CALLING ON THE SUNY CHARTER SCHOOLS INSTITUTE TO REJECT SUCCESS ACADEMY’S PRELIMINARY PROPOSAL TO OPEN SCHOOLS IN DISTRICT 30
AND CALLING UPON NEW YORK CITY TO REJECT ANY REQUEST BY
SUCCESS ACADEMY FOR PUBLIC SCHOOL SPACE IN DISTRICT 30
WHEREAS, District 30 is proud to be host to many excellent and successful public schools, including several well-considered charter schools; and
WHEREAS, on March 21, 2013, Community District Education Council 30 passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on all school closures, phase outs, and charter school co-locations; and
WHEREAS Community District Education Council 30 continues to be opposed to co-locations of charter schools in district schools without the approval of the district; and
WHEREAS, along with adjoining District 24, District 30 is one of the most overcrowded districts in New York City, such that at the request of City Council member Julissa Ferreras the DOE convened a task force to collaborate with the community to establish long-term solutions to address overcrowding, which task force held its first meeting on April 25; and
WHEREAS, District 30 is currently operating with an average building utilization rate of 104 percent; and
WHEREAS, New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott has conceded that “Overcrowding is an issue we take seriously,” and
WHEREAS, the overwhelming majority of charter school seats in District 30 are in private buildings which serve to provide additional seats for students in this overcrowded district; and
WHEREAS, Success Academy has stated in its application to the SUNY Charter Institute that it only intends to open a school in District 30 if it can co-locate in a district school, with no acknowledgement that District 30 is already overcrowded and lacking in space for the schools already in the District; and
WHEREAS, serious concerns have been raised concerning student and teacher safety at schools co-located with Success Academy schools as a result of Success Academy’s performance of construction work without DOE approval; and
WHEREAS, District 30 has 13 elementary schools rated an “A” in their most recent New York City Department of Education Progress Report, which is over half of the elementary schools in District 30, and eight schools for which Progress Reports have shown improvement over the past two years; and
WHEREAS, District 30 offers numerous options for parental choice including, but not limited to, no less than five dual language programs, with a sixth opening next year, three district-wide gifted and talented programs, a citywide gifted and talented program, a sought-after NEST program, several magnet schools, and five other charters schools each with its own theme; and
WHEREAS, District 30, along with District 24, has one of the fastest growing populations of immigrant students in the city, with dozens of languages being the native tongues of students and their parents including but not limited to Bengali, Arabic, Chinese, Urdu, Punjabi, Greek, Tivetan, Nepali, Albanian, Philipino/Tagalog, Portuguese, Hindi, Polish, Korean, Serbo-Croatian, Russian, Turkish, Japanese, French, Romanian, Haitian Creole, Thai, Ukrainian, Vietnamese, Gujarati, Indonesian/Bahasa, Pashto, Italian, Burmese, Farsi, German, Bosnian, Tamil, Armenian, Slovak, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Czech, Yonba, Belorussian, Telugu, Macedonian, Hebrew, Swedish, Tigre, Dutch, Georgian, Malayalam, Dzonghka, Bihari, Malay, Slovenian, Guarani, Hausa, Lithuanian, Marathi, Uzbek, Visayak, Bambara, Cham, Fulani, Ibo, Malagasy, Mongolian, Niger-Congo, Sindhi, Turkman, Twi, Afrikaans, Azerbaijani, Baluchi, Estonian, Khoisan, Loma, Maltese, Mandinka, Nahuatl, Native American Languages, Norweigan, Romansch, Shluh, Sundanese, Swahili, Tamazight, and Yoruba; and
WHEREAS, Success Academy has not made its petitions, enrollment materials, parent contracts, or other documents available in any languages other than English and Spanish; and
WHEREAS, Success Academy’s average rate of annual student suspensions for the schools for which data is publicly available is well over three times higher than the rate of annual student suspensions in all of District 30, despite the fact that such figures reflect only suspensions of students in grades K-6, whereas District 30’s suspension rate includes students in grades K-12; and
WHEREAS, Success Academy’s average rate of teacher turnover for the schools for which such data is publicly available is well over twice the rate of teacher turnover in District 30, and such teacher turnover robs students of a stable instruction population and systematically prevents the creation of a stable school community; and
WHEREAS, Success Academy has not shown that there has been any significant number of applicants from District 30 to any of its schools.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Community District Education Council 30 hereby calls upon the SUNY Charter Institute and the New York State Board of Regents to REJECT Success Academy’s preliminary proposal, and any subsequent proposal made by Success Academy to open a school in District 30; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Community District Education Council 30 hereby calls upon the New York City Department of Education, the Panel on Education Policy, and the Chancellor of the New York City Schools to REJECT any request by Success Academy to be co-located in any public school building in District 30.
