Mamie Till Mobley

"There was an important mission for me, to shape so many...young minds as a teacher. God took away one child but...(gave) me thousands. And I have been grateful for the blessing." Mamie Till Mobley

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cathie Black to do the chopping for Bloomberg plan for massive teacher cuts & projected layoffs

"New York’s billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled plans Thursday (Nov. 18) for eliminating the jobs of 10,000 city workers and slashing spending by nearly $1.6 billion. Bearing the brunt of the attacks are the city’s schools. The school system is facing the elimination of 6,166 teachers’ and other education jobs, out of a total workforce of 135,000."

Cathie Black the New Chancellor NYC Schools picked to continue reforms

"New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s choice of media executive Cathleen P. Black to succeed Joel Klein as head of the country’s largest school system underscores the determination of the US ruling elite to step up its attack on public education. Black, the chairwoman of Hearst magazines and an old friend and neighbor of the billionaire mayor on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, has no educational experience whatsoever."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The battle wages on the Deny Waiver Coalition press conference Sunday

The Deny Waiver Coalition organized a press conference  on Sunday, November 28, at 2PM on the steps of the Tweed Courthouse building, 52 Chambers St.  Parents speaking out against the deal to grant a waiver for Cathleen Black. Contacts:Chris Owens: 646-450-3552 & Mona Davids: 917-340-8987

Court challenge likely if Commissioner Steiner issues a waiver to Cathie Black. Some lawmakers introducing bill to repeal waiver.

The hoopla and all the commotion Mayor Micheal Bloomberg caused when he hastily appointed Cathleen P. Black the 2nd NYC Schools Chancellor spurred some lawmakers to make changes in the NYS education law granting such a waiver.
Commissioner of Education David M. Steiner expected to grant the waiver to the nearly septuagenarian Mrs. Black on Monday after a compromise many in both the political and legal community viewed as illegal.
The reason is that Mrs. Black does not have the requirements specified in State Education Law 3003(3) and 8 NYCRR Part 80-3.10(b)(3)(iii) that authorizes the Commissioner of Education Steiner to grant a certificate to a candidate  "whose exceptional training and experience are the substantial equivalent of such requirements and qualify such persons (s) for the duties of a superintendent of schools."
 Mrs. Black, a media mogul, former President of the Hearst Magazines" has "exceptional training and experience" the State Education Law stipulates but it's not in the field of education nor has this experience been in the public sector in a field related to education.
Hence, to say her media/advertising background is "the substantial equivalent of such requirements" to qualify her for "the duties of a superintendent of schools" is not only disingenuous but a violation of the statute.
 Some elected officials have publicly announced legal challenges to the waiver Commissioner of Education Steiner plans to issue to Mrs. Black on Monday. It appears they have a case to move forward with a legal challenge to the waiver after it's issued based on State Education Law.
 In this case if Mrs. Black issued the waiver  a legal challenge might be the only recourse to follow.  Therefore, it's up to the courts to interpret the meaning and significance of the statute in light of the candidacy of Mrs. Black if issued a waiver to perform the duties of a Superintendent of Schools in New York State.
The public has the right to know if  Mrs. Black's training and experiences in the media are "the substantial equivalent of such requirements to qualify her to perform the duties of the superintendent/chancellor of the NYC Schools. Although the public viewed a redacted copy of her high school and college transcripts as the case potentially moves into the legal arena it must be disclosed along with her resume and all of the information involving this case, including the decision of the eight panelist four voting not to recommend the waiver to the commissioner. Since NYS taxpayers are paying for those  "substantially equivalent" training and experience, the public has the right to know exactly how her background complies with the law.

S8516 - NY Senate Open Legislation - Relates to qualifcations of superintendents; REPEALER - New York State Senate

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lawmakers threaten to fight Black's appointment in court called it illegal

Assembly Member Hakeem Jeffries
speaking in the Assembly Chambers

"It's unfortunate that in order to give the mayor his way, Steiner is willing to designate a chauffeur who can usher Ms. Black around the Education Department," said Assemblyman Hakeem Jefferies (D-Brooklyn). "The only problem is the chauffeur is more qualified to lead the school system than Ms. Black."

