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Bloomberg panel votes in wee hours to close 20 NYC public schools

January 27, 2010 am31 8:35 am

Impressed by the changes in school governance? You shouldn’t be.

The votes happened after 3 AM (according to Gotham Schools) with about 100 of the original 2500 spectators there.

Block votes.

Brooklyn rep, Queens rep, Bronx Rep, Manhattan Rep – No.

Mayoral appointees + SI Rep – Yes.

So the makeup of the new PEP – pfffft.

They announced in December, gave a 45 day comment period (because there were so many schools, a few ended up tight. I calculated at least one 47 day period). They held their joint SLT/CECs at each school. And they needed to approve changes 6 months in advance of utilization. It appears that they gave themselves a slim one-month cushion.

New timelines, new opportunities for public comment – partial pffft. There was a little (unproductive) satisfaction in discomfitting the superintendants who were forced to sit and listen to us, and the Mayor’s Chancellor, who got heckled off his blackberry the only two times he tried to use it last night. And perhaps we’ll learn that they blew deadline details.

So today or tomorrow our union will haul them into court. Is the UFT seeking an injunction?  To nullify the vote? Sometimes I know this sort of stuff in advance. Today, I don’t. Maybe there are details of the law that will help us.

And none of this is really a surprise. Except maybe winning the SI vote on the procedural delay (didn’t matter) and all four major boroughs on the big vote (last month I was sure about only Manhattan and the Bronx).

But at 3 in the morning it was mayoral dictatorship, and this morning’s sun is not (yet?) the dawn of a new day.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. canwetalk permalink
    January 27, 2010 pm31 6:56 pm 6:56 pm

    We, the community, will not and cannot sit back and say “defeat”.

    This is a war with many battles. We will lose some battles, but we cannot, shall not, say we lost the war.

    The mayor might have gotten what he wanted. Hopefully, through the involvement of all community organizations and the union leadership, the mayor will only relish this one-time victory.

    I believe that the community at large has more power collectively than Bloomberg’s money. The mayor will never be able to influence the communities’ passion for social justice.

    Let’s get ready for the next battle.

  2. Jack Israel permalink
    January 31, 2010 pm31 12:25 pm 12:25 pm

    Students are not widgets and schools are not factories. Teaching is an art not a science. That being said, why wouldn’t a corporate manager like Bloomberg use his un-checked power to weaken the UFT and to drown out dissenting parental voices? It is a strategy right out of the Glided Age. What I would propose, what I demand is transparency because sunshine is the best disinfectant. Currently, Klein and his spokespeople’s statements are treated by the NYT in a manner reminiscent to the way Dick Chaney’s pre and post Iraqi invasion missives about (WMB) were treated by Judith Miller, as gospel. Obviously, if you inundate a school with special needs, and recently arriving ELL students and offer little to no support, the stats will suffer. One unambiguous example is how the Mayor brags about ending social promotion. However, once a student reaches high school, if the student doesn’t’ graduate in 4 years, your school and your staff are deemed failures. The 4-year graduation rate is just one obvious example of the practice of cherry picking stats to achieve a pre-conceived goal. The 4 year graduation rates are a statistic that indisputably should and must be scrutinized if one is to derive any accurate implication from it. One last thing, who grades the High School Regents Exam in small high schools? The same people who teach the students that are taking the test, wink, wink.

    Jack Israel – Teacher

  3. February 14, 2010 pm28 3:47 pm 3:47 pm

    I hope you’re OK, JD.


  1. Bloomberg gets what he wants. Vote at 3AM to shutter schools. « Fred Klonsky's blog

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