Sunday, January 31, 2010

Life after January 26th

It has taken days of recovery, mending exhausted bodies and saddened souls, to write our post- PEP Meeting/blatant undermining of public education January extravaganza- comments.  It is interesting how one month, culminating in one nearly 12 hour meeting, can both be inspiring and depressing, both a confirmation of our belief in humanity and a questioning of it.  If we were spiritually empty, if we were cynical, we would believe that 'the people' should just give up, clearly the game is fixed.  Luckily we are not, instead we vow to fight, until our last breath, to protect and preserve public education for our children.
Over the month of January the education reform debate, and the tools at the center of it (namely school closings and charter school invasions and propagation), have been in the spotlight in New York City.  We have heard testimony across the city in hearings, meetings, forums, and at protests, largely criticizing Mayor Bloomberg's educational policies and the agenda of his Administration.  There were some voices of support, mainly from his camp and from the charter school movement camp (one in the same).  What struck us throughout all of these voices and chatter, was the groundswell of support and belief that public schools are in fact the centers of our communities and are in fact the pillar of our democracy. 
On January 26th, thousands of parents, students, teachers, and citizens showed up to demand an end to Mayor Bloomberg's educational agenda.  Hundreds spoke out.  The lone voices that night in favor of what Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein proposed, were charter school founders and supporters from PAVE Academy and their friend, charter parent advocate, Mona Davids.  One mayoral appointee from Brooklyn on the PEP, spoke as well, stating she did not see the students at the center of this month's debate as 'failures' and that they were committed to a 'vision'.  We'd like to hear more about this vision.
Our vision includes support and resources for community public schools, formulas and space allocations that ensure special needs students get the services they need as well as alloting for intervention, enrichment and community services.  Our vision encompasses the idea that there are great public schools, that we should use these schools as models; that if this was really about what is best for children and true education reform, we would be adding resources, not taking them away.
We could use this post to discuss the lies the PAVE Academy supporters touted, we could note line by line all of the laws that were blatantly violated this month.  We could choose to highlight and explain all the reasons why the Bloomberg Administration's educational policies are destructive and flawed.  Instead today, we will simply say this:  the fight is only just beginning. 
Life after January 26th has taught us much.  We have learned to hold on to eachother and our shared vision that public education is worth defending and protecting.  We have learned the value of our founding document and our First Amendment rights, and now cherish them more than ever before.  We have learned there are amazing people in this city and across this country that share our vision; we are united in a common purpose.  We have learned that advocacy takes the energy, cooperation, and dedication of all stakeholders involved and we must work together for our common cause; fortunate for us we have an amazing team of parents and teachers who have only been brought closer together through all of this, we are so filled with abundance due to the friendships and true sense of family we have further built.  We have learned that, for our part, this is all about our children- doing right by them and advocating on their behalf.  We have learned that even in the darkest hours and against the fiercest and most powerful forces, we can stand up, make our voices heard, and turn the tide on a climate of indifference and inevitability.
Life after January 26th is new lungs exhaling sullied air... it is a new beginning.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Do we still live in a democracy?

It seems in recent months (and really this has been building for years) that we no longer live in a democracy.  Intimidation, fear, restraint of rights especially the First Amendment, and the large reaching hand of private interests are tactics and forces attacking and undermining our prisons, military, health industry, and edcuation.  The danger of  the privatization of our public services, that are at the heart of our democracy, is as clear today as it could possibly be.

Look up "Corpocracy" and/or "Corporatocracy".  Educate yourself.  Ask questions. Take Action.

Never be afraid to question "authority".  In a democracy, THE PEOPLE are the "authority".

The time is now... united, we cannot be defeated.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

CAPEtastic Rally!

Today hundreds of parents, students, and teachers took to Mayor Bloomberg's block and demanded an end to "one man rule" over our public school system.  We thank everyone involved in today's protest and look forward to all of the amazing advocacy work still to come... this is only the beginning...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Oh what a feeling...

Tonight was a victory for the Red Hook community, for parents, teachers, students and the brothers and sisters in the coalition to protect and preserve public education.