The corporate takeover of American schools

"The trend for appointing CEOs to the top jobs is symptomatic of a declining commitment to public education and social justice...incoming Chancellor Cathleen P Black (New York) – reflect a trust in CEO-style leadership for education management and reform. In the US, achievement gaps and failure in state schools reflect larger inequalities in society, as well as dysfunction in corporate, consumer culture."   Paul Thomas,

Murdoch Grips a hold on the Ed-Tech Market

Rupert Murdoch
It's all in the family, Cathie Black the new Chancellor of the NYC Schools worked for Rupert Murdoch rumored she picked up his way of managing people and things way back when she just started her career as a magazine advertising executive. Cathie Black, Chancellor, former Joel Klein moves to a new position at News Corp Murdoch created just for him.  The company Murdoch purchased  90 shares, the Wireless Generation "offers ed-tech software, systems, and services to 200,000 educators and more than 3 million students, Education Week found out in its website.

And of course we know where all this conversation is going as Murdoch himself said, "When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach of great teaching,"  chairman and CEO of News Corp.

Cathie Black, she told the media Friday, "stay tuned."
photo credit: NY Times
With Cathie Black in charge of procurement contracts for the NYC Schools that extension would be a far-reaching one for Murdoch and the most profitable for him yet.  Mike Klonsky Small Talk Blog stated, Wireless is is a key partner to New York City’s Department of Education on its Achievement Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS) as well as on the City’s School of One initiative."
Black will have no time for educational matters never the intention of her appointment as things unfold of the  real intent of why appointed in the first place.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Commissioner Steiner to issue a waiver for Cathie Black to become NYC Schools Chancellor on Monday

State education commissioner, David M. Steiner buckled to the demands of Mayor  Michael Bloomberg plans to issue on Monday the waiver to Cathie Black to be the 2nd NYC Schools Chancellor under mayoral control as reported in the NYTimes today.

A 38-year-old career educator, Shael Polakow-Suransky, a former high school principal described as a "top official at the city's Department of Education" to be named  to a chief academic officer position being created for him in a deal  Regents Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch had helped to broker. Even the ex basketball player turned U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan meddled in the negotiations, communicating with both Steiner and the Mayor his approval of the deal.

The media indicated many of the job duties listed on the newly created position "would normally fall to the head of a school system" meaning the chancellor. And the 10 page letter Bloomberg sent to Steiner simply reiterates the first one asking for the waiver except the newly created job for Mr. Polakow-Suransky attached. Senior Deputy Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer sounds like too much responsibility for someone as young as Mr. Polakow-Suransky only obtaining his School District Administrator certificate in 2006, while only two years ago in 2008 trained at the Broad Superintendent's Academy.

 Again, why hurry the process to place someone into this position another white person  2nd in command in a city school district as diverse as the NYC Schools with 80% minority students? Why not search for other candidates for this new job? Interestingly, Mr. Polakow-Suransky is a fellow of  the Broad Superintendency Academy  that billionaire Eli Broad founded in 2002, "to transform urban school districts into effective public enterprises..."

Some critics in the press already viewed his job as a gofer between Bloomberg and the  nearly septuagenarian Cathie Black at  66,  the former executive of Hearst Magazine. And State Assemblyman Hakeem S. Jeffries, opposed to the arrangement publicly said, "he would pursue a legal challenge." Others like "City Councilman Jumaane Williams said he had hoped the mayor would scrap Ms. Black’s nomination altogether." Also, blogger and educator Mike Klonsky Small Talk blog had an interesting write up about the controversy.

This battle is not over those 11,000 people who signed the petition don't plan to give up the fight. Commissioner Steiner's decision to give Black the waiver added credence to her opponents previously whom alleged the appointment a done deal from the beginning. And  from the first day Mrs. Black already acted like a chancellor after the Mayor appointed her wasted no time obtaining a NYC department of education e-mail address meeting with the officials and deputies in the New York City  Department of Education.

