Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Recent News

Below is a Daily News story about the PS 15/PAVE Academy space struggle. One little tidbit, among so many, we wish was in the article: PS 15 gave up a room, already shared by two full-time occupational therapists, which PAVE made into a materials room/cafeteria for staff and teachers.  PS 15's OT services are now provided in the library, which is under renovation and already used for several other displaced enrichment programs, and the other OT uses Good Shepherd program's computer room. No one seems to understand there are consequences to space sharing, and those consequences hurt our children.

There was a recent article in the Daily News and the Post touting the success of charter schools based on a study authored by an economics professor from Stanford. When did economics professors, from Harvard to Stanford, become so active in education policy? The answer, when the Nation at Risk report was written under Regan. This report, and the commission who wrote it, was first ignored by Regan, but later embraced when he realized its political value. This report not only reinforced many of the fear-based myths that drive education policy today, but it also, "paved the way for business people to become legitimate speakers on and advocates for education concerns...because it made education an economic issue." (Zhao, 2009). Over the last two decades, federal and state education summits have centered around businesses and economics advisers and educators and parents have been shut out (one of the first summits, called for by George Bush #1 and led by Bill Clinton) was in 1989- not a single teacher was invited.  Another in 1996, led by Tommy Thompson was actually held at IBM's conference center and included 44 executives of major businesses). *for more on this read, "Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization" by, Yong Zhao.

The article below, by Diane Ravitch, addresses the flaws in the economic professor's article and we wish made the point, as the creator of The Wire has: capitalism is not a social philosophy, it is an economic philosophy. We cannot allow the capitalist ideology to pervade and pervert our social policies, such as education, because these policies are the pillar of our democracy and must be protected to ensure we prepare a democratic citizenry.

Finally, below is an article about our friend Mona Davids. This Bronx parent advocate has way deeper ties to the Bloomberg Administration and the business world than her role as President of Charter School Parents Association, or she, reveals. We love how this article states that she just decided to start this group up, and mentions nothing about the money and support behind her, let alone her business dealings. It reminds us of the new trend in politics; astroturf movements as opposed to true grassroots movements. Here is a woman, who came from the Bronx into Red Hook to scream at a crowd of concerned educators and parents and tried to divide them with racial undertones and vicious attacks on teachers. This same woman runs a company that is the only bridge to new development in South Africa and NYC, which the Bloomberg Administration is seeking investment with. Let us be clear, the goals of business investment and commerce between the United States, specifically NYC, and African nations is a good one; what is questionable is the ties and connections and the 'back-scratching' nature of it all; not to mention the fact that Mona presents herself as a neighborhood parent advocate, which apparently according to her, white people and teachers can't be, when really she is a very savvy, very organized, very funded, and very connected business woman. This is certainly does not negate her role as an active parent, we just ask for truth and transparency. When one hides or misrepresents who they are or what their interests are, it makes you wonder...

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June 4th City-Wide School-Community Based Protests: No School-Based Budget Cuts or School Layoffs

June 4th City-Wide School-Community Based Protests:  No School-Based Budget Cuts or School Layoffs
Parents, Students, and School Workers at PS 15 Demand Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein Prioritize Spending for Public Education!

Public Education in NYC has faced over 500 million in cuts since 2009. The Mayor must seek other revenues instead of cutting our schools and other important services that are the lifeblood of our communities!