First, we have to thank the amazing supporters who showed up tonight: GEMers Sueng, Gloria, Lisa and Norm; your dedication to us and the cause is breathtaking and we are forever in your debt. Lisa, Khem, and Jim from various CECs: your support, endless work and effort, and sincere commitment to parents, children, and educators is inspiring and you have our fondest admiration. Professor David Bloomfield, who actually drafted some of the original charter school law and is in favor of charters, your comments tonight highlighted the injustice of these co-locations and the defiling of the law regarding charters you helped draft, thank you. To the UFT, your support has been generous and your advocacy and win regarding maintaining the charter school cap is noted and appreciated.  Finally, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz and Councilwoman Sara Gonzales, we thank your for your stated support of PS 15 and for advocating on our behalf.  It takes strong and convicted leaders to stand up to this Administration; we can not overstate enough how thankful we are for your careful analysis of the facts and the conclusions you have drawn.
Together, we all, advocates for public education, placed a huge spotlight on the destructive policies of the BloomKlein Administration regarding charter schools, co-locations, and the faulty DOE formulas. We can reserve debates about charter schools in general for this moment, and all agree, that undermining successful public schools is a disturbing and disgusting policy, one the public does not support.
We heard tonight some voices who sought to blame PS 15 families and teachers for division. We heard a first year teacher defile the memory of Patrick F. Daly by stating, "we would all take a bullet for your child". We heard Spencer Robertson say CAPE is a waste of time. We heard Duffy claim, earlier in the afternoon, that PS 15 adults are treating PAVE children badly. We heard PAVE parents brag about their scholars and state of the art building. We heard Spencer's right hand man Cooper say, "All of our kids will go to college." These voices have every right to be heard, but garner none of our respect. These comments are divisive. These comments come from a desperate group of people hell bent on promoting charter schools at any cost; even if it means hiding behind voiceless children, lying to the community, and distorting concerned parent, teacher, and advocate voices. We can all take solace in knowing, our cause is just, our purpose is righteous, and our fight is only beginning.
We will not stop the fight to protect our school and schools across the city. We will not be deterred by attacks and smear campaigns. We will not be intimidated by smooth talking Orwellian language that seeks to incite fear and promotes false promises in our community and in our city. 
Tonight, we stand victorious, in our deeds and actions. Tonight, we used our voices to demand justice for our children. Tonight our auditorium was filled with parents, teachers, and advocates weary after long days of work and child care (without subs, pizza and fancy t-shirts), united in a just cause; we can all rest easily knowing that in the fight for equity and fairness, the first battle was won. We clearly layed out a case, not against PAVE or even charter schools in general, but rather a case on the merits.  We highlighted the negative impact this co-location and others like it have and made perfectly clear the DOE's faulty formulas and policies that rob Peter to pay Paul.  Our children deserve more than that.  Public education is worth more than that. 
Whether or not the DOE chooses to hear our cries and concerns is another story, but numbers do not lie and plenty were provided tonight.  In the coming days we will in fact see where their loyalties lie; with the public they were elected and appointed to serve, or with the private interests that seek to destroy public education.

We are so proud to be a part of a coaltion of dedicated people who have only one goal in sight:  to protect and preserve true public education for ALL children.

Oh, what a feeling.

Monday, January 18, 2010

As we prepare for this busy week...

  Let us consider this quote sent by a fellow coalition member as we enter this busy week and as we celebrate the memory of Dr. King:

Let Dr. King's legacy of Peace, Community, Love, and Activism guide us this week as we rally to save our schools from BloomKlein's destructive policies. Let us remember that a fight requires many battles, that we will not win them all, and we must build on those we do win. We must be patient, vigilant, and above all express ourselves and 'fight' with loving kindness and righteous words and deeds. We look forward to the continued work of the coalition that is building to protect and preserve public education; a coalition that demands justice and equity for ALL children.

This Week’s Events:

1/19/09- Rally @ 4:30 in Red Hook to Save PS 15 from the Charter Invasion (Richards and Sullivan Streets)

1/19/09- PS 15 Public Hearing @ 6:00 (71 Sullivan Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn)

1/21/09- Rally on the Mayor’s Block @ 4:00-6:30, Meet at the South West Park Side of 5th Avenue and 79th Street to join this peaceful protest.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday Night Fights!

