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Protest at Fordham High School for the Arts

March 14, 2009 am31 5:23 am

Teachers at Fordham HS for the Arts had enough. Today they led a protest, and asked for help from other high school teachers in the Bronx. About 4-500 came for a one hour rally.

  • From Columbus campus
  • From Walton campus
  • From Clinton
  • From Bronx Science
  • From the HS of American Studies
  • From Evander campus
  • From Wings
  • From Truman
  • From Lehman
  • From JFK campus
  • From the Taft Campus

[update: from Grace Dodge. from Jane Addams]

From every high school I can think of in the Bronx. Many I missed. Today we stood together.

Channel 12 came (probably running the story now). Channel 5 (Ti Wa Chang might have a piece at 10?). A NYC education web news source had a reporter in the Bronx – but elsewhere.

Protesters from scores of Bronx HSs converge on the Fordham HS for the Arts

Protesters from scores of Bronx HSs converge on the Fordham HS for the Arts

Fordham HS for the Arts teacher addresses the gathered throng

Fordham HS for the Arts teacher addresses the gathered throng

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26 Comments leave one →
  1. Former Teacher permalink
    March 14, 2009 pm31 6:58 pm 6:58 pm

    I was out there, showing my support for my fellow teachers: once a teacher, always a teacher. It was electrifying, hundreds of teachers, fighting against one of many unprincipled administrators. We need to do this everywhere, push Randi to protect her members and obtain the power to have a say over what happens in our schools.

  2. March 15, 2009 pm31 6:20 pm 6:20 pm

    When I first arrived at the rally, there were only a few people there and I feared there would be a small showing. Because of the abuse, I thought many would not attend for fear of retribution. But people showed in force, including four of her former administrators. It was exhilarating to be at this great show of community and support. Not previously mentioned but also present at the event were former students whom Blige “encouraged” to leave the school. She forced these students out because their remaining at Fordham Arts would cause the school’s statistics to fall. I commend the students who took the time to travel from their new schools on a Friday afternoon back to Fordham Arts to participate in this event. Blige’s blind ambition makes her also retaliate against those who she is supposed to protect, the students. No one is exempt; anyone can become collateral damage to her ambition.

    • melissa mcdaniel permalink
      April 3, 2009 pm30 9:35 pm 9:35 pm

      I was at the rally too, as a mother of a student going to that school, i have personally witnessed her wrath once someone questions her authority, my daughter being one of them, she went as far as to have the counsellor call to threaten my daughter with expulsion if she participated. We need to ban together to end this tyranny.

  3. proofoflife permalink
    March 15, 2009 pm31 9:26 pm 9:26 pm

    I was there and it is about time!!!!!!

  4. March 16, 2009 am31 1:51 am 1:51 am

    They’d probably fire us in Texas for doing something like that.

    But watch. Times are different. Fear is different. They’ll try to fire us anyway.

    I hope something good comes of the Fordham protest, soon.

    (Ironic, no? What do the guys at the Fordham Foundation say about this?)

    • March 16, 2009 am31 8:30 am 8:30 am

      Rights are won in the streets, then ratified (and restricted) by legislation, No one’s going to hand you the right to protest, but one day you’ll take it.

  5. March 16, 2009 am31 3:07 am 3:07 am

    The key that will lead to the removal of this ignorant abusive Principal, Iris Blige was the support of the hundreds of students who also attended the rally! Many are so upset with this woman I don’t see how they can allow this person to return to the same school on Monday. If Tweed and the Chancellor’s office refuses to act there will be a consequence to their inaction. The voters will let them know in the upcoming election!! Are you listening Arne Duncan? This is the system that you have promoted and the person Joel Klein who has allowed for it to exist.

  6. Ramirez permalink
    March 16, 2009 am31 3:33 am 3:33 am

    Its on youtube.com go to Rally for Education at Fordham Arts!!! This was great we are empowered!!! UFT UFT

    • March 16, 2009 am31 8:25 am 8:25 am

      Ramirez, thanks for the heads up! As you can see, I found two videos!

  7. March 16, 2009 am31 7:47 am 7:47 am

    Thanks for all the comments.

    LB, thanks for the details about the students who Blige had forced out. It’s great that they came back to protest.

    • March 19, 2009 am31 3:51 am 3:51 am

      BTW, I heard today that Iris Blige called an assembly for those students who attended the rally. After the assembly students complained that she said they would not graduate from a NYC high school. As this is hearsay, I was wondering if anyone was there who actually heard her make these comments.

  8. March 16, 2009 am31 8:32 am 8:32 am

    My Name is Anthony Peralta. I am a graduate student of Fordham High (2006).

