Say no to school closures! Demonstrate, Wednesday, at Tweed

When:  5PM.
Date: Wednesday, December 15
Where: Tweed (52 Chambers) – march will start at 52 Broadway (UFT hq)
Why: once again Bloomberg is trying to shut schools that serve poor kids. We stopped him last year. It will be tougher this year.
Who: the UFT will call this protest, others may join us

Here are excerpts from the UFT resolution. It was passed by an e-mail vote of the Exec Board, and will almost certainly be adopted by the Delegate Assembly Wednesday just before 5:


WHEREAS      during the tenure of Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein, the NYC Department of Education has pursued a policy of mass school closures, near 100 to date, which has escalated in numbers and in sheer recklessness as the years have gone on, culminating in announcements December 6th and 7th that the DoE would seek to close another 25 schools, the most in one year to date; and

WHEREAS      Mayor Bloomberg has announced his intention to close an additional 100 schools in his final term of office, an arbitrary target set without consideration of or regard for the educational capacity of real schools, and Chancellor Klein changed the grading of the School Progress Reports to a curve that would guarantee that a certain portion of schools would receives ‘D’s and ‘F’s making them candidates for closure simply by virtue of their standing vis-à-vis other schools – demonstrating that the policy of mass school closures is not an educational policy, but a political plan to change the face of NYC public education by replacing existing schools with new schools and charter schools that reflect the ideological agenda of the city administration ; and

WHEREAS      during the tenure of Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein, the NYC Department of Education has consistently concentrated the students with the greatest academic challenges and socio-economic needs in the schools it then slates for closure, all the while failing to meet its obligations to provide the resources and supports necessary for successfully educating those students; and

WHEREAS      the burden of the policy of mass school closings pursued during the tenure of Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein has fallen most heavily on low income communities, and on the high needs students which are concentrated in those schools; and

WHEREAS      rather than providing the needed supports and resources it had promised the 19 schools slated for closure last year, the NYC DoE has systematically undermined these schools, deliberately under-enrolling them, slashing their budgets, excessing large numbers of their best staff and flooding them with over-the-counter students – in short, taking administrative steps to subvert the schools’ efforts to be viable and successful so that it could move to close as many of them as possible this year;


THAT     the United Federation of Teachers condemns the proposal of Mayor Bloomberg, Chancellor Klein and the NYC DoE to close 25 schools as devoid of educational merit and justification and as injurious and destructive to the communities those schools serve – most especially the students and families directly impacted; and be it further resolved

THAT     the UFT condemns the NYC DoE policy of mass school closings upon which this proposal was based as a policy that is not educational in design or implementation, but a reckless and destructive means of pursuing a political and ideological agenda for remaking NYC public education; and be it further resolved

THAT     the UFT call for a moratorium on the closure of any NYC public school where it has been demonstrated that the NYC DoE has not been provided that school with the resources and supports necessary for fulfilling its educational mission; and be it further resolved

THAT     together with local communities, students, parents, educational advocates and others, the UFT will build a grass roots movement of opposition to mass school closures, giving voice to the outrage that all of these civic organizations and citizens feel over this reckless and destructive policy of the NYC DoE; and be it further resolved

THAT     this grass roots campaign of opposition to mass school closures include, but not be limited to, school demonstrations and picketing, community engagement, lobbying of elected officials, and a mass demonstration at the Panel for Educational Policy meeting which will consider the proposed school closings; and be it further resolved

THAT     in recognition of the outrage this Delegate Assembly, representing the educators of all NYC public schools, feels about the proposal to close 25 schools, we hereby adjourn this meeting and reassemble for a mass protest at City Hall and the central offices of the NYC Department of Education.

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