Saturday, March 3, 2012

Out of the Heat, Into the Fire

We came back late last night from a week in Delray Beach where you couldn't get more perfect weather. It was so good and we had so many people to see we only got to one movie.

After doing the stuff you need to do upon returning from a trip it was after 1AM when I turned on the TV before going to sleep and there was Bruce Springsteen on the Jimmy Fallon show doing his new rallying cry Death to My Home Town in an amazing performance and a real assault on the 1%. We could apply every word by just changing the title to "Death to My Public School."

This is the first time staying in Delray after over 20 years in West Palm or Singer Island and this is a very different place than most of East Coast South Florida. A real combo of young and old ---- and not many early bird specials - so many restaurants, so little time.

I have a killer tan and I got to see some old pals from my Brooklyn College fraternity when 7 couples went out to dinner. Lots of talk about how we were Animal House before there was an Animal House. There was only one other career teacher, though two others were teachers for some time. One of them became a top level old board of ed mover and shaker and the other left after 15 years to open a highly successful business. The rest: accountant, US foreign service, cancer surgeon. So sad as we talked about at least 3 guys who have died young, two from probably heart attacks and one from an accident.

Speaking of which -- young -- a word that gets further and further away from me with today being my 67th birthday. And noticing my overhanging belly I better wrap this up and get to the gym.

Bernie the cat had to spend a week alone for the first time but now that he is over 5 months old we figured he could handle it. Even though our friend came in to feed him and play with him twice a day we got a pretty good greeting so I imagine he was lonely. Can there be a 2nd cat in our future? Maybe after our next trip in April.

I spent hours at the beach or on the terrace reading -- very deep stuff --- a bio of Mick Jagger. Since I've been reading Keith Richard's autobio but the book was too big to take with me I figured I'd give Mick equal time. I learned a lot of useless celebrity information.

I did get to start "Water for Elephants" on the last day. I wish every student could capture the excitement in fiction that is better than watching a movie but so many people are not reading fiction because "it is not true." When I think back to how I tried to teach reading to kids who were mostly behind I put at the top of the list of things I tried to do was to share my excitement at reading. Other than kids who have structural/physical issues I still believe that if we focused on love of reading and provided lots of space and time for kids to just enjoy we would solve much of the reading issue. But we've gone in the other direction with high stakes tests and rating teachers (how many teachers will take a chance and just let kids read for love of reading, the single best way of teaching reading?).

I'm sure the above paragraphs will lead the usual Unity slug suspects to tell me how I can thank the union for my retirement and ability to take these trips. So I say "Thank you" in advance for a Tier I retirement that has not been available to any UFT members who started working after 1973.

Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman Screenings while UFT continues boycott

I just found out that today there is a screening in Minneapolis with Brian Jones as the guest speaker.

Last nite this message came from Diane Ravitch to Julie, Brian and Leonie:
The Louisiana School Boards Assn showed Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman. Your fame spreads!
Diane has had a major impact in spreading word of the film (showings coming up in Tuscon, Austin TX and on Long Island to name just a few.) The UFT leaderships continues its boycott. One of the surprises to me is how the film seems to be inspiring people to act, which is a major message with Julie's final comment, "The hero is you," echoing the theme song written by her husband Glen. But then again, the UFT doesn't really want people to act until and unless they tell them to so the boycott makes sense from their point. What I don't get is why teachers who read this blog are not arranging showings in their own schools.

Diane is in Louisiana to counter former Tweed ghoul John White who reigns supreme and where Karran Harper, Royal who appears in our film, is battling him every inch of the way.

Summing up the week: Sorry too much happened but check the post for the last week and the blogroll.

I did try to follow all that is going on with the TDRs, charter co-locos, etc. I don't have a feel yet for what happened at Thursday's PEP both inside and outside though I got a sense through the twitter feeds.

The North Brooklyn alliance to oppose Moskowitz invasion is very active with pressers and law suits. See below for links to videos.

My post earlier in the week about the press conference on the proposed bill to have CECs vote on charter co-locos (The Real Story Behind UFT Push for Legislation on Charter Co-locations) did bring some angry responses from some allies for disparaging the attempt to curb charter co-locos. My main aim was to focus on the UFT leadership's role in the process and the role they generally play. In fact, the charter lobby is telling its people this bill will go nowhere but I focused on not including the closing schools issue. I'll try to do a follow-up to try to explain what is behind the way the UFT leadership operates --- I get clearer on the consistency of their actions as time goes by.

I am trying to pack too much into this post and just can't manage any more. Better get my ass to the gym before I have to get a crane to lift me out of my chair.

March 1, 2012 Southside Community Press Conference

(ALSO SEE: Los Sures)

Video by GEM/ICE Pat Dobosz

Council Member Diana Reyna speaks against Success Academy (English)

[20120301050304 March 1 PEP]

Arthur Schwartz, lawyer filing a suit against the co-location of success Academy into JHS 50

[20120301052931 March 1 PEP]

Luis Garden Acosta is critical of charter schools that do not serve ELLs and special needs students. Janine Sopp speaks about the travesty that the DOE is.

[20120301052133 March 1 PEP]

Why the Southside community coalition is boycotting tonight's PEP, Patrick Sullivan, Antonio Reynoso

[20120301051445 March 1 PEP]

Evelyn Cruz on behalf of Nydia Velaszquez

[20120301051010 March 1 PEP]

Students Speak Out: Dream Yard Project 

[20120301053215 March 1 PEP]

[20120301070007 March 1 PEP]
[20120301060754 March 1 PEP]
[20120301055848 March 1 PEP]
[20120301054614 March 1 PEP]
[20120301054514 March 1 PEP]
[20120301054414 March 1 PEP]
[20120301054325 march 1 PEP]
[20120301053215 March 1 PEP]
[20120301052931 March 1 PEP]
[20120301052826 March 1 PEP]
[20120301052559 March 1 PEP]
[20120301052133 March 1 PEP]
[20120301051445 March 1 PEP]
[20120301051010 March 1 PEP]
[20120301050755 March 1 PEP]
[20120301050304 March 1 PEP]
[20120301050137 March 1]
[20120301045856 March i PEP]
[20120301045452 March 1]
[20120301045256 march 1 PEP]


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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Welcome back.

I wish I could have made it to Thursday's protest as well, but it's been nothing but work, hospital and home for me.

But at least you're back in time for March 10 and I shall be as well.