Even though four of the eight member panel didn't recommend  her  for a waiver, Mrs. Black decided she needed an assistant according to  the letter Bloomberg sent to Commissioner Steiner and he said it was her idea to choose Mr. Polakow-Suransky because she  decided she wanted only one person reporting to her directly. I'm wondering what those twelve deputies  policy-makers think about how she already set-up this chain of command without consulting them?

Commissioner Steiner assumed his official duties on October 1, 2009,  after the NYS Board of Regents elect him NYS Education Commissioner and President of the University of the State of New York.

This controversy showed that mayoral control has to be revisited too much power has been invested in one individual politician with little  input from the public and others with vested interest in public education in NYC. And the advocates of privatization fully entrenched in the  education system in New York State from the State Education Department, the Regents, to the NYC Schools in its new Chancellor Cathie Black

Yet, one of her critics issued a letter regarding her role as a board member in the Coca Cola Company saying, she "lacks the integrity and compassion to serve as Chancellor or a role model for young people," because the corporation was run "like a criminal syndicate with impunity."

And, "Cathleen Black and the company have profited greatly by aggressively marketing to children nutritionally worthless and damaging beverages that help fuel the obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes epidemics,"  Ray Rogers, director of The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke signed the letter.
Some believe when the conversation turns to her role on the Coca Cola board Mrs. Black may not be able to ask for an apology as easily as the one involving her controversial appointment as the NYC Schools Chancellor.
Ironically in light of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke and the long nearly 20 year tenure Mrs. Black had on the board of directors,  Bloomberg's letter indicated in small print on the bottom Mrs. Black  still has to take up her child abuse training credit hours and a violence prevention workshop

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Spotlight on State Commissioner of Education, David M. Steiner

Photo Credit: NYTimes
The spotlight dimmed away from Cathie Black the controversy surrounding her fitness or unfitness to hold on to her hasty appointment as the 2nd NYC Schools Chancellor under mayoral control. The conversation now has turned to Commissioner of Education, Dr. David M. Steiner appointed last year to replace Mills.
Four on the eight member panel  recommended to  Commissioner Steiner Tuesday he should not waive the State educational standards for  the nearly septuagenarian Cathie Black. 
Mayor Micheal Bloomberg appointed her chancellor earlier this month amid a vociferous uproar and protests from diverse sectors of the NYC community, including an on-line petition with nearly 15,000 signatures.
A NYTimes article  appeared on Wednesday  with the headline "...Agonizes over Challenge to Mayor." It showed a photograph of the Commissioner looking out from his apartment window in NYC as though pondering how to decide on the fate of Cathie Black.
The decision on Tuesday provided him the excuse he needed to back off from rubber stamping the appointment for Mayor Bloomberg. 
Yet, Commissioner Steiner has to reconcile some past issues in his professional life such as when he applied for the job of former Commissioner Mills who retired two years ago.  Interestingly,  NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein appeared as a top reference on his Curriculum Vitae (resume).  And his supporters included charter schools proponents writing a letter of recommendation people from Teach for America, Democrats for Education Reform and others. And he had a few skeptics who wrote comments about his appointment to replace Mills such as:

"the fact that Dr. Steiner’s top recommendation on his CV came from Joel Klein does not fill me with hope that he will hold DOE accountable for its pervasive financial mismanagement, fraud, and skewed statistics." Another comment of Steiner, "I’m skeptical of this person. He’s says that any test. such as the teacher certification test, where there is a 90% pass rate, is too easy. Well, suburban school districts in New York have for years had 90% or better passing rates on the ELA and Math tests and no one thought they were too easy then when places like Scarsdale, Bridgehampton, and Briarcliff returned those kinds of results. BUT, as soon as some urban school districts like NYC get close to matching the 90% State pass rate, then the tests are suspect, “too easy,” and need to be reviewed. The explanation I offer for this sudden shift is simply racism."