What were you doing on Friday night?  PEP member Patrick Sullivan, Joel Klein, CAPE members from PS 15, Lisa Donlan from CEC 1 and Jim Devor from CEC 15 were having a lively discussion regarding the forced co-locations and extensions of charter schools in our public schools beyond the agreements made to their respective communities while knowingly, over crowding, shriking, and undermining, successful community schools.

The full transcript is below.  Please take note as to how Mr. Klein completely ignores the parent letters and voice in this discussion.  His narrow view of the issue, and lack of attention to any real substance, only highlights the Orwellian nature of the destructive school policies he and his boss propogate across our great city.

The public, Borough Presidents and PEP members should take note of the Chancellor's disgregard of stakeholder voices.  We should all question BloomKlein and their policies, particularly the school closures-charter invations-drive to privatize movement that they blindly seek to implement.

The time is now!  Enough is Enough!  We must fight to protect public education, the pillar of our democracy.  WE are in this for ALL children.

Rosa Parent (PS 15) Letter:
Dear CEC Members, Elected Officials and Panel Members,

I'm very concerned as a parent of a public school student. P.S. 15 is a

wonderful school. My 7 year-old son is a second-grade student there who

receives speech therapy and occupational therapy. He has benefited so much

from the programs at P.S. 15. I have seen such an improvement. He's sitting

and focused. He does his own homework.

I'm concerned that if PAVE Academy gets an extension that my son is going to

be negatively affected. There is not going to be enough space for teachers

and programs. I'm concerned about the cuts and how the teachers will do

their jobs.

And they're not just any teachers. They're very caring and concerned.

Those of you on the Panel for Educational Policy, please vote NO to the PAVE

extension. I will be at the January 26th meeting to see the results of your


Thank you,

Rosa Vega


From: Sullivan Patrick


I have received many emails from parents and teachers explaining the

negative impact to children receiving special services at the Patrick Daly

School. The Panel is charged with oversight of Board of Ed facilities and

your child must not suffer because the mayor has committed our facilities to

his wealthy friends.


Patrick J. Sullivan

Manhattan Member


From: CAPE

Thank you Mr. Sullivan.

We look forward to your support on the 26th and invite you, and hope you

will consider coming and speaking, at PS 15 on Tuesday the 19th. We also

hope you can pursuade other members to commit to protecting our school. We

will have several documents at the hearing and will send you copies via

email as well.rIn addition, we have over 1,200 petition signatures and an

open letter signed by many, many parents, which we will also present.

Thank you!

Parents and Teachers at PS 15


From: Klein Joel I.

This is about children and their families and doing right by them. Anyone

who doesn't want his or her child to go to Pave doesn't have to go there.

Yet parents keep signing up. I hope we don't let politics curtail parental

choice. Sincerely, Joel Klein


From: CAPE

Thank you for responding Mr. Klen. We, parents and teachers at PS 15, do

not question PAVE's existence or the parents who send their children there;

what we want to protect is the school we choose for OUR children and the

children the teachers serve. PAVE has had a negative impact on our school

and our children. An agreement was made to our community and it should be

honored. We hope you will consider attending the hearing at PS 15 on the

19th. We appreciate your concern of parent choice; 390 students' families

choose PS 15 and want PAVE to vacate in 2010, anything less will further

harm our school and our children.


From: Sullivan Patrick

I agree, politics should have nothing to do with it. It is about children.

The children of the Daly school cannot be shoved into closets because

Bloomberg made a deal with Robertson. Here is another letter I received.

It is clear to me that our schools, the ones you and I swore an oath to

serve, are being victimized.


I am an occupational therapist at PS 15 who is very concerned about the

extension of PAVE academy in the PS 15 building. If PAVE continues to stay,

and grow by 2 classrooms per year in PS 15, special needs children will soon

be receiving their services in hallways and stairwells.

Although treating children in hallways is common practice throughout the NYC

public school system, it is a deplorable, unacceptable, and frankly, ILLEGAL

practice standard. Special needs children are the LAST children who should

be receiving augmentative services in crowded, noisy hallways and

stairwells. They are the VERY children who need quiet and consistent spaces

in which to work.

