Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Updates: Gotham, Wristology, Etc.

Those Cheat'n Hearts
I'll just point you to others' comments- just the tip of the ice berg, but teachers, not the lying skunks who run the system will get the blame:

Head over to Teachers Unite - I am today. Doing a UFT 101 workshop at 1. Oy!

Wristology Update
The bad news is that my over vacation from doing just about anything other than eating and sleeping 5 weeks (today) after my operation  may be over sooner than I thought. I'm actually beginning to use my right hand a bit to type this. Which is bad news for those who have had some relief from Ed Notes uber blogging. The skinny is that last week the doc told me the ulna - the bone that had almost pushed out of my skin - had actually healed after only 4 weeks and the radius which has the titanium plate is healing well. He told me to come back in 6 weeks and start removing the brace around the house. (Meanwhile therapy goes on 2 days a week - love to fondle that putty.) Darn. Can chores be far behind?

I did manage to wangle a drive free trip to Albany and Saratoga over the weekend to visit my wife's relatives - for the first time in over 40 years she did all the driving while I hugged my comfort pillow. We actually won money at the Saratoga race track - 5 out of 6 races brought back a few shekels but we blew it on junk food and my wife's need to spend $26 on a tee shirt that said guess what - Saratoga.

Albany is charter school heaven but I was still surprised to hear our 80 year old hostess lay out an anti-charter rap to my brother in law who had no idea what a charter school was. (I gave him a copy of our film to take home - more on his astounding positive reaction to the film another time - he's an anti-union FOX kind of guy who disagrees with me on every issue.)


Gotham Schools Panel Update
I received some reactions to the Saturday post, especially over the issue of Stephen Lazar being added to the panel after Gotham lobbied for him. My sense is that Gotham wants to promote its Community bloggers, which includes GEM's Liza Campbell and that is why they pushed for Lazar instead of someone who could officially represent the point of view of Real Reform orgs since E4E is given official status on the panel as is the UFT through Leo Casey. How does E4E get equal billing as a teacher group with the UFT while more legit teacher groups like GEM, NYCORE, Teachers Unite are ignored?

Here is an edited email I received (the author asked for anonymity).
I think everyone is missing the real story behind the panel on Thursday by being distracted by Gotham's name.  First off: Gotham had zero say in who was on the panel other than Lazar.  Manhattan Media put the panel together, and then asked Gotham if they wanted to join.  They made the decision to join because they feel an obligation to help out other small media in NYC, even if Manhattan Media is for-profit. Putting their name on this panel is something they deserve flack for, though it's not fair to blame them for the makeup of the panel.

The much more interesting question then becomes what does Manhattan Media hope to gain from this? Why Bill Thompson was invited?  As I'm sure you know, Manhattan Media is run by Tom Allon, also running for mayor, and doing so with education as a key part of his platform.  I think the Allon/Thompson dynamic at this thing is what could potentially be newsworthy, as otherwise, it's pretty much the same old people having the same old arguments that have been going on for years. From what I can tell from talking to people at both Tweed and Gotham, no one (other than Fox News) with decision making or media power takes E$E seriously.  Sure, they can be trotted out to make a point others were going to make anyway, but I really think most of their power comes from the response they get from people on our side of the battle.

My response:
I've been pushing on Gotham for some recognition of the work GEM has done. Does our movie even merit one article? They had a reporter on the bus which was organized by people in GEM and ICE.Was there a story in the people on the bus after riding with them for so many hours? Not a word. Imagine if Evan and Sydney were on the bus. I feel there is a leaning to E4E vs gem/nycore on the part of Gotham.

There's a natl move to set up E4E in many cities. Don't take them lightly. Not only FOX but WSJ and Post and even NYT front page where the E4E platform as featured with links to the web site. When the same reporter did a story mentioning a person in GEM/NYCORE the groups weren't mentioned at all. Gotham links to every story in every Murdoch controlled outlet on e4e.

You say Gotham had no input. I say they are being disengenuous. The joined as co-sponsors knowing the panel and had no sensitivity to the reaction of teachers towards E4E. That says a lot. They only asked for input after the storm broke.

