Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Action Needed!

Call your Assemblymember today, and ask him or her to restore full funding to the education budget, and not to raise the charter cap unless there are rigorous protections for taxpayer and parent rights; including for the CECs to have the authority to approve all co-locations.
Find your state legislators at; for the Assembly, the toll free no. is 1-877-255-9417 and press 3.

You have have seen commercials on television claiming that lifting the cap on Charter schools will make New York eligible for 700 million dollars in education funding. KNOW THE TRUTH!!! This money CANNOT be used to offset budget cuts, prevent teacher layoffs or cuts to afterschool programs! There group behind that advertisement is an offshoot of another who funds charter schools!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

From the Mouth of PAVErs...

It has been immensely frustrating for the parents and teachers of PS 15. We know PAVE parents, we talk to them, and we know how unhappy they are and some of the corrupt goings on that take place at the charter forcefully housed in our building. There as a moment when a few brave parents were ready to come forward, only to be intimidated and their children threatened by Spencer and Cooper. Alas, blogs are the only place where they can now say what they really feel, and one teacher too, because they are protected by the anonymity. Hopefully, sometime soon, parents will just pull their kids out all together and speak freely about the lie and destruction that is PAVE Academy:

All quotes from PAVE parents and teachers found @

-I’m sorry to admit it, but a lot of what people are saying about my child’s school is true. This is why I’m taking my child out after the end of the year. I have been to the school and seen with my own eyes how some of the new teachers treat some students (not mine, but some of the older ones). The principal and other administrators know because I heard parents complaining and nothing gets done. It’s like they don’t care because we’re from Red Hook or something. Last year it wasn’t really like this but then everyone started leaving and new people came and so many things have changed. Parents barely know the new principal and she doesn’t even get involved with the kids except to yell and punish them and take their recess away. At least Mr. Burk knew who the parents were and had a good relationship with us and our kids. Then they have this new office lady who is so rude and acts like she is straight from the ghetto. Ms. Tiffany was good because she knew how to treat people with respect and made us parents feel welcome. All the good teachers left and then Mr. Spencer hired all these new people who don’t even know how to work with kids from our community.

It felt good when I first met Mr. Spencer and he made me believe that I was making a good choice by putting my child in PAVE, but then I started really listening to some of the things he and Mr. Cooper were saying and doing and felt like a fool because I spoke up for them and PAVE when other people were talking against the school.

-As a former PAVE parent I hope this rumor about another PAVE isn’t true. I was smart and took my child out of PAVE as soon as I saw the old principal, and office manager leave & other teachers not returning. Look at all the new people that are there now - what does that say about this school when so many different people are coming and going? I can’t believe the mayor would even consider allowing Spencer to open another school when this one is such a joke and science experiment at the expense of the Red Hook children.

Most of the teachers talk down to the kids and yell at them like they’re worthless. The new office manager is extremely ghetto, and unprofessional and speaks to kids and parents as if she’s in the street. How on earth anyone with common sense has her in a front office greeting people, let alone answering the phone is beyond me. The other guy in charge acts so prejudiced and has said things to parents and kids that are clearly racist and out of line but nothing was ever done because he’s still there doing the same things.
Has anyone even looked into why all the other staff members left? I know many of us are from Red Hook, but that doesn’t mean that we should be treated like dirt and spoken to any way the people at the school feel. I hope that people in other communities are paying attention because if PAVE comes to your neighborhood it will be the WORST thing for the community. Just look at all the lies Spencer has told and the problems it has caused Red Hook.
If you still have your kids at PAVE, then you better start going to the school more and asking your kids what’s really going on. These teachers and staff could be doing and saying anything to your child and you never know.
Wake up Red Hook! Just because a school has computers and smart boards doesn’t mean that it’s a good school and the people there are doing the right thing for your kids.

-Just reading all of this stuff reconfirms why I got my child the heck outta this school! Everytime I turned around there was some staff member leaving. Teachers and the people in charge yelling at kids and speaking to them any old kind of way they wanted. I don’t even yell at my own child and I’m going to let one of these prejudiced people come in my neighborhood and do it? Not letting my child go to the bathroom when they had to go. Trying to get me to give up my rights and say the teachers & school isn’t responsible if something happens - just to send my child on a school field trip! Then making them eat in silence all the time. Taking away their recess playtime for stupid reasons. They barely have anytime to socialize with their friends and they have to be quiet at lunch time too! This is NOT the army. Some kids have enough structure at home and should be able to come to school to be a kid and not have their self-esteem crushed by a bunch of prejudiced people who talk down to them and obviously have no real experience working with children in our community.