Still others criticized his appointment because he  didn't rise from the ranks of the education bureaucracy instead  from a few colleges of education that had employed him.
Nevertheless, New York State Education Law empowers him to grant or not to grant a waiver for  Cathie Black or to appease a powerful billionaire mayor who has not been taking his controversial appointment sitting down. 
Steiner suggested he would grant the waiver if the Mayor resubmitted  her appointment with a compromise option. The Mayor had to appoint a 2nd person with the qualifications in education to help Mrs. Black run the school system. But experts in education law advised him in the media this option illegal requiring the State Legislature  to change its statutes. 
This is an opportune time for Commissioner Steiner to  prove his former opponents and  skeptics wrong that his appointment to replace Mills the right one for the children and people of New York State.
Cathie Black should bow out from her hasty appointment as NYC Schools Chancellor before the debate deflects from whether she has the professional qualifications in education for Steiner to grant her a waiver to one about her nearly 20 year tenure on the board of directors of the Coca Cola Company. It   has a troubling record of human rights abuses around the globe, involving young children.  Her silence is enough to disqualify her from working in any position with young children. For this reason an organization named Killer Coke has joined the chorus of those opposing Mrs. Black's appointment. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chancellor in waiting might no longer be...? Cathie Black brushed off the vote says to the media "stay tuned"

The  decision of the eight member  panel  appointed to advise Commissioner David Steiner on whether to grant a waiver to Cathie Black, the Hearst media magazine mogul surprised many  Tuesday evening after they met in Manhattan. 
Many in the community troubled by her appointment two weeks ago viewed the eight member  panel earlier as a rubber stamp for Mayor Bloomberg though four voted no, two voted yes and two voted not at this time,  the option the commissioner preferred. 
But legal experts commented a "compromise...was not legal," adding the commissioner doesn't have the authority "to grant a waiver based on another person having the qualifications."
The magazine mogul  undeterred confident she'll be appointed  the NY Daily News reported, "Black brushed off the vote Tuesday night as she entered her Park Avenue building, just saying "stay tuned,"...
This in light of the fact various polls on the issue indicated serious concerns about the Black appointment for NYC Schools Chancellor, while over 98% in a CBS on line poll voted she is not qualified.
Quinnipiac University reported 62% of parents with children in the NYC public school system voted no for Mrs. Black, 64% voted the chancellor needs more educational experience than management alone as Mayor Bloomberg asserted the reason why he hired her.  Overall 47% of the public voted thumbs down for Cathie Black and 51% voted she didn't have the right experience. 
Quinnipiac University survey 1, 287 registered voters from November 16 -21 in NYC.  But don't tell Mayor Bloomberg who is so gung-ho in continuing with his appointment of Mrs. Black who said of the public reaction, "This is not a popularity contest." 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chancellor in waiting Cathie Black to "prove them wrong"

Cathie Black when Bloomberg first appointed her 11/9
"I'll prove them wrong," Black told the New York Post and the NY1 cable television channel. "This has happened to the predecessors before me, and we'll get through it. ... I will be the next chancellor."

 Media mogul Cathie Black, Wednesday, voiced her opposition to those skeptical about her appointment as the NYC Schools Chancellor. This was quite a presumptuous remark Mrs. Black made while aides in the education department and Bloomberg's staff  brief and train her on education issues to prepare her better for what to say in public and to make her appear  knowledgeable about a field she lacks former credentials and experience.

Yet the first former nontraditional chancellor of the NYC schools Levy, a lawyer like Klein who preceded him commented, "walking into that system with no experience in managing an organized work force and no experience in education would be a pretty tall order for anyone."  He added, "Black will face a steep learning curve if the waiver is granted."

Though more supportive of the mayor's choice than the nominee in an earlier statement, Levy said, "The statute seems to require somebody with some education credentials. It was written before the contemporary wisdom that a good manager can overcome a lot of domain knowledge," Levy said. "It's not obvious to me how the commission of education gets around those conditions."

