June 23, 2010

Will the real fighters for our schools please stand up!

Congratulations to Bill Hargraves and all the GEM people who walked out of the umpteenth fake charter school hearing "hosted" by the DoE's these past few years.

I use the term loosely.
You can't even tell who's running this thing, as parent-activist Bill Hargraves points out in the video.
Hargraves: This is a public hearing, right?

Answer (off camera): Right.

Hargraves: Who am I speaking to? It seems to me like we're just speaking to each other.
And describing how a hearing is normally run says:
Whoever's representing the DoE, the charter faction, or the public faction, is here [pointing to the space up front], and not mixed in the crowd, so at least we know who we are talking to.
Those remarks at least get the DoE people to come out of hiding. Why one of them was standing way up there in the back of the auditorium is beyond me, but no matter. They could have been at the deli on the corner for all the difference it makes to the outcome of this hearing, or any other hearing in this nasty business.

No minutes are ever taken at these meetings. They're only for show.

The second link (under the video screen) takes you to Norm's Notes, where you can read a couple of letters concerning the illegality of this particular charter school expansion. Not-in-the-mayor's-back-pocket PEP member Patrick Sullivan writes:
As the Manhattan member of the city school board ("Panel for Educational Policy") I can assure you that none of the legally mandated process for such a significant change in utilization of a public school building was followed in this case.
He then puts the DoE's morality and law-breaking squarely on the table:
[The state ed] law was implemented to protect public school students from the very type of encroachment now being attempted by HSA. Instead of washing their hands of the very real issues facing Manhattan public schools in co-location situations, I suggest the trustees begin to more seriously consider their moral and legal obligations to help all our students.

Bravo to both these leaders, and of course to the president of the Parent Assn at PS 375, Rose Jimenez. Their tenacity on these issues is becoming a national treasure.

Anatomy of a Walkout at Hearing Over HSA 3 Charter Expansion in Public Space

Harlem activist Bill Hargraves points out the shoddy methods in how the DOE runs a so-called public hearing and then leads a walkout.

For background info see:

Mosaic Prep/HSA Charter Invasion Follow-up

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