Already, the room I shared last year with the other OT at PS 15 has been

taken over by PAVE academy. We were re-located, and now currently I share

the room used as another program's (Beacon Afterschool) computer room. My OT

colleague shares a room that is also used as a library, art classroom, and

additional programing room. My colleague and I frequently move back and

forth between rooms, in order to accomodate other programs.

PS 15 prides itself on delivering related services in appropriate

environments. Special needs children in the public schools deserve to

receive services in environments that support their ability to succeed. THIS

IS NOT A LUXURY. If PAVE academy continues to grow in PS 15, we will no

longer be able provide services to children in the appropriate settings.

In addition to my professional concern about the future of PS 15, as a Red

Hook parent with a 3-year-old son, I have a personal investment in the

future of PS 15. I intend to send my child to PS 15 from pre-school through

5th grade. However, if PAVE continues to stay in the PS 15 building and

expand into the PS 15 building, cutting PS 15 programs and increasing class

size, PS 15 may no longer be a viable option for elementary school, from my



Thanks for your speedy response. As I see it, we need a solution that's

right for all of our children -- we are in this together -- and not a

solution that plays some off against others. That's politics as usual. We

can do better. Indeed, if we are to change the outcomes for all -- and I

mean all -- of our children, we must do better. I hope we can count on your

support. Joel


From: CAPE

Playing some off against others is what we feel like we are caught in the

middle of. The PAVE extension policy favors them and hurts us. How can you

not see this Mr. Chancellor? We are an AAA school, shouldn't your interest

be in protecting our school, our children, and our choice!?


From: Klein Joel I.

We are in this together and we all wish we had more space. But, given the

real-world constraints we operate under, let' not try to divide and play

families off against each other -- and make no mistake, that's what's

happening here. When people start talking about rich friends, they lose

sight of children, especially poor children. Those children and their

families -- just like all of us on this email -- want a great education for

their (our) children, and our collectice job is to fight for them, not for

all the other needs that are well organized and protect the special

interests. Whenever the argument is about charters or public schools --

rather than good or bad schools -- it's not about children. That's why we

are where we are. Let's muster the courage to do better. Joel Klein


From: Klein Joel I.

My obligation is to all children, every one of them.


From: CAPE

and what of the agreement made to our community, the promise by which this

co-location was sold? Parents and teachers are not talking about rich

friends, we are talking abou the negative impact on our children. This is

not a wish for more space, there is plenty of other space for PAVE to go.

The children at PS 15 should not have to suffer and sacrafice their

resources when there ARE other alternatives to PAVE's continued co-location

and expansion. You are right it is not about charters or public schools and

what it IS about is great education for OUR children. PS 15 provides that

great education and it should not be destroyed and undermined for anyone or

anything else.


From: John Battis

there are many better options available, most glaring is the existence of

the pS-27 building that clearly has space.

Another option is to freeze PAVE 's enrollment until they have their own


Klein obviously has made up his mind, but the other PEP members now have our



From: Sullivan Patrick

By forcing charter school into public school facilities you are dividing and

playing families off one another, not me. I am fine with giving families

the choice of PAVE but not at the expense of the children of the Patrick

Daly school. If you or Spencer Robertson wants to make a case on the

merits, I am willing to listen. Otherwise, it is not appropriate for those

who have pointedly kept their children out of the public school system to

lecture public school parents about what is best for "our children".

Patrick Daly died for the kids of Red Hook. While the mayor's appointees

are happy to rubber stamp the DOE agenda, I will take my obligation seriously.


From: CAPE

Bravo Mr. Sullivan! Thank you for HEARING our voices and concerns and for

considering them seriously. We hope that the 'rubberstamp' is not true...

the Mayor is elected to serve the people, and therefore his appointees

should not simply serve him, but the people he was elected to represent.

We hope you will do everything you can to share this information with your

fellow members. We are looking forward to a fair and honest vote on the

26th that serves the best interest of all children, PAVE's and PS 15's--

overcrowding, community division, and the undermining of PS 15 is NOT what

is best for all children.


From: Klein Joel I.

As we are all aware, we share space in numerous school buildings in this

City. Whether charter or PS, we leave the choice to parents. I, like

everyone else, wish we had more space. But our collective job is to create

the best possible opportunities for all of our children in the space we

have. Calling people a rubber stamp or talking about rich friends may make

some feel superior but it adds nothing to the discussion about what's best

for our children.