Nevertheless, the list of critics of Cathie Black to become the next NYC Schools Chancellor is insurmountable growing daily from parents, unions, the NYC City Council, NYS Assembly and Senate, civil rights lawyers and advocates, including two on-line petitions to State Education Commissioner David Steiner to deny the waiver. The two petitions so far garnered 13,000 signatures objecting to Mrs. Black's appointment. 

And the NYTimes,  City Room Blog comments  criticized the selection of the members on the panel seen as too laden with Mayor Bloomberg appointees. The selection process viewed as too secretive more of an  indictment of  Mayoral control of schools in the nation.
Photo Credit: Associated Press.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Update: Deny Chancellor Waiver to Cathie Black

The online- petition asking Commissioner of Education Dr. David M. Steiner to Deny granting waiver to appoint Mrs. Cathie Black as the next NYC Schools Chancellor has nearly 10,354 signatures from across New York State and the nation.

That's 1,150 signatures daily! And another petition NYC KIDS PAC circulating collected over 2, 228 signatures " Deny a Waiver to Cathleen Black; sh is unqualified to become NYC Chancellor. " Rallies and protests staged through out NYC against the appointment of media Mogul Cathie Black for NYC Schools Chancellor.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The public not swayed by powerful people endorsing Cathie Black for NYC Schools Chancellor

In a NYDaily News poll 84% voted not swayed by  powerful people endorsing Cathie Black for NYC Schools Chancellor only 12% voted yes, indicated there is massive opposition increasing daily to her appointment despite support from three former NYC mayors and  talk show host diva Oprah Winfrey.

And the petition on-line against her appointment, the signatures increasing daily garnered closed to 10,000 signatures, something the NYC Education Department continues to ignore the public right to be involved in the process according to a  report in the Amsterdam News, the oldest continuously publishing African-American newspaper in the United States.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Denial of NYC Chancellor Waiver

The online- petition asking Commissioner of Education Dr. David M. Steiner to Deny granting waiver to appoint Mrs. Cathie Black as the next NYC Schools Chancellor has nearly 10,000 signatures from across New York State and the nation.
To:  David M. Steiner
Dear Commissioner David M. Steiner,

Today, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his appointment of Cathie Black to replace Joel Klein as Chancellor of New York City Schools. Ms. Black, currently executive vice president of Hearst Magazines, lacks the required educational and professional qualifications for the position of Schools Chancellor as determined by state law. As a result, she will require a waiver from your office in order to accept the appointment.

The children, parents, and educational community of New York City deserve a leader with experience in education. Ms. Black's corporate experience may well qualify her for executive positions in business, but the education of our children and the training of our teachers is not corporate business. We urge you, as an educator, to:

~Deny the necessary waiver for Ms. Black's appointment

~Reaffirm the qualification requirements for NYC Schools Chancellor

The Undersigned

 created by NYC Public Schools and written by Justin Wedes, Educator (

Commissioner of Education response to Assembyman Jeffries re waiver for Kathie Black

Commissioner of Education, Dr. David M. Steiner sent  letter  to Assembly Member Hakeem Jeffries in his response to his an inquiry on Nov. 15,  re the waiver controversy surrounding Mayor Michael Bloomberg's appointee for  NYC  Schools Chancellor media mogul Cathie Black.

A Facebook message is circulating about the DENY WAIVER RALLY organized for tomorrow, Thursday, November 18, at 4:45 PM at the Tweed Court House ( NYC Department of Education Headquarters), 52 Chambers St. in Manhattan. Contact person is William  H. McDonald. His email:
The rally organizers are calling for: Parents, Students and Community Speakout for a Qualified Chancellor.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Open Letter to Commissioner David M. Steiner: Re: Appointment of Cathie Black, Chancellor NYC Schools

November 15, 2010

Dr. David M. Steiner
Commissioner of Education
New York State Education Depart.                                    
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234

Re: Appointment of Cathleen Black, NYC Schools Chancellor

Dear Dr. Steiner:

This letter is in response to the appointment of Cathleen P. Black, Chairperson of  Hearst Magazines, as NYC Schools Chancellor. Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed her on Tuesday, November 9, 2010.

