Saturday, February 5, 2011

Thursday's protests of school closings and the mayor's response

See video below of Thursday's night rally and Panel for Educational Policy meeting at Brooklyn Tech before the mass walkout. More information about the protests and the way the Panel rubber stamped the school closings and charter takeovers at NY1.

The Mayor responded on Friday with comments about how the vocal opposition of parents, teachers, students, and elected officials was "embarassing" and "undemocratic." See my response at the Brooklyn Eagle, Gabe Pressman's column, and the Wall Street Journal.

It is the height of arrogance for Bloomberg to criticize us for being undemocratic when he has treated our schools as his personal fiefdom, to do as he likes without any attention to our priorities, or the damage he is doing to our children.

And what is really embarrassing is the usual spectacle of the Panel for Educational Policy, in which he insists that all of his appointees vote lockstep according to his will, month after month, no matter how destructive and wasteful the proposals are. Their unthinking and unbending behavior is shameful; and rivals the worst excesses of the old Party Congress meetings under the Soviet Union.

In the video below, see students from the closing Metropolitan Corporate Academy singing "the DOE don't care about us"; remarks from Michael Mulgrew of the UFT, State Sen. Tony Avella of Queens, who called for a revolution to take back our schools, and City Council Member Jumaane Williams.


Anonymous said...

people should be protesting outside the homes of the panel members carrying puppets and chanting "How do you sleep at night?"

Michel Fiorillo said...

What are people who are not listened to, treated with arrogant contempt and subjected to impunity expected to do? Given the scale of the social crime that is being committed, people have been far too polite.

I'm willing to plead guilty to having embarrassed myself in the past - although Thursday night was definitely not one of those times - but the overwhelming majority of us in that room have never been guilty of the same kind of brazen, shameless dishonesty engaged in by the Mayor and his ventriloquist dolls.

Anonymous said...

I'd be proud to be as embarrassing as the demonstrators were on Thursday night. Bloomberg buys his political career with his billions, and calls us undemocratic? This is me, yelling and screaming, but not taking away anyone's rights. Cathie Black does not have the right to be the boss of any teacher in any system. Except, perhaps, for the private school to which she sent her children.

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