From: James Devor

Perhaps I am being dense but how do "we leave the choice to parents"? Do

parents get to vote on which schools are placed in their local buildings?

Do they get to choose or even effectively oversee either their Public or

Charter School's leadership? As standardized test results become the

primary accountability criteria, what curriculum decisions do Parents get to

participate in? Are they even allowed to choose whether their children get

to keep their cell phones?

It seems to me that your idea of "choice" is "Coke or Pepsi?" Or as your

boss once put it, "fish or chicken?"

After all these years you still don't get it. Parents are NOT merely

Consumers, they are Citizens. AND they know it. Perhaps that's why a

majority of public school parents AND of Red Hook residents voted against

the Mayor's reelection.

You and your colleagues may have the POWER to impose your ill considered

decisions, just don't claim that those who oppose them are either fools,

"tools" or acting in bad faith


From: Lisa

In District One we have been incubating innovative schools in shared space

for some 20 years in our district of choice.

With close to 85% of our schools in a building with one or more schools we

know a thing or two about shared space.

Several successful schools in my district with high demand and long waiting

lists have requested space to expand, but sufficient space was never found

for them.

Now, with no needs assessment of any kind, the OPP has decided to honor the

request of a co-located charter school to expand simply because this is

their model, as put down on paper in their latest charter renewal


No matter that the school building they are already housed in does not have

the space they need- even if a District 75 program is pared down by several

grades and sections, the host elementary school's growth capped and the

common space they all share is stretched beyond capacity.

Granted space to privately run schools at the expense of the schools for

which the DoE is accountable without sufficient oversight or planning ends

up more like cage fighting than creating opportunities for children.

Our robbing OT from Peter to house a school for Paul is not the answer.


From: Sullivan

We have a Panel for Educational Policy with eight or nine public school

parents yet all three leadership positions were handed to three men who are

not. In their 24 years of cumulative service how many times have they voted

against the mayor's wishes or even merely expressed a contrary thought?

Calling attention to the death of democracy in our city should not make me

or anyone feel superior. It should simply be an obligation of all those who

value freedom.


From: CAPE

Thank you for this rich discussion... Mr. Klein, we at PS 15 can only hope

that you will truly consider the merits of this proposal and the negative

impact on the children of PS 15. If you do so, you will clearly see that

PAVE can easily find another site, that PS 15 is not designed for two

schools nor has the space for two schools, and that this decision will do

damage that may well be beyond repair. If you are willing to take the risk,

to set a policy to intentionally overcrowd, limit, and undermine a

successful public school, in favor of a new charter school that has no

success record like PS 15, there is a serious question of why! Why would

the DOE put forth this kind of a policy? We will leave the guessing to the

public, but you can rest assured the Parents of PS 15 will hold the DOE

accountable for this action and PS 15 voices will continue to advocate for a

change in this policy that not only affects our school, but schools across

the city.

A victory for democracy, free speech, the right to protest, and PUBLIC EDUCATION!

Parent, Student, and Teacher Protesters Win Right to Rally on Bloomberg’s Block

Victory for the First Amendment and for those struggling to protect public schools from closures and charter school invasions!

Today, Judge Alvin Hellerstein delivered a ruling granting parent, student, and teacher protesters, who are members of The Emergency Coalition to Stop School Closures, the right to protest on Mayor Bloomberg’s block in New York City. Judge Hellerstein ruled that we live in a democracy, and to the greatest extent possible, we have to find ways to protect our citizens, while not compromising the constitutional rights of others, to demonstrate and express their views. He went on to say that in assessing those values, he found that First Amendment rights support the kind of orderly and peaceful protest the plaintiffs sought to organize. Judge Hellerstein also added that the plaintiffs have the right to a peaceful picket to express their views in relation to important educational policies, particularly the increase in charter schools in the city. Attorneys Norman Siegel and Herbert Tietelbaum successfully argued the case.

“We are very pleased with the Judge’s decision. It is a major win for the right of New Yorkers to peacefully protest including on East 79th Street where the Mayor resides,” attorney Norman Siegel.