    Ever since Iris Blige became the new Principle of Fordham High it was a really big scare. I didn’t know how she run our school,how she would influence the students with that nasty attitude of hers and most importantly, Will she gain respect from everyone. Yes everyone respected her,but it was just for the sake of their job. I am not writting this to trash talk Iris Blige, But I must say her leadership skills, Her way of trying to solve Problems, Her ability to communication with others and work as one, her ambition to help out others was very poor. And this isn’t just an opinion I mean every knows and saw that. At one point I was like “Maybe she’s just doing her job a little different than the other principle by being more lenient” ,but that statement I had in mind didn’t make sense to me after a while. Because she really didn’t make the effort to influence anyone… not even her own staff. I remember when I used to perform on stage or when there was a Ceremony and she would have her time to speak …..no one would really clap or cheer for her for her, because no one really had interest in what she had to say. I Feel horrible for the Heroes she terminated,and by heroes I mean the Teachers..Because in my eyes they ARE heroes,its just a damn shame. I care about Fordham Arts deeply and I hope the Board of Ed finds another principal. One who has a big heart and ambition to help others learn and succeed not only through out High-school but also in Life. Someone who can sense the Humor in a joke, someone who can be liked and loved ….not by fear but by respect. God Bless all the staff from Fordham High school for the Arts.

  9. March 19, 2009 am31 3:49 am 3:49 am

    This rally felt like redemption for those of us who have suffered under the leadership at Fordham High School for the Arts.

    Iris Blige is a Principal who hides behind tyranny and abuse to disguise her incompetence. Having never taught, she is unable to translate what she understands as sound educational practice into leadership. When I first met her, I asked about her teaching background. She gave the vague response, “ I worked in special education.” During the first days of school, she took the lead in a professional development workshop for which she allocated 45 minutes for the presentation. She finished in 10 minutes and set the faculty to work on the application. Everyone gazed at each other confused because they did not understand the task. I immediately realized this woman never taught a day in her life.

    As a result of Iris Blige’s educational ignorance, she is ineffective as a principal, and is unable to complete the most basic supervisory task of evaluating teachers through the observation process. Whenever she does an observation, she brings with her an AP who does the write-up for her. Afraid to be known, she is paranoid of anyone who is going to pull her cover and reveal her ineptitude. This paranoia is evidenced by the tenured faculty who have faced false accusations to the untenured teachers who have been arbitrarily given u ratings and denied tenure.

    It is odious that the DOE has allowed such ineffectiveness to become the career-ender for so many promising young teachers. Competent principals would be able to recognize talent and effectively develop that talent into mastery. Unfortunately for many untenured teachers, that opportunity has been robbed from them.

    Hopefully this rally, serving as an expression of our first amendment rights, will bring to light the abuses of this dictatorial style of leadership. Our country was founded on the idea of that we all share basic rights; let’s hope these rights can be restored at Fordham High School for the Arts and the other schools who suffer under tyranny.

    • withheld permalink
      December 12, 2010 pm31 12:54 pm 12:54 pm

      I am applying for an ELA teaching job at this school but am very concerned about the atmosphere there. Should I pursue this job or walk away??? I would appreciate any thoughts you have!

  10. April 23, 2009 pm30 7:00 pm 7:00 pm

    I also Graduate From Fordham Hs for the arts. I believe Blidge was very unfair with most of us. And i heard on top of that a lot of GREAT teacher where fired. Some no reason. Maybe these are rumors, but when i went to visit the school in june 2008 the day i graduate to pick my diploma, since i was tranfered to YABC in walton. I come to find out that ALL my former teacher where fired. I didn’t understand one bit of it.

    Also a a former art student i took art very seriously, since its my passion and love. I heard for almost a whole year the ART student had NO art teacher. So i went to the student art student and confronted them. If they wanted a art teacher they need to stand up! As leader from Sistas and Brothas United [sbu],i had to do what i had to do! Not only for what i believe but also what they believe, but they where too scared or didnt want join because they thought they would had gotten introuble. So i planed, and when i went back all of sudden they had art teacher but didnt last that long. I encourage anyone, if you willing to the same with me contact me. Because this aint right! No only because we suffer but thats the future that what they want to do! So if it called FORDHAM HS FOR THE ARTS. STICK BY YOUR WORD.

  11. Anonymous permalink
    July 10, 2009 am31 12:42 am 12:42 am

    I am a student at fordham Hs and i am just so tired of being made a fool of evrytime some1 asks me what schoo do i go to and wen i say fordham HS or Roosevelt the faacil expressions of pepl change i want to b challenged and i want our school to Be portrayed as a PERFORMING ARTS HS not just another Public HS AND MY NAME IS IMANI JOHNSON

    • July 10, 2009 am31 11:35 am 11:35 am

      I understand how you feel, like when people ask me where i graduated and i tell them “Fordham hs for the art, inside of Roosevelt, the assume im a bad study. And i CLEARLY told them i graduate. You it really dumb.

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