The voices of dissent on the appointment have increased daily, as well as,  the members of the State Legislature's black, Latino, and Asian caucus, parents,  including the likelihood of legal action on how Mayor Bloomberg appointed her, and State Senator-elect Tony Avella the 11th Senate District sent a letter to your attention on November 10th, urging you to deny the waiver Mrs. Black needs to become the chancellor.

Mrs. Black has a superb business background in  the publication of magazines and newspapers around the world, holding high level positions in this field from the President of USA Today to the Newspapers Association of America to her present post as the Chairperson of Hearst Magazines.

She recently joined the advisory board of the Harlem Village Academies in July, though, she never attended a board meeting before her appointment. She has few experiences in public education, while her life-style and socio-economic background is far removed from the children and the staff she is suppose to lead.

With no formal  preparation in the field of education, credits or professional experiences in public education, I wonder how is it she is suppose to lead the New York City School District as a chancellor or a staff of twelve deputies all licensed school district administrators?

The  position of a chancellor  is not an on-the-job-training one as Mrs. Black commented in the media she'll have twelve deputies to train her. This is insulting to the staff, the children and the people of New York City, and makes a mockery of the position of NYC Schools Chancellor.

The student population of 1.1 million students in the NYC schools includes nearly half  from Latino homes a large percentage of Puerto Rican children many of them in schools failing to achieve adequate yearly progress some with graduation rates as low as 25%. And  although there has been some progress in the schools as a whole this too has been recently mitigated by the introduction of the new State Education Department  testing and standards.

Mrs. Black admitted she has no prior experience working with unions, a background essential for anyone taking on the role of NYC Schools Chancellor. Overall, her appointment is a troubling one, the way in which Mayor Bloomberg appointed her questionable, the idea he picks from his own personal address book from "A to Z" as he himself admits is absurd.

 The whole process is not a transparent one, there is no involvement from the schools, stakeholders or the community nor a diverse pool of candidates allowed to apply for the position as there was no public announcement of the vacancy. 

The children, staff and community in the New York City Schools deserve the most highly qualified leader to head the schools someone with formal credentials, experience and a professional background in the field of education. Cathleen Black does not meet the criteria established in New York State law requirements not even minimally.

Therefore as Commissioner of Education for the State of New York Education Department on behalf of the Latino community and those in the field of education with a similar perspective ( over 9000 signed an on-petition and the numbers increasing daily on-line) we urge you to up-hold the State education requirements in the law for the appointment of chancellors deny granting this waiver to Mrs. Cathleen Black to become NYC Schools Chancellor.

Maria Rosa, SDA

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Story: How Mayor Bloomberg "picks" his chancellors!

Déjà vu! errie! He did it again! New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg again picks his chancellor the same way he picked the outgoing one Joel Klein. Just go through your address book from A to Z, and pick a name hoping,"one day all of a sudden somebody is going to say, 'that's it."

“I did have a public search, and I picked the best person,” the mayor said at Tuesday’s news conference announcing Ms. Black’s appointment. “I considered as many different people; I talked to people for suggestions.” He added: “I believe if you reach out to as many different people as you can, one day all of a sudden somebody is going to say, ‘That’s it.’ ”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Joel Klein never a Chancellor

Joel Klein never was a Chancellor, never had a contract as NYS Education law required. What he did have and was able to produce a letter of appointment according to the group Parent Advocate.og, requesting a copy in 2007.