“This is a victory not only for the plaintiffs, but for all who want to express their views to elected representatives,” attorney Herbert Teitelbaum.

“I am proud our efforts were successful and that we can take a stand in front of the city and the mayor to prevent the closing and phasing out of our school. Most of all I am happy we can voice our opinion on the city pushing out students in need in order to make room for charter schools and small schools that are very selective,” Khalilah , student, Maxwell High School.

“I am humbled that a homemaker from Red Hook, Brooklyn can take a stand against City Hall and win. The struggle to save our schools and public education is just beginning. Please join us on January 21st on the Mayor’s block to send a message that says no, to the expansion of charter schools in schools like my children’s, P.S. 15 in Red Hook, Brooklyn. We also say no, to the ill defined school closings that pave the way for more charter schools and continue the dismantling of public education,” Lydia Bellahcene, parent, P.S. 15.

“Today is historic for protesting in the City of New York. I am so proud to stand with the parents and students I serve as we fight not only for our right to organize, but as we advocate to protect and preserve public education in our great city. It is not lost on me as an educator that this decision was made on Martin Luther King’s birthday. His legacy of peaceful and loving activism captures the culture of our school, P.S. 15. It is in this spirit that we bring our voices and concerns to the Mayor’s block in the hopes that there, we will be heard,” Julie Cavanagh, teacher, P.S. 15, “We want to thank, with much admiration and respect, Mr. Siegel, Mr. Teitelbaum and their staff, for their tremendous hard work and their dedication to protecting not only our rights, but the rights of all New Yorkers. I also want to thank the amazing parents and students I am so proud to stand behind and support.”

“The courts today reaffirmed the notion that one person, no matter how powerful, is not above the ideals that have held our democracy through challenges great and small. It is in this same spirit that students, parents, teachers, and the community have joined together to demand true input in the manner in which 1.1 million children of New York City have access to our country’s greatest promise - to give equal access to education for ALL children,” Seung Ok, Teacher, Maxwell High School.

“The right to demonstrate is not a given, it must be fought for, and we must be vigilant,” Gustavo Medina, retired teacher, Jamaica High School.

Parents, students, and teachers will hold their peaceful protest on both the North and South side of Mayor Bloomberg's block; East 79st, between 5th and Madison Avenue on Thursday, January 21st, between 4-6:30 pm. Protesters will meet at 5th avenue, on the southwest park side of the block, which will be the staging area and starting point of the protest. In the event of an appeal from The City of New York, the protest will continue on January 21st, in compliance with the NYPD.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Rally on Bloomberg's Block: 1/21/10: Come and join our peaceful demonstration; charter school invasions and school closings are the hallmark of this administration's educational policies. These policies are destructive, and undermine public education.

Hearing on Protest on the Mayor’s Block Friday 1/15:

Parents, Students, and Teachers Fight for the Right to Protest on the Mayor’s Block

On Tuesday, January 12th, attorneys Norman Siegel and Herbert Teitelbaum filed papers in United States District Court, Southern District, on behalf of a parent, two students and a teacher who are members of The Emergency Coalition to Stop School Closings, to hold a protest on the Mayor’s block on the Upper East Side on January 21st.

A hearing has been set by Judge Alvin Hellerstein for Friday, January 15th at 12:00. The Federal Courthouse is located at 500 Pearl Street, courtroom 14D.

A little inspiration...

"Action is the antidote to despair."

– Joan Baez

Let Our Voices Be Heard!

Mayor’s Critics Sue to Protest Outside His Home
January 13, 2010, 2:03 pm  Updated: 4:24 pm --

NYTimes CityRoom Blog
A group that opposes charter schools and school closings filed a lawsuit against the city on Tuesday for “unconstitutionally and without any legal basis” denying its request to protest on the sidewalk outside the Upper East Side town house of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

The plaintiffs are two students from William H. Maxwell High School in Brooklyn, which is slated to close for poor performance, and a parent and teacher from Public School 15 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, an elementary school that shares space with the PAVE Academy Charter School. The city has proposed to allow PAVE to remain in the school for five more years, as it grows to include kindergarten through eighth grade, and teachers and parents at P.S. 15 have been furious.

