Posts Tagged 'closing schools'

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:

RESOLUTION OF OPPOSITION TO MASS SCHOOL CLOSURES

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;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED:

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.

UFT suit against school closings successful

The UFT suit blocking Chancellor Klein’s 19 school closings next year received a favorable decision today. The judge ruled that the PEP votes were null and void, and that the DoE could not close Jamaica, Columbus, Robeson, Norman Thomas, New Day, Metropolitan, SCRL, MABL, Beach Channel, Maxwell, and 9 other schools.

Teachers have reason to applaud the decision. It is a victory for the teachers and students in those schools. It is a victory for the thousands who attended CEC meetings, PEP meetings, and rallies and demonstrations. It is a victory for the neighborhoods. It is a victory for all of us.

But it is only a first step. The DoE may appeal, or may try again next year. Our suit won because Klein violated his own procedures. Next year may be tougher.

Let’s savor the victory over this break, but let’s return ready to think about how to continue the struggle into next year.

New Action condemns school closings/ calls for citywide response

WE NEED A CITYWIDE RESPONSE TO SCHOOL CLOSINGS!
Unprecedented NYC DOE attack on public schools in New York City

The New York City Department of Education announced over the last few days plans to close twenty schools, including large or CTE (vocational) high schools, including:  Norman Thomas, Alfred E Smith, Columbus, Maxwell, Paul Robeson, Beach Channel, and Jamaica. Of the others, nine are schools that Bloomberg and Klein themselves opened.

The UFT has for several years called for a moratorium on closing schools, unless and until the DOE demonstrated that the results of reorganizing and opening new schools worked, a result we do not think they can show.

Closing schools disrupt neighborhoods, disrupt families, disrupt teachers’ lives, disrupt students’ education. … Schools traditionally have been stable institutions in our neighborhoods, and in that sense, the multiple openings and closings can be devastating. And critically for us as teachers, closing schools forces senior teachers, long out of the job market, onto the Open Market, where they continue to face system-wide discrimination and the danger of becoming an ATR…

Most of the schools have decided they will fight the proposed closings. Last week there was a demonstration at Maxwell. There will be demonstrations at most of the others. Campaigns are being launched from the schools themselves. And the schools are turning to the central union for assistance in organizing their struggle.

But there is much we as a union and we as teachers in unaffected schools can do to help. Those in targeted schools have a tremendous amount of work, and need our help.

New Action members on the UFT Action Committee proposed several actions including:
•    A Day of Solidarity organized in each borough, with rallies at each school
•    Joining rallies at neighboring schools slated for closing
•    Wearing buttons or wearing black in support of closing schools

This fight must be seen in a larger context….
1.    the burden at schools which had not been closed was increased threefold, causing these schools to be subsequently closed. One school reported that their student population went from 800 to 2000.
2.    the growth of ATRs who were subsequently scapegoated. Make no mistake about this: the goal of Bloomberg and Klein is to reduce the workforce of veteran teachers,
3.    the move to replace public schools with charters.

We cannot allow this to happen!

(click here for the complete text of this leaflet)


Content Policy

Content of signed articles and comments represents the opinions of their authors. The views expressed in signed articles are not necessarily the views of New Action/UFT.
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