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.

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