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.

1 comment:

  1. Charters mean the rich stealing from the poor and probably getting huge tax write offs on top, all with a ton of public money and huge, corporate type salaries and bonuses! Opps, did we forget, their names up on public school buildings too.
    What a shame, City Hall has failed and they push it off on to the school communities and hard working GREAT teachers and on the backs of the children. The children at PS 15, without the great brand new technology in every room, freshly painted rooms, new furniture with all the fixin's that the charter school children enjoy just across the hall. Shame on Klein, Bloomberg and every politician who has let this happen in this city!

    Hey, did Bloomberg share an election office space with Thompson? Why would he do that? It would not make any sense to share a space with the opponent. BUT he shoves to opposing philosophies of thought together, changes all the rules as he goes along for one, and leaves the other high and dry! Mayoral control of the school system is the biggest joke of them all! We are all being cheated out of our tax dollars. Can anyone tell us the salaries and bonuses of the charter schools for 2009? Nope, that is not available, but they say they are public, hmmm, another rule changed for them to steal from the public schools and make themselves rich!


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!