The Emergency Coalition to Stop School Closings
Norm Seigel’s Legal Team
Maxwell HS (good to the last drop!)
Concerned Advocates for Public Education — CAPE
Grassroots Education Movement — GEM
Class Size Matters
Independent Community of Educators — ICE/UFT
Teachers for Just Contract — TJC/UFT
New York Collective of Radical Educators – NYCoRE
Coalition for Public Education — CPE
Center for Immigrant Families – CIF
Concerned Parents of East New York
PS 123 — PTA Harlem
DC-37 Local 372 (NYC Board of Ed Employees)
NY State Senator Perkins
University Heights HS
Metropolitan Corporate Academy HS
Beach Channel HS
Facing History School
John Dewey HS
Patrick Sullivan, Manhattan PEP member
Richard Barr, VP, Political Action in School District 3
Marvin Holland, TWU 100 & Take Back Our Union
Join the emerging coalition by sending representativess to our GEM meetings or formally endorsing our coalition.
If your UFT School Chapter or Parents Association will not get involved in this critical struggle for the preservation of public education and/or endorse our campaign, you can create an active local Save Our School Committtee (with schoolworkers, parents, students, community) and endorse GEM’s citywide work. Even if Bloomberg-Klein’s PEP votes to close your school or to have a charter school invade, our work to overturn Bloomberg’s destructive actions & policies will not stop.
Notables Absent at Jan.21 Rally:
• King Bloomberg
• Duke Chancellor Klein & his Panel for Educational Policy Puppets (PEPp)
• NYC Dept. of Education (TWEED officials)
• UFT — Teachers Union Officialdom (controlled by Pres. Mulgrew, UNITY & New Action Caucuses)
• UFT Brooklyn Charter School Administrators (who have invaded 2 Brooklyn Public Schools)
• Green Dots Charter School Network (supported by the UFT & provide no teacher tenure rights)
• NYC Democratic Party Politicians (with noted exceptions)
• Educational Equality Project (Sharpton-Gingrich-Duncan Alliance for Mayoral Control & Charters)
• Bill Gates
• The Walton Foundation (Sam’s Club & Walmart)
• Eli Broad
From Rafael Feliciano, President FMPR (Puerto Rico Teachers’ Union):
“Para mi es esperanzador el trabajo que esta realizando el GEM. Tenemos muchas cosas para compartir; es la misma lucha”. For me the work that GEM has achieved is a hopeful sign. We [of Puerto Rico] have much to share. It is the same struggle.”
From John Dewey HS Colleague:
It was an honor to be out there with you all, and, like you said here, the students kept the spirits flying!!!
My 2 colleagues and myself came from John Dewey HS in Bklyn, and we ended up over near the park, but when we walked passed the mayor’s residence, it was a real show of unity and strength, very impressive (as it was near the Park, only I wish we had gotten to the main area. Cops told organizers only the 100people there could be there,but there were MANY 100′ when we passed cross the street at 5:30 pm or so!!!
Now to build on the momentum. Maybe Unity [UFT party in control] can learn something from the beauty and brilliance of your organizing power and our unified resistance- they certianly don’t lead in any viable way, and haven’t since Randi W. joined her (OUR) wagon to the “Green Dot” star!!!—- that is 5 years or so ago. When will the 1000’s of our colleagues wake up to being sold down the river???? Ms. W has gone Corporate very blatantly since. She can be a poster child for the charters at this point…some “family” she is to us!!!
From new member of our Emergency Coalition:
Very important to put this in context, historical and conjunctural. Bloomberg’s current school closings and creation of a privatized, “parallel” set of schools takes place in the social context of massive drive to corporatize the public domain. Health care, the right to pollute the atmosphere, and now candidates for public office! See, for example, “Privatizing Everything “. But the historical background is important, too.
We “oldtimers” remember the opening salvos of the attacks on public education in the late 80s and 90s.
Waves of cutbacks, privatizing services, imposition of standardized testing, attacks on due process, etc. . . . leading in the last several years to the generalization of the “business model” and charters. This means that the movement against school closings has the potential for tremendous breadth in the domain of educational reform, both here in NYC and around the country, and, eventually a link-up with other opponents of the neoliberal project. It also means that we need to organize for the long-haul, build lasting and activist organizations of educators (including us adjuncts), parents andcommunities, and young people.
From a GEM member:
Thursday at Bloomberg’s was the beginning of a movement. Whether or not you think the PEP is a rubber stamp and that we should be preparing for the loss, which is what I have been hearing from many in the organizing groups. I would like to raise the more important issue that we ought to focus not so much on the outcome of the PEP but the fact that we are in the beginning stages of a movement–a movement to protect our democratic rights and the right to a public school system that provides a safe environment where students,their families are valued respected and receive as much education as their minds can absorb.
What I am saying is even if all 22 schools were voted to remain open we all know we still have work to do. Remember 90 schools have already been closed under this administration and there are deep concerns about the policies that are in place inside these public schools.
One example here:
So regardless of the outcome of Tuesday PEP we approach the event with this mindset.