Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lois Weiner, Francesco Portelos, Brian Jones and More at MORE, Saturday: Dignity and Democracy in Education

Blowing the Whistle on the Culture of Fear and Corruption in NYC Public Schools  
For Immediate Release
Media Contact- Michael Schirtzer 

New York, NY --- New York City teachers are under siege.   In schools across the city… usually in hushed tones… teachers talk about their contractual rights  ---  rights hard-earned over many years of service: tenure; fair, objective and honest performance evaluations; the freedom to openly discuss educational issues without fear of retaliation. They worry that these rights are being gradually eroded or simply given away. After 10 years of living with a hostile, anti-union, and anti-teacher Department of Education, some educators have decided to confront this mentality head-on.

WHAT:  A Public Forum on New York City Public Schools.
WHEN:   Saturday, February 23, 3:00-5:00pm
WHERE: CUNY Graduate Center; 365 5th Avenue; New York, NY 10016 Room 5414 (34TH ST MIDTOWN)
WHY: MORE believes that teachers can't teach --- nor can they advocate effectively for students --- in the existing culture of fear.

This forum will include a panel of accomplished educators who have bravely chosen to confront the Department of Education directly on these issues. They will tell their own stories --- stories that involve putting their own careers in jeopardy by publicly advocating for their students and suffering vicious reprisals from the system as a consequence.

Together we will consider how to push back against the culture of fear; how to challenge hostile work environments;  the role of the UFT and union chapters in fighting for freedom of speech and freedom of thought; ways we can all work together to protect our rights on the job.

WHO: The Movement of  Rank & File Educators (MORE) – The Social Justice Caucus of the United Federation of Teachers is sponsoring this event. 

Panelists include:
Lois Weiner, Ed.D. Scholar-Activist, Author of "The Future of Our Schools: Teacher Unions and Social Justice" & Professor of Education at New Jersey City University 
Francesco Portelos - S.T.E.M. Teacher, UFT Chapter Leader & whistleblower, "rubber roomed" for exposing alleged financial corruption of school administration
Harris Lirtzman - Former Special Education/Mathematics Teacher charged with "employee misconduct" after reporting misadministration of his school's special-education program

Moderated by:
Brian Jones - Teacher and Co-Narrator of the film "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman"

For more information contact: Michael Schirtzer                                                                                 

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