Tuesday, October 18, 2011

SOS Connected Ed Deformers to Wall Street as Real Reformers Create Ties to OWS

Come one, come all: parents, student, teachers, counselors, community members, school aides, the 99%:

OCCUPY Public Education!!

Help us shape an Agenda for the 99% to present to Chancellor Wolcott (the 1%) at the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) on October 25th. 

Next planning meeting: How should we present this agenda at the PEP?

Tuesday Oct. 18 @5PM @ Red Cube (Across Broadway from Occupy Wall Street)
I'm heading over there soon with a prototype of a leaflet I'm working on (see below).
Interesting read:  Occupy Wall Street’s ‘Political Disobedience’

In the GEM film, "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman" (all mention of which has been banned by the UFT Administration) we have a clip of Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis making this link: "They brought down the economy and now they want to impose their failed business model on the public schools?"

I've been trying to get a handle on the links between what the ed deformers have been doing to the public school systems of this nation and what the Wall Street (not physical but a state of mind) crowd has done to the economy of this nation.

SOS: 8000 educators occupied Washington on July 30
There are people who will say OWS really began in Wisconsin - and it probably did. But I don't want the role of the Save Our Schools march which occupied Washington on July 30 and took place simultaneously in many cities to go unrecognized. Actually, a few hundred people made a 4 day event out of SOS making decisions at meetings in as democratic a manner as possible. Well-known educators like Debbie Meier and Jonathan Kozol did not just do drop-in speeches and leave, but you could find them almost every day taking part in meetings.

In all the talk of the lack of clear lines of leadership in OWS, we can also say that though there were leaders in SOS - you need some people to get things started - they also tended to try to back off as much as possible and let the democratic process take over- which I find interesting given seeming willingness of top-down hierarchical unions to support OWS. (I exempt the Chicago Teachers Union for now because of the commitment to make that a democratic union with an active membership - see my previous post - What OWS Support Reso Will the UFT Delegate Assembly Pass Tomorrow as Chicago Teaches Union Supports OWS?)

SOS was not a one shot event and is working to become sustainable - and remember how principled they were, refusing to meet with Obama on the eve of the march. I bet something will happen again next summer if not before - they are working to tie into OWS calling for a joint action this spring.

Here is the text of the proposed leaflet:



As the Occupy Wall Street movement continues to grow, the response from the movement’s targets has gradually changed: contemptuous dismissal has been replaced by whining. (A reader of my blog suggests that we start calling our ruling class the “kvetchocracy.”) The modern lords of finance look at the protesters and ask, Don’t they understand what we’ve done for the U.S. economy? The answer is: yes, many of the protesters do understand what Wall Street and more generally the nation’s economic elite have done for us. And that’s why they’re protesting. --Paul Krugman, Oct. 17, NY Times

The public schools of this nation have already been occupied by the same forces OWS are protesting - the Billionaire's Boys Club -  Gates, Broad, the Walton Foundation have bought public education policy to push their agenda of ed deform. Corporate greed and manipulation have force-fed their failed policies on the public ed system throughout the nation. Not only have they occupied the schools publicly but they have occupied the minds and souls of educators with their distorted market-based view of education.

If you are a teacher or other education worker in an urban setting, you see the impact every single day. 
·       Closing down public schools and replacing them with non-unionized charter schools
·       Using high stakes standardize tests turning children into data points, data that has been manipulated for political purposes.
·       Ignoring most of what educators really do.
·       Replacing experienced educators with a transient teaching corps that will never stay long enough to receive a pension as they destabilize and deskill the teaching profession, turning us and our students into corporate widgets.
·       They make us eat the gruel of high stakes tests and data manipulation leading to forced closure of schools, charter co-locations. And a government whether led by Republicans or Democrats that sign on to The Plan to undermine and privatize public education.
·       The corporate masters have bought off both political parties, especially in ed. Can we have   leaders much worse than Obama/Duncan?
·       They attack teachers unions basic hard won collective bargaining rights and tenure. They want to turn every state into Mississippi.
·       They have broken what little was working in the political process.

All we have left is that: We are the 99%.

The 1% says: Deregulate the public school system
The 99% says: Take our schools back
It is time for the real reformers to reoccupy our public education systems.
Occupy Everything


Whereas the UFT helped organize and participated in the Labor and Community March in Support of Occupy Wall Street  on Oct 5th, and continues to show logistical and moral support

Be it Resolved that at adjournment of this meeting,   delegates at this Assembly meet in front of the building  and march together to Zuccotti Park to show our continuing  support and solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.

Grassroots Education Movement - gemnyc.org, gemnyc@gmail.com

Here's a great, short video that shows how the General Assembly direct democracy/consensus/decision making process works with the Occupy Wall Street:folks.  These details are generally not covered by the mass media.  Also, note the viewers' comments. Consensus (Direct Democracy @ Occupy Wall Street) :


Before "Occupy Wall Street"
Notes on Prior New York City Protests Against Economic Crises

A brand new feature on the Gotham Center website!

It's well known that – for more than two centuries – Wall Street has been repeatedly swept by financial panics, and that the American economy has repeatedly crumpled into recession or depression. It's less well known that virtually each collapse has been met by outraged protest, particularly in New York City, Wall Street's home town.

Historian and Gotham Center founder Mike Wallace puts the current surge of popular anger into historical perspective, discussing the crises and protests of 1792, 1837, 1857, 1874, and 1930. While there are no “lessons” to be learned here -- history never does repeat itself -- it might nevertheless be interesting for Occupy Wall Street participants and supporters to know that our anger and actions are not novel, but rather the latest in a long line of opposition to the inequitable workings of our economic system.



Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I would bring up the number of non-educators (many of the Bloomberg operatives) who now collect big salaries working for the DoE as well as the connected no-bid contracts that are taking a toll on a budget that should be going into the classrooms. All to benefit the 1%.

Of course taking anything to PEP is a total waste of time.

Did you read Clyde Haberman today?
What a disgusting individual.

ed notes online said...

We're not taking anything to the PEP. We're OCCUPYING THE PEP. Our agenda, our meeting - inside or outside.