Monday, March 16, 2015

City-As-School Leads march from school to rally at Washington Sq. Park

Featuring extensive coverage of City-As and the convergence in Washington Square Park where folks from PS1, Liberty High, Independence HS, Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day, NYU, and other schools rallied and spoke out.... John Antush
I've been working with John Antush in MORE for almost 3 years and it gives me such great pleasure to see his efforts to build coalitions inside his school and in the lower Manhattan area begin to pay off. What distinguishes this City-As led rally and the District 15 rally at Cuomo's office was the networking of schools which builds power of them all - and let's not neglect to say these events have not been oppositional but partnerships with the UFT leaderships in and outside the schools. To see so many MORE's take part like Alexandra Alves from PS 2, who we met just last June when she attended a lower Manhattan meetup hosted by John and Jia Lee.

(By the way - this group is hanging out this Friday - Join us at MORE's DOWNTOWN GATHERING this Friday March 20th @ 5:30pm LOCATION: Karavas Place 162 W4th Street
Let's catch up and discuss our next steps against Governor Cuomo's Education plan!)

Here is the press release from the City-As folks

Hello Everyone,

This was an incredible week for our community. Thank you to everyone for all the support, energy and effort!

Here is the post event press release and photos that can be broadly shared. We also attached the Chalkbeat articles.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Maria K and John A

For Immediate Release: March 13, 2015

Contact: Maria Krajewski

Cell: 917-763-8837


Social Media: #wearecityas #protectourschools #allkidsneed

Anti-Cuomo Protest in West Village:

Students, Teachers, Parents March, Rally, Shout and Sing

Thursday, March 12th, at 3:30pm sharp teachers and students marched out of City-As-School (CAS) High School. Kicking off their protest of Governor Cuomo’s education agenda, over a hundred teachers, parents, students and supporters, shouted “We don’t want your multiple choice; at City-As, kids have a voice!” City-As is an alternative public high school in the West Village in New York City that promotes hands-on learning experiences through its widely-acclaimed program, where students spend part of the week in internships and part of the week in classes. City-As is part of a network of schools in which students complete a portfolio of papers and projects instead of taking tests to fulfill the state graduation requirements.

Organized with marshals, the procession marched seven blocks to Washington Square Park, where marchers converged with members of school communities from across Lower Manhattan, the West Side and even the Bronx. As they soldiered forward, students waved signs and banners, emblazoned with slogans like “More Than a Score,” “#WeAretheData,” “#WeAreCityAs,” “Innovation Not Standardization,” “#AllKidsNeedArt,” “Students Are Not Statistics,” “In Teachers We Trust,” and “#ProtectOurSchools.” From current students pushing baby carriages to retired principals and teachers, the crowd captivated passersby, yelling, “The problem is poverty, not teacher quality,” “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Cuomo’s Plan Has Got to Go!” and “They say test more, we say teach more!”

At Washington Square Park, the crowd joined forces with people from PS 2, Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day School, the International High School at Lafayette, Liberty High School, Independence High School, Sojourner Truth Middle School, the Earth School, Parsons New School, and NYU. Using a small bullhorn and surrounded by a crowd that swelled to 200 at one point, students, alumni, teachers and administrators, spoke out on behalf of authentic education and against Cuomo’s plan to use student test-scores as a criterion for labelling schools “failing” and for designating teachers as “ineffective” so they can be fired without due process. From a two-year old child, the daughter of a student, who chanted, “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Cuomo’s Plan Has got to Go,” to Brett Schlessinger, the white-haired former City-As Assistant Principal who shared a rousing poem, to a current CAS student who performed a discordant, biting cover of Bob Dylan’s “Times They Are A Changin’,” (which teachers’ in the crowd of all ages sang along to), the message was clear: Governor Cuomo’s proposed education agenda extorts funding, undermines authentic education, harms students and teachers, and destroys school communities. The event attracted national and even international supporters, including Quebec students who brought their own banners and an educator from Detroit who participated in the speakout.

Some of the speakers included (not in order):

Pat Crispino, UFT Representative for District 79

Leonie Hamison, Executive Director of Class Size Matters, who initiated Thursday’s citywide “Day of Action” activities.
Iace Smith, ESL and English Teacher, Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School

Marjorie Stamberg, Teacher, UFT Delegate Pathways to Graduation, member of Class Struggle Education Workers

Alexandra Roberson, Teacher, PS2, member of Movement Rank and File Educators-UFT (a caucus in the UFT).

Fabienne Doucet, NYU Educator Professor

Meeko A. Williams, Educator from Detroit

Carl Oliver, Mather Teacher, CAS

Lucy Small, English Teacher, City As

Vincent Davi, English Teacher, CAS, UFT Chapter Chair at CASl

Sarah Quinter, a CAS alumni, artist and educator

Brett Schlesinger, a former longtime CAS AP

Rick Raffron, a co-founder of CAS and former AP

Antoinette Scarpinato, former Principal of CAS

Ana Campagniola, CAS alumni and Biology major at Laguardia Community College

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