Tuesday, February 2, 2010

School closures rip New York communities apart

Anguished New Yorkers are mourning the deaths of many schools in their communities, with 19 set to close soon. Mayor Michael Bloomberg took over the school district in 2002 and has closed 91 schools, replacing them with favored charter schools or small schools that receive better facilities, resources for smaller classes and far fewer high-need children than the schools they replaced.

Diane Ravitch (as has become her habit) provides some of the most insightful commentary on the havoc and disruption.

And dismayed New York activists are pointing out the emblematic closing down of Paul Robeson High School, to be replaced by the Carl Icahn Charter School.

From Wikipedia:

"Paul LeRoy Bustill Robeson (April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976) was an internationally renowned American bass-baritone, concert singer, scholar, actor of film and stage, All-American and professional athlete, writer, multi-lingual orator and lawyer who was also noted for his wide-ranging social justice activism. ... Robeson was the first major concert star to popularize the performance of Negro spirituals and was the first black actor of the 20th century to portray Shakespeare's Othello on Broadway."

"Carl Celian Icahn (born February 16, 1936) is an American financier, corporate raider, and private equity investor."

Above commentary courtesy of Caroline Grannan.

Please take time to watch this dramatic video of the school closure meeting posted by Norm Scott on Education Notes Online.

Information at the NYC Grassroots Education Movement (GEM) and NYC Public School Parents will fill in the rest for you. A local newspaper, The Indypendent, has recently published an extensive feature on the attack against public schools in NYC, including a clear description of Bloomberg's 12-Step Method to Close Down Public Schools.

At great cost, because no expense will be spared to push the agenda, the pro-charter movement loaded parents up on buses and delivered them to Albany, the state capital, so they could spread the charter gospel. And NYC Department of Education Chancellor Joel Klein was grilled for four hours by members of the New York State legislature during a budget meeting on education, receiving harsh criticism and questioning.

The ultra-aggressive closing of NYC public schools and conversion of that city's public school system to one of privatized charters has been billionaire Mayor Bloomberg's primary education goal.

Only a manipulative and corrupt movement would intentionally work to pit parents against parents, students against students, and neighbors against neighbors.

In solidarity with the public school supporters in NYC,
The P.P.


The Perimeter Primate said...

More monitoring of the Perimeter Primate by the Broad Foundation:

Direct Hit
February 3, 2010 10:30 AM
IP: (mail.broadfoundation.org)

Los Angeles, CA, United States
Windows XP
Internet Explorer 7.0

lodesterre said...

How indicative of the mentality of Bloomberg and others who claim to want school reform when what they really want is the ability to sell naming rights. Just think going from the proud name of Paul Robeson to the petty-minded, materialistic name of Carl Icahn. Soon to follow, Rosa Parks HS will be named Donald Trump High. After all, what is the difference?
Think, too, of the merchandising possibilities - Nike ES, Reebok Middle School... oh it goes so terribly on.

We have come to this, no longer is the community part of their own schools. How disgusting.

nikto said...


With their armies of lobbyists and corporate lawyers, the big money folk$ will give up these school acquisitions as gun-owners say,
"From their cold, dead hands".

Say goodbye to these schools, forever!

'Cause they ain't comin' back.

NYC Educator said...

Maybe not, but we can't give up, and we can't stop trying to get the word out. Diane Ravitch's new book blows the lid off this situation. I thought I knew a lot, but she knows more than anyone. This book is a like a Molotov cocktail casually tossed into education circles.

You really must read it.