“Our voices haven’t been heard, so we thought that the best way for the mayor to hear us would be for us to take our voices to his block,” said Julie Cavanagh, a special education teacher at P.S. 15. “There have been rallies at Tweed, and the individual schools, and its been a complete deaf ear.” (The former Tweed courthouse is where the Department of Education’s main offices are located.)

The protesters want to march back and forth along both sides of 79th Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues, in single file, on Jan. 21, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mr. Bloomberg lives on the north side of the street. While the New York City police have frequently turned down permits to protest on the north side, in 2003, they allowed a group protesting the closure of firehouses to march on both sides.

The plaintiffs decided to press the issue as a civil rights matter. The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District, argues that just as protesters are able to march outside Gracie Mansion, where mayors normally live, so too should they be able to protest outside Mr. Bloomberg’s house, where he conducts political activities like receptions and fund-raisers.

On Tuesday, the Police Department offered a compromise: the protest could proceed on the south side of 79th street, Ms. Cavanagh said. The plaintiffs turned down the offer, saying the city should not be able to pick who protests on the north side.

A lawyer for the city, Gabriel Taussig, said in an e-mailed statement, “The Police Department’s refusal to agree to a demonstration procession on the sidewalk in front of the mayor’s residence and its proposal that the event take place on the street and sidewalk across from the mayor’s residence was a lawful and appropriate accommodation to the protesters’ desire to exercise their First Amendment rights while at the same time assuring that safety and necessary access can be maintained at the mayor’s residence.”

Norman Siegel, the former executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, is representing the protesters, along with Herbert Teitelbaum, the former executive director of the Commission on Public Integrity.

“The larger issue is clear: Can a public sidewalk be transformed into a private enclave because the mayor of New York lives there?” Mr. Siegel said. “The answer is no.”

Mr. Siegel said he expected a ruling from Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein on Friday.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


CAPE has had a Facebook page for nearly a year with no problem... until now!

Within a week of posting a cause page to invite people to join the Rally on the Mayor's Block, our site has been disabled and if you go to the rally page it reads, "event cancelled".

Things that make you go, "Hmmmmmmmm...."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Attend the Emergency City-Wide Parent Conference

Emergency City-Wide Parent Conference on school closings and charter school invasions.
Saturday, January 16th @ 10:00 AM @ School of the Future.
Guest Speaker:  Famed Civil Rights Attorney Norman Siegel.

Flyer Below:


"Guest Columnist" Michael Duffy, AKA Public School Underminer and Champion of Charter Schools of the NYC Office of Portfolio Development, who knows nothing about schools and would be awe struck if he actually had to work in one:

Read, but only if you are prepared to barf.

If possible, it is worse than we actually thought!

This morning as we typed, "it is our school now; it will be yours later", we knew we were being accurate, but we didn't know how accurate. 

PEP member Patrick Sullivan provided this info to our friend Norm over at ednotes, and we are reposting it here.  If you thought 22 school closings and our co-location extension issue on one PEP meeting in January was bad... wait until you see what is on the slate for February.

Conspiracy and Coruption are two words that come to mind...  The time is now to stop the drive to privatize!


Please sign on below and help save PS 15, The Patrick F. Daly school from the PAVE charter invasion.  An agreement was made and should be honored by Spencer Robertson and the NYC DOE.  Take a Stand and tell policy makers we will not stand by and watch our public education system be dismantled.  It is our successful community public school now; it will be yours later!


Food for thought, an interesting analysis....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Join us on Facebook and RSVP for the Rally at the Mayor's

Facebook Link for the Rally at the Mayor's on January 21st:

Let's make our voices heard and make it clear we are intent on protecting our public schools and communities!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

News and Notes

  • Rally at the Mayor's on January 21st 4-6:30.  Meet on the corner of 5th Ave. and 79th Street.  For a PDF version of the flyer please contact:
  • Below is a list of all of the public hearings and forums this month related to school closings and charter invasions.  Please support and attend and contact the appropriate policy makers located on the sidebar.  Tell them school closings and charter invasions of our public schools are wrong and must be stopped!
  • The Daily News published an article on the 'success of charters in NYC', featuring a new study supported by the NYC DOE. Read all about it and the tangled web behind the study at this link:

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!