The Real Reform gps have more outreach. Maybe Gotham doesn't want to alienate certain funding sources. Gotham could have made case for Brian or Julie but chose not to.  Two teachers who could provide chapter and verse on the impact of colocations on their schools on the same panel with Eva to challenge her lies? Gotham punted on that one.

My complaints are about fighting for equal recog for the orgs out there organizing teachers parents and students in trying to build a movement.

Well, I'm heading over to spend the day at the Teachers Unite Organizing workshops. Yelena Siwinski and I are doing a UFT 101 workshop at 1. I'm depressed already.

The worshops continue tomorrow and Thursday.

Here is  the info:

Limited Space Left: Register for the Organizing Institute Today!

  NEXT WEEK! Click here to register now!  
Learn from labor and community organizers using Midwest Academy and other social justice organizing approaches. Bring colleagues, students and parents from your school community; build your chapter's strength and make an organizing plan together for the fall.
Join us:
August 23-25   
Judson Memorial Church

Closest subways:
A/B/C/D/E/F/M at W. 4th St.
N/R at 8th St.
6 at Bleeker 
Click on "Read More" for the daily schedule below
Summer 2011 Organizing Institute Overview

Each day will begin at 9:00am and end at 4:00pm. Participants will provide their own lunch.   

DAY 1 Overview: 9am-4pm
  • Lunch (The Revolution Will Not Be Catered! Participants will provide their own lunch.)
  • Afternoon Workshop Options:
    • How School Staff, Parents and Youth Can Organize Together Within a School. Hear from youth organizers, parent organizers from the Bronx and Community Education Council members about how educators can work with youth and parents to build democratic schools. This session will also include a short overview of School Leadership Teams as a site for building educator, student and parent power.   
    • Understanding the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) Local 2 and Building Community Through Chapter Organizing. Learn strategies for building active and strong school-based chapters from experienced UFT chapter leaders and rank and file union members. 
DAY 2 Overview: 9am-4pm
  • How to Conduct Organizing Conversations. This workshop is a great opportunity for new and experienced educator, youth and parent organizers to learn and practice strategies for talking with colleagues about getting involved in school-based campaigns. We will learn how to hold one-on-one conversations and develop fellow activists.
  • Lunch (Participants will provide their own lunch)
  • How to Identify and Build a School-Based Campaign. This workshop is an opportunity to learn and practice the Midwest Academy model for building local campaigns to build educator, student and parent power. 
  • Building Power in Your Borough I. Organizing Institute participants will meet in borough breakout groups to identify and develop fall campaigns organizing plans for their school sites and chapters. 
DAY 3 Overview: 9am-4pm
  • Developing Strategy and Choosing Tactics for School-Based Campaigns. Building on Day 2's introduction to campaign development, we'll learn and practice how to further develop winning campaigns. Borough breakout groups will also meet to further develop their organizing plans for their school and chapters.
  • Lunch (Participants will provide their own lunch)
  • Tactic Workshops. Learn how to develop public relations skills and creative actions from experienced New York City labor and community communications and event organizers. Workshop topics include: press releases, online media, using theatre and art as a tactic, flash mobs, and more!  
  • Building Power in Your Borough II. Organizing Institute participants will meet in borough breakout groups to share tactic ideas and further develop fall campaigns organizing plans for their school sites and chapters.  
  • Celebration!

Check out Norms Notes for a variety of articles of interest: http://normsnotes2.blogspot.com/. And make sure to check out the side panel on right for news bits.

1 comment:

  1. OMG! You have written so much I don't know where to start. As for the reporter on the bus...he slept!! He did ask some questions on the way home and he did get to see the film on the bus (unless he slept through it). But you guys need to send a copy of the film to the publishers, editors, and media bigwigs if you want any kind of recognition. Not to do so after all the time and effort you put into making it is.....for lack of another word....stupid!!

    As for the cheating....Walcott did not fire the Bronx principal who was found "not guilty" of cheating (but look who lead that investigation) but instead was found changing grades. She is still being paid top salary even though she is no longer a principal. Principals in NYC are hearing it loud and clear from Walcott--use any means to get those scores up and you will not lose your day job!! However, if a teacher gets caught, they will be fired!!


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