Monday, April 2, 2012

Save the 33 - Closing Hearings Galore With More to Come -- No One is Safe

UPDATE: Gotham tweeting from turnaround hearings at Lehman and Grover Cleveland high schools. (GS Twitter).

Plus 7 schools removed - Save the 33 26
This Monday night, April 2nd, I will be going to the closing hearing at Grover Cleveland High School at 6 PM. If anyone wishes to join me and lend support to our brother and sister UFT members there, let me know. Bloomberg is planning to close 8 Queens schools, including Cleveland, Bryant, LIC, Richmond Hill, John Adams, Newtown, and nearby Flushing. Do you remember this poem, attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller?

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Arthur Goldstein, CL, Francis Lewis HS
A bunch of the PLA schools have been meeting and are organizing a protest on April 19 at Tweed. It all may be fruitless but to just give up seems untenable. Arthur really nails what's going on. All too  many teachers are still oblivious thinking , "not me." But one day it just may be you.

As a matter of fact, I saw a bunch of eastern Queens schools mentioned in an email this morning indicating that the DOE was beginning to force kids into these schools from the closing schools to turn them into dominoes while the difficult kids will be funneled out of the closing schools to make it appear the turn around policy is working once they open new schools in their buildings and dump out a bunch of teachers while pretending they are keeping the same kids instead of creaming. Of course once they close all of the big high schools they will run out of room to roam, but Bloomberg will be gone by then, leaving a vast wasteland in his wake.

See AFTERBURN for this important email, which deserves a special post of its own but the traffic coming in is so high I can't keep bombarding you with these posts.

Lehman and Cleveland hearings tonight.

CL Anne Looser has been doing a great job over at Lehman and tonight things should be spirited. An 11th grader wrote a strong piece at Ed Vox. Expect some great video from this hearing.

Cleveland had a few articles in local press:

And these letters from CL Brian Gavin:



My Colleagues:
The rally sponsored by community groups under the aegis of Committee for Educational Justice  and Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan will take place at 5 pm (EARLIER FLIERS SAID 4 PM, THIS WAS AN ERROR).  I have been emailing back and forth between the UFT and CEJ re: this event.   I know you all have many responsibilities, including some of you running home to tend your families, grab a bite, and run right back to school, after the extended day meetings, but if you can I think it is important that we have a presence there as well.  Please let me know if you can attend, either from the start or towards 5:30. Remember, sign up for speaking starts at 5:30, concludes at 6:15. 
Thank You,
Brian


My Colleagues:


Some useful information, but most importantly note the appeal for teachers to attend the Joint Public Hearing at Grover Cleveland.  The Chapter Leader will be here; Richmond Hill will have at least 5 people there, I expect others to check in with me over the weekend.   
TO THE FEW GCHS STAFF WHO HAVE SOMETHING BETTER TO DO MONDAY:
DOES IT SEEM RIGHT THAT TEACHERS FROM OTHER SCHOOLS, WITH NO OTHER AFFILIATION WITH US OTHER THAN BEING FELLOW UFT MEMBERS, CARE MORE ABOUT YOUR COLLEAGUES THAN YOU DO? 
By not going, you are raising the middle finger to everyone at the school and all the kids; indeed, the entire community. 
DO YOU REALLY THINK WE ARE NOT GOING TO NOTICE?
DO YOU REALLY THINK WE ARE GOING TO FORGET?
THERE IS AN AWFUL LONG TIME BETWEEN NOW AND JULY.
AND IF THE SCHOOL DOES NOT CLOSE? ...
A very long time to be in a workplace where everyone knows how you feel about them, and where you have shown them that they are not worth a few hours of your time, to stand in solidarity with them, because they are your friends, your colleagues, indeed, your Union brothers and sisters.  Even if they say nothing to you, when they look at you - you will know what they are thinking and how well they esteem your presence. 
I'm not talking about people who are tending to the sick, are ill themselves, are working two jobs and can't call in sick because, well, that would be lying and you could be fired.  And other similar dire situations.
I'm talking about those who feel it's useless anyway so they are going home to watch the Big Bang Theory.  Please come.  Your attendance says to me that I have meant something to you as a colleague. 
I'm talking to those who are self absorbed and can't be bothered because it's a long day.  It is in your interest to attend, your attendance makes a powerful statement to people that you will need at some point;  your non-attendance also makes a powerful statement to those very individuals. 
I KNOW YOU ARE BURNT, I KNOW YOU ARE DONE.  ME TOO.  I'M EMAILING YOU AT 930 ON A SAT. MORNING, YOU THINK I DON'T GET IT? 
I'm not giving up.
See ALL of you on Monday. 
Brian
AFTERBURN

At the Queens High School Presidents' Council on March 12th, I spoke with Chancellor Walcott concerning his Office of Student Enrollment which threatens Francis Lewis, Cardozo, Forest Hills and Bayside high schools. Although promised a follow-up, after several attempts, nothing has been received and your help is needed to stop the DOE from carrying out what will be disastrous for these great schools.


Being the PTA Co-President of Bayside High School and a School Leadership Team (SLT) member, my comments are focused but are pertinent to each of these great schools. I am also a resident of Bayside, so my interest extends well beyond just my own child.


Using Bayside as an example, the school received 13,244 applications from 7,900 individual students for 2012-13. Note the school is currently at 158% of capacity. Our SLT committee ranked 54% of the applications for the 510 seats including over 200 special education students. It was a lot of work to do this fairly.


OSE sent offers to only 11.6% of the students that we ranked in any program. They then sent offers to an additional 155 students we never ranked- including 88 offers for our zoned program to students who don't even live in the zone! They were holding seats for their own purpose.




This is one major reason why this community wants this zoned program to end this kind of abuse by the DOE.


Now the DOE is running a second round of applications in which it actively solicited 1700 more applications from students not living in the zone to come to Bayside. Almost all of these 1700 are zoned for the schools the Mayor has decided to close: Flushing, Bryant, Adams, Richmond Hill, Jamaica, Long Island City, and Newtown as well as from Bowne and Van Buren. Parents are running from these schools in droves and threaten to overwhelm Cardozo, Bayside, Francis Lewis and Forest Hills in the process.


The students forced-placed by OSE last year who did not choose programs in schools are now underperforming their peers.


This forced placement of students who did not choose a school goes against the ideal of school choice and makes a joke out of the ranking process and leads to issues that trigger school closure. This is not the first year the DOE has resorted to this forced placement.


The Chancellor must instruct his Office of Student Enrollment to respect the rankings of students that schools strive to perform completely and fairly and must stop the misleading use of schools' zoned programs as places to push students from out of zone.


Respectfully,


David L. Solano


Bayside High School PTA Co-President & SLT Member


Queens H.S. Presidents Council Rep to D-26 DLT


CB 11 Education Committee


Queens BP's Parent Advisory Board

2 comments:

  1. Wow! I didn't realize how abusive the OSE was in dumping students into schools they didn't bother to apply for or programs that the school wanted to place their selections in.

    Maybe the mews media should expose this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What happens to "management (administrative) staff" at closing schools? My understanding is that even though their schools failed, the are placed in leadership roles in new schools. How are they held accountable?

    What about CFN staff? Aren't they accountable for the failed policies that resulted in school closures? Do they just keep going and enfold the new "small" schools into their budgets? Do their budgets swell with the addition of the numerous small schools?

    ReplyDelete

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