Thursday, June 22, 2017

Here's the Skinny - Where World Class Ed Deform Resisters Gather

Yesterday I was walking east on 43rd Street on the way back from seeing a matinee performance of the soon to close Sweat -- a wonderful play that pretty much explains the Trump victory -- when I felt a tap on my shoulder. The guy looked familiar. "Thanks for all your help," he said. And I realized he was one of the amazing CPE1 parents who were honored Tuesday night at the Skinny Awards dinner (he wasn't there so I at first had a hard time placing him but he was at most of the hearings for Marilyn Martinez). It was the 9th Skinny Awards event and I've been at every one. Just a random slice of the remarkable crew from CPE1.

Arthur Goldstein has an excellent comprehensive report on the Skinny Awards run by Leonie Haimson to raise money for Class Size Matters. So I won't repeat all the honorees he lists but you should read his report: At the Skinnies.

And note that the draft beers we had were at a Happy Hour and all 3 beers (Fred Smith was with us) cost the same as that $14 beer Arthur bought me at the Hilton during the 2014 NYSUT convention. Maybe I'll get to buy him what will probably be a $20 beer at 2019 NYSUT.

We planned to sit together but since Leonie had to find a new restaurant 3 days before the event, sitting was a bit convoluted. Gloria Brandman and I ended up at the table with the CPE1 parents and teachers and had a blast. Catlin Preston, freed rubber room detainee after a year and a half, was at the table. I sat next to a young lady who just completed her first year of teaching at CPE1. She was one of the teachers hired by deposed principal Garg who stood with the teachers and parents who fought her, thus risking her career if Garg had remained. The vet teachers at CPE1 say she is developing into a super teacher.

Partying with the CPE1 crew made the evening even more special than usual.

Leonie of course is the heroine of so much of the resistance to ed deform over the past 15 years and though not publicized enough, her husband and major backer, Michael Oppenheimer, is one of the leading voices on climate change, often appearing on PBS and quoted in the NY Times. Read his Wiki and imagine what a power couple he and Leonie are. It is always great to touch base with Michael, even if once a year. (I did invite him to come visit Rockaway while it's still there.)

Lawyer Arthur Schwartz who was one of the honorees had a previous engagement but did make it there near the end of the evening, just as the belly dancer came out --- you sly guy Arthur.

The Townsend Harris super student journalists were award winners too -- how interesting that 2 of the 4 winners were related to abusive principals.

Dianne Ravitch was there as usual and she told me about her joke tweet urging Trump to drop a super bomb on North Korea and how seriously some took it. So she took it down. Jeez. Sometimes I get the annoyance over political correctness and how it riles people.

Regent Chancellor Betty Rosa was there and just think of that --- Meryl Tisch's successor came to the Skinnies -- she was honored a few years ago, along with Cathy Cashin.

Here are a few pics I took. I do have video of the belly dancer but I leave that for private viewing.

Photos below

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