How I picked Joel Klein Chancellor for NYC Schools after I won Mayoral Control in 2002

"when I needed a chancellor, I went down my address book from A to Z, and I wrote down the names of anybody who I could conceivably think of somebody saying "oh he or she should be chancellor" so that I would give everybody a fair shot. And I looked down the list, and there was just no question.
Right away, Joel Klein stood out. I interviewed maybe 10 people. The other nine-their names were in the paper the next day. Klein's name wasn't in the paper. That's one of the reasons to pick him."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, U.S. Newsweek, October, 2006

How to pick a chancellor? Just ask Mayor Bloomberg.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo first public statement about education

In his first public statement about education at the Somos Legislative Conference in San Juan,  Puerto Rico today, Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo flanked by Latino elected officials Representative Nydia Velazquez and Assemblyman Feliz Ortiz from New York responded:

"... the answer can't always be more money, more money more money. How do you have the highest education spending in the state of New York and your number forty  in terms of performance? That means it's not about the money because your spending more than anyone else but your not getting  the performance, the product. And this was suppose to be about the children and educating the children and making sure your children have the best education you can get them, and were not doing that anyway so it was never about the money."
Governor-elect Cuomo second largest contributors to his campaign after real estate companies the hedge fund investors who favor charter schools. Robert Duffy, his  Lt. governor-elect from Rochester supports mayoral control of the Rochester Public Schools already the bill passed the Assembly six months ago to give the mayor control, and awaiting for Senate approval where a fierce battle ensued over the issue.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

New York State gubernatorial debate 2010: "No Administrator Left Behind"

Warren Redlich, Libertarian gubernatorial candidate, in the general election for governor in New York State on November 2, 2010 talked about the " no administrator left behind," criticizing the lay-off of teachers and aides in his school district (though never mentioned the school district).

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Build Academy: What happened to the ideals and mission?

Build Academy is a unique school with an interesting history developed during the period of segregated schooling in the Buffalo Public Schools .  Mr. William L. Gaiter was the executive director of the school. This film shows officials from the Buffalo Schools and Build Academy signing the documents that integrated the school largely as a result of an earlier class action law suit members of the NAACP had filed. The idea for Build Academy started in the 1960's  established by 1966 later integrated in 1969.  Mr. Gaiter commented Build used as a model for the Magnet school concept to integrate the Buffalo Schools.
In the film Mr. Gaiter said, " the purpose of Build was to fight for quality education for black students with the objectives to secure strong effective community participation in educational decision-making, to offer high quality education in the ghetto,  and to develop more creative teachers."
Recently, some community members and parents involved with  Build Academy  raised concerns about the new principal Central Office transferred to the school at a Buffalo Board of Education meeting.

Dough Ruffin a documentary film maker founder of Urban Legacy Filmworks produced this film for the 40th anniversary of Build in 2009.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Control board officials warned school board of "fiscal emergency"

Buffalo control board officials presented a dismal financial report of the district projected four-year  finances as a "fiscal emergency" at the School Board meeting Wednesday night.
They mention  as one of the few resources available  "the $70 million set aside to cover the cost it could face if it loses a lawsuit from the teachers union seeking compensation for years when teachers did not receive step pay increases."
And control board officials  balked at the idea of a state financial audit of the schools  Board President Ralph Hernandez mentioned he might ask his School Board colleagues to support him in asking the state to perform.
The  public wants to know why is it the district continues to pursue the issue of the teacher steps in court? Why not just enter into contract negotiations with the teachers' union settle the matter once and for all instead of dragging it through the courts?  
Teachers denied their contractual steps after the wage freeze  the district instead went to court knowing they wouldn't succeed. That's why the  district set aside the $70 million. Yet  money the district could use to offset this "fiscal emergency" instead is used to pay for unnecessary  expensive legal fees to maintain a futile court battle.

Whitney Tilson (3rd background)

Whitney Tilson (3rd background)
"Let’s be honest: we need a lot more well-off, well-educated white folks with a personal stake in both charter schools and education reform in general if we’re going to take reform to the next level, both politically and operationally.Whitney Tilson, hedge fund manager and major funding angel for the school privatizing Democrats for Education Reform, thinks there’s not enough rich, educated white folks.( Preaprez) click photo to his blog.

Arne Duncan

Arne Duncan
U.S. Secretary of Education, click photo