VOTED AND UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED: May 16, 2013
Community District Education Council 30
28-11 Queens Plaza North, Room 520
Long Island City, NY 11101
Visit CDEC30 on Facebook! Just copy and paste the link below.
There are activists in the educational community and TC alumni who are debating whether to call for a protest of the Merryl Tisch award at your graduation [May 21]. While there are different opinions on this topic, they are all asking if there will be a protest from the graduating students. They realize that you are entering teaching at a very difficult time and they admire your courage. They are hoping that as beginning teachers you can find small ways to protect both the children and our profession by protesting the horrible anti-child and anti-teacher policies pushed through with Race to the Top funding. ... Professor Celia Oyler, Teachers College
This story has been brewing for weeks and I've been waiting for it all to flow before compiling links and comments. What to do at graduation? Disrupt? Silent protest? Some of our contacts in the grad school and TC alum have been debating the issue internally and so far no firm decision has been made.
Some TC grad students also took part in the AERA Arne Duncan demo in San Francisco recently. I know that some
might be concerned about showing civility no matter what the outrage (When Davids Boo Goliaths Do They Lack Civility?
) and I'm guessing from internal list serve comments that at most we may see a turning of backs as the award is being presented while an outside protest is still being discussed.
Change the Stakes posted: NYS PARENTS SUPPORT TEACHERS COLLEGE PROTEST AGAINST PRESIDENT SUSAN FUHRMAN AND CHANCELLOR MERRYL TISCH
There is a direct conflict of interest: as president of Teachers College, Susan Fuhrman also serves on the board of directors of Pearson PLC; she is paid a substantial sum of money each year and, through stock ownership, directly benefits from Pearson contracts. One such contract is Pearson’s $32 million contract with the New York State Education Department as the vendor for grades 3-8 ELA and math tests. Surely Fuhrman’s tie to Pearson is an act of gross impropriety if not an illegal conflict of interest.... It was President Fuhrman’s decision to honor former TC alumna Merryl Tisch.
Teachers College is supposedly a progressive education institution, but is apparently run as a dictatorship by Susan Fuhrman. (There's lots of stuff floating around about her style coming out of the TC student and faculty ranks so any protest is not just about the Tisch award.)
Susan Ohanian points to the incestuous relationship between Pearson and NY State Ed, linking to comments from Fred Smith:
Here's another signal of how the public is being taken out of public education--which has become a field of schemes for private profiteers like Pearson.
New York State Education Department & Pearson Hold Hands to Call the Shots: Fred Smith - http://susanohanian.org/outrage_fetch.php?id=1608
Diane Ravitch headlined: Teachers College to Honor Doyenne of High-Stakes Testing
It's not only about Tisch and high-stakes testing, it is also about her being one of the leading ed deformers running the State Board of Regents as a dictatorship. She decided on State Ed Commissioner David Steiner, who went down in infamy for granting Cathie Black her waiver and the current ed deform slug John King.
There are so many great commentaries emerging on this issue I can't keep up with all of them. Diane posted this powerful piece from a TC Prof: Professor Oyler: An Open Letter to My Students.
[Tisch's] actions while Chair of the New York State Board of Regents have wrought incredible damage upon our noble profession. Merryl Tisch has ushered through the Board of Regents many policies with which I vehemently disagree; these include: decoupling teacher certification and master’s degrees from university-based teacher education (approving Relay Graduate School of Education); allowing InBloom to collect and sell private data on each K-12 student in New York State schools; and requiring all school districts to tie teacher evaluation to Value Added Measures based on student test scores.... If I were at the graduation convocation, I would wear a sign on the back of my robe. It would probably say, “USING STUDENT TEST SCORES TO RATE TEACHERS DISHONORS US.... I couldn’t be silent. I would feel complicit; my silence would be condoning the award.... I cannot sit silently while teachers across this country are being viciously attacked and demeaned by the junk science of VAM..
How interesting that college professors like Dr. Oyler brand VAM junk science while our own union
Our pal Fred Smith and Change the Stakes colleague has a piece up at Schoolbook:
It is a dark day when Teachers College, a venerable institution of learning, engages in actions that are contrary to the values it has upheld and nurtured for more than a century but that day has arrived....
