse is very knowledgeable. How ridiculous. What can she possible tell teachers or principals? How are they to respect her when she knows nothing about education? What will be the possible impact on our children? I watched this hoping I could see some glimmer of hope in her being able to do a decent job -the hope is gone. She is dancing around the issues and giving very general answers so parents are still disgruntled. I should not be surprised because the DOE has a history of being dismissive of parents and they don't value the parent voice.