Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our battle is not over! Sign our new petition to Steiner

Send a new message to Commissioner Steiner to reject Cathie Black's nomination --even if there's an educator as number two.

In what has been called a stinging rebuke to the mayor, the members of an advisory panel appointed by Commissioner Steiner voted today against granting a waiver to magazine executive Cathie Black to become NYC Schools Chancellor. They listened to the voices of parents, educators, and the majority of New Yorkers, who believe that she has none of the qualifications needed to lead the nation's largest school system. Yet our battle is not over.

Yet Commissioner Steiner has suggested that he may still grant a waiver for Ms. Black if the Mayor agrees to appoint an educator in the number two position. This is simply unacceptable. We need a seasoned educator at the helm, with a record of achievement in running and improving public schools.

That's why we're asking you to sign our new petition, which automatically sends a message to Commissioner Steiner, urging him to reject Cathie Black as Chancellor, and asking him to tell the Mayor to appoint a seasoned educator instead.

Please forward this link to all your friends and colleagues, post it on your Facebook page, and keep fighting for our kids! And then have a great Thanksgiving.


Anonymous said...


I really admire your courage to step up to the plate and fight for what you believe in. Not many people do and act on their beliefs, mostly out of fear. Its just nice to see someone or many people in this case standing up for an excellent cause.



My Letter to Commissioner Steiner

Dear Commissioner David Steiner:

There is not a person in New York City who has any doubt that you are being pressured on a daily basis to give in to the demands of a powerful and wealthy Mayor who has sadly lost the respect of this great City.

You do not need me to explain this above remark.

But I ask you to remember that, like all of us, you will one day come to the end of your own, may it be a long, Journey, on this Earth.

How do you wish to be remembered?

You know in your heart of hearts what you must do. There is only one correct thing you can do and must do to stand on the side of the Angels to protect the educational interests of more than one million innocent Souls who cannot defend themselves.

They and their parents and every human being who possesses the slightest degree of decency is waiting for you to declare that this ugly, sordid, corrupted fiasco is at an end.

Show this great City that you have the fire in the belly and the simple old fashioned courage to put the interests of all New York City- first.

You have already begun to do what few thought you had the guts and high sense of ethics to do. You stood up to forces bigger than yourself.

Now stay the course and finish what you started. There are times in Life when "half-way measures" and "political compromise" and/or "expediency" are not the acceptable answer.

The people have spoken and you have listened well. Now is the time to announce, without further delay or equivocation of any kind, that on deeper reflection you now realize that bringing in an Education Expert to assist Ms. Black is not the right solution after all.

Whoever you believe is sufficiently experienced to become Deputy Chancellor under Ms. Black, is logically speaking the individual who should replace Ms. Black as the next schools Chancellor.

The idea Mayor Bloomberg has lamely attempted to advance is that in all of this great United States of America there is no one but his pathetic, self-serving and educationally uncredentialed choice who is sufficiently qualified, ready, willing and able to lead the NYC Public Schools system forward into the future.

It is difficult to know which is greater. Mr. Bloomberg's unbridled audacity or his unbounded Hubris.




My Letter to Commissioner Steiner


Mayor Michael Bloomberg clearly believes "you can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time".

However you and every citizen of this great City, know very well you cannot fool All of the People, All of the Time.

This battle is not simply about selecting the next NYC schools Chancellor.

As often happens in life, sometimes something about a single issue has a way of growing into something far bigger and more important than itself.

We are engaged now in the battle to safeguard the democratic institutions and solemn heritage of this metropolis.

Every single citizen in New York City is watching and waiting to see what you will do. Your final Decision in this grave matter will no doubt serve as your lasting legacy to the people of New York City and its more than one million public school children whose futures you are literally holding, right now, in your hands.

May God grant you the wisdom and the strength to finish what you have so bravely and valiantly begun. That is to say the courage to end what has evolved into a nightmarish spectacle where too much power was allowed to reside in the hands of one individual.

It was said long ago that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We have all seen and witnessed now, to our horror, in our own time, the glaring truth of those immortal words.

End this ugly standoff now, Commissioner Steiner. You have the power to do so. The Law is on your side and the citizens of this good City are on your side. Do not squander the praise you have earned thus far for putting the People first- before an individual who believes that economic might, ipso facto, makes right.

The Arc of Justice bends forth, reaching across the Universe, silently calling out to you to rise to this occasion. Please answer that call and do, acting with Honor, what you know you must.

All of New York City, indeed all of America awaits your final answer that will affect future generations of children.


David Pakter, M.A., M.F.A.

Former "Teacher of the Year"
Decorated personally by Mayor Rudy Giuliani in City Hall for "Exceptional Achievement in Education"

Tim said...

Follow-up on this is ESSENTIAL. The fact that Steiner would construct what seems to be a big exception to the law is worrisome. We don't deserve an ad hoc power-share arrangement; we deserve a single qualified chancellor.

Sign the petitions and talk to your legislators, please. And have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Sally A. Friedman said...

Hate to say it, but I think New York will get more of same, regardless of who is eventually appointed chancellor. However, I suspect the new one will not last nearly as long as Joel Klein did. My feeling is, he or she will tire of all the political pressures in a year or two. Then the campaign for a new mayor, with all of its distractions, will start. In the meantime, New Yorkers will just have to endure.

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Anonymous said...

Let's have Cathie Black teach in a South Bronx Middle School. Subjec: Math. Ms. Black, try holding you "pee and shit" for three hours while teaching simple algebra and breaking up several fights in the classroom at the same time. And not to mention, while leaving the classroom that you are not mugged, raped, stabbed or threatened by students and their parents. Hopefully, your car will still be there. On the other hand, as Chancellor you won't have to worry about any of that stuff. Top security, personal toilet, an assistant chancellor to correct you all the time, a mayor who will protect you at all times from those who voted him in and accolades from the Daily News stating how much "change" for the better you've already created. In the meantime, our most "at risk" children will continue to be imprisoned, even before they enter High School, and many of of HS graduates will continue to be unprepared for even a two-year college. In the end, Ms Black, there will be many awards luncheons and dinners on your behalf for "saving our children." Your own children non-profit private schools will continue to charge the rick 45,000 a year per student and hold "fund-raisers" claiming that there isn't enough money to run the wonderful programs in these "elitist." All a while, Ms Black, will push for-profit public charter schools. If your daughters "for the rich private school can't make a profit, how will public charter schools do so? I know I've made a difference in at least one ex-student's life. While at a teacher's workshop a young teacher approached me and said, "Ms Casanova I'm so happy to see." She then went on to say, "You were my role-model, it is because of you that I am a teacher today." Ms. Black how many of our children have ever told you that you made a difference in their life? Many elitists, like yourself, have attacked many hard-working and caring teachers, but I say to you, that we save lives every day! Shame on YOU, for trying to take away the accolades from those who really deserve it. Our loving, hard-working, caring teachers. Shame on you. While we promote great writers, you promote profit-making magazines and pay yourself millions of dollars for just doing what you were trained to do. Shame On YOU!