Everytime you turn around they’re calling you at work all day long for the smallest things! Sending kids to the deans office all the time. If these people can’t manage kids then why are they even teaching in my community? Go teach in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill or someplace in Manhattan.
Most of the PAVE staff don’t even have children themselves and the rest of them act as if they don’t even like children so I don’t know why theyr’e even working in a school. The current PAVE parents better wake up and get your kids into a real public school where the principal and teachers actually care and like children. PAVE doesn’t care about the kids or the families. Only when you take your kid out, they call you 50 times to get you to bring your child back. Everything these people are saying is true about PAVE. Thank you Jesus for finally waking me up!

-As a teacher at PAVE, I was sucked into believing that they had the best interests of students, their families and the teachers in mind during decision making. I was wrong. The work environment is similar to the sweat shop that many people described it to be. Long hours and slave like conditions makes me dread going to work most days. PAVE teachers wont come forward to support PAVE because we are all trying to leave. As a staff member, I would have to say 80 percent of the teachers aren’t happy. They were fooled in teaching there with empty promises. I am bidding my time, like many other teachers to get away from PAVE’s oppressive workplace. (from a teacher that refers to her/himself as "enslaved teacher")

Finally, this from an anonymous poster (looking through the window) because it is so great; Between the news reports, rallies and comments from this & other sites, PAVE seems like the Calvinist Puritans who came to the island of Manhattan, built a Wall to keep the Native American out and later ravaged their homes, stole their land and killed them all off.

Could the PAVE administration and their fearless leader be the new Puritanic evil of Red Hook?

Join Us in Creating REAL Parent, Student and Teacher Voice in Public Education and Policy! Community based education, organization, and mobilization... the time is NOW!

Anyone interested in forming a grassroots committee at your school? FOR community control and AGAINST privatization!!


Tuesday May 11

GEM (Grassroots Education Movement) has a new committee to support the building of school based groups of workers/parents/community members. These groups are working in schools to fight AGAINST privatization/charter invasion/school closing/testing madness/layoffs/budget cuts and FOR democratic community control of schools. Start with issues that most resonate with your school community and build a broad based committee in your school that will be able to coordinate with groups in schools across the city to build this struggle from the ground up.

GEM wants to offer its help in any way it can to educators, students, parents or community members who wish to build a school based committee. Some schools are building these committees in response to a charter invasion, or their school being closed. Others are forming on the basis of resisting K-2 testing the DOE wants to impose, or simply as a way to coordinate the effort to fight the budget cuts, layoffs and to push for a just contract.

If you are interested in finding out more about this, if you think you might want to get something started in your school, or if you have skills and knowledge you want to contribute to this effort:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week, You're Fired!

Mayor Michael Bloomberg blames "Albany's irresponsibility" for the teacher cuts he announced earlier today.  6,400 teaching positions will be eliminated 4,419 through layoffs and 1,995 through attrition.

If we take a look at New York State Assemblyman James F. Brennan's report "Damaging Missteps and Wasted Funds Under Mayoral Control" it seems that our Mayor's irresponsibility played a major part in the undermining of public education in New York City.  Assemblyman Brennan explains  "... in the past seven years mayoral reforms have produced a new set of inefficiencies, damaging problems and wasted funds."  The administrative structure of New York City School is on its fourth major reorganization since our mayor seized control of public schools!  The newest reorganization calls for an increase in the number of positions at Tweed, (increasing the number of deputy chancellors from three to eight) and as the New York Post put in on April 27th, "hiking the combined salaries of its top brass by at least $275,000 a year."

Albany's fault...  Mayor Bloomberg, when you point the finger at someone (or in this case everyone else but yourself) remember there are three other fingers pointing back at you!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Let's BRIDGE the divide created by those with the drive to privatize!!! We together, public school and charter school parents and teachers say NO to the coruption, subordination, and division the current charter school movement has propogated!

Class Size Matters & New York Charter Parents Association have just posted an online petition against S7678, the bill introduced Friday in the NY State Senate which would more than double the

cap on charter schools, without necessary protections against the abuse of power, fraud, misuse of public funds, or protection of parent and student rights.

As charter parents, we are supportive of public school choice, however, no system is perfect. We can improve the charter school system if we enact real reforms.

This bill does not provide the charter school reform we need for our children. The bill would continue to bar the State Comptroller from auditing charter schools’ use of public

funds, would continue to allow profit-making enterprises to make money from operating charter schools, would not require schools to post their charter and by-laws online, would not allow the state to take over a charter school when the board is incompetent and dysfunctional AND would allow charters to send their special education students off-site for services.

It would also let the DOE continue pitting parent against parent and dividing communities in battles over scarce resources and space.

Please go to this link now to sign the petition

When you sign the petition, it automatically sends a copy to the Governor and your State legislators.
Please call your state senator or assemblyman at:
Senate: The toll free no. is 1-877-255-9417 and press 2
Assembly: the toll free no. is 1-877-255-9417 and press 3.

Also please contact:

Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver
518-455-3791 or 212-312-1420

Senator John Sampson, Democratic Conference Leader
518- 455-2788 or 718- 649-7653

And please forward this message to others who care.

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!