Its founding vision was to train teachers to work effectively with the children of New York City’s poor by understanding and furthering the many ways that children are capable of learning. Individual differences were respected, cherished. The words progressive and humanitarian were embraced by Teachers College.
Unfortunately, the unilateral decision by T.C. President Susan Fuhrman to honor New York Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch next week at the school’s convocation defies this tradition.
Fred goes on to eviscerate not only Tisch but Fuhrman:
Fuhrman has reportedly received almost $1 million in the form of stocks and fees (as “non-executive independent director) from Pearson, the state’s current test publisher. And closing the circle, Pearson not only has a five-year $32 million contract with the state to test 1.2 million students in grade 3 to 8 each year in reading and math. It has taken over gatekeeping programs that assess who is qualified to be a teacher and whether their performance as teachers is satisfactory. So T.C. trains the teachers, the state hires and evaluates them and Pearson thrives — monopoly style — on this neat arrangement.
Here's the link for the national teacher petition calling on TC to rescind the award for Merryl Tisch: http://petitions.moveon.org/s...
And the link from TC alum Carol Burris:
The letter of concern of alumni can be found here:
While most people are not willing to go this far on the Tisch story I have no qualms and I have had many occasions to use the photo below. RBE did touch on this in Tisch And Teachers College
I wanted her to run for mayor because I wanted to find out more about her family's connections to K-12 Inc. and the for-profit education industry as well as the family history in the cigarette business.
|Above, left to right, Al Ramirez, CORE co-chairman, Kristine Mayle, CTU Financial Secretary, Karen Lewis, CTU Preisdent, Michael Brunson, CTU Recording Secretary, Jesse Sharkey, CTU Vice President, and Nate Goldbaum, CORE co-chair. Substance photo by Howard Heath.|
Three years ago at this time all these guys were teaching. I really think it takes being in the classroom during the ed deform movement to get people to a stage where they refuse to accept the tenets of ed deform, as our leaders at the AFT and the UFT have done so readily. I know Al and Kristine from hanging out with them in LA in 2009 and have gotten to know the others over the years.
I'm doing a lot on the Chicago story because it has so much relevance for all teachers. Their union election is tomorrow in the schools (so unlike here - some people think it is a reason they have a higher turnout but also an opportunity for a party like Unity to cheat --- but then again how much more can they win by?) Also retirees don't vote.
The action against the closing of 54 schools begins the next day with a 3-day march. While it is clear Emanuel was going to close many schools no matter what, some of our Unity Caucus slug-like comments tried to paint the closings in this light: see what you get for being militant rather than "cooperative" like we are?
They filed suit over the closing schools. Here are reports from anti-CTU press (Times
Well the Unity-like opposition to CORE ran the union into the ground as was pointed out by Jim Vail in our posts last night. (Critic Endorses CORE and Lewis in CTU Elections While Trashing AFT and Randi-like Opposition).
I assume CORE is expecting to win. Hopefully BIG. The opposition is such a joke let's hope the CTU members get it. Imagine here in NYC that MORE were to win and Unity comes back in the next election running on a campaign of opposing many of the things they did that caused them to lose in the first place. Like can't you see Unity attack that we didn't eliminate ATRs?
George Schmidt, who will be in NYC for the weekend and we are hanging out Sunday morning for the inside scoop, posted Lee Sustar's analysis from the Socialist Worker on Substance
CTU election on May 17, 2013 pits CORE against the 'Coalition to Save Our Union'... The issue is who has held the line for Chicago teachers during a year when American Federation of Teachers locals have been in retreat across the USA
I love it when people make the analogy to the failing AFT/UFT strategies. (Just check the outcomes in Washington, Newark, Detroit, NYC, Baltimore, Hartford and pre-CORE Chicago).
Sustar (who I sit with in the press section at AFT conventions and is a delight to chat with as he is so knowledgeable) opens with:
The challengers in the Chicago Teachers Union's (CTU) May 17 elections accuse union President Karen Lewis and the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators (CORE) leadership of "squandering" last September's strike and giving ground on pay, health care, pensions and seniority.
Lewis and other CTU officials never shied away from addressing the problems in the agreement that ended the nine-day strike. As Lewis often puts it, "It was the contract we could get." But the truth is the Chicago teachers' strike successfully resisted the corporate education reform juggernaut on all the key issues--and strengthened the contract in other areas.
HERE'S A look at the key issues: Pay
, Job security, Pensions, Health care, Union power in the schools,
Get the details at Substance
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