Friday, March 26, 2010


We are quite pleased with the decision of Judge Joan B. Lobis to declare null and void the January 26 Panel for Educational Policy vote to close nineteen schools. We applaud Judge Lobis for her courage in standing up to the Bloom/Klein empire.

The city says it will appeal. According to everything we have read so far, the DOE is going to try to dance around the decision. Why don't they support the schools instead and make all of them excellent places to learn?

Here is a link to Gotham where you can read the decision yourself.

Have a great vacation everyone.


Anonymous said...

Kudos Mr. Mulgrew!

From the begining you said that you would do everything possible to help those community schools. Today we have hope!

Klein could learn something from you. It's a shame that he feels no obligations towards helping the community with interventions and extra support. His mind immediately goes to closure. Eva must have asked for more space.

Anonymous said...

Today was a glorious day!

James, though you didn't mention him in your post you can go ahead and thank Mulgrew too.

I know you are a stand up guy James. Give credit where it's due. We are all happy today. You can acknowledge the roll Mulgrew played in all of this.

Anonymous said...

People have probably heard by now that a judge today overturned the DOE's decision to close 19 schools, including Columbus, Robeson, Jamaica, Maxwell, Norman Thomas, Global Enterprise and many others we have been fighting to keep open. There's a report on NY1 with comments by Mulgrew about how the DOE is still ignoring it.

In response to the suit by the UFT and the NAACP, the judge said the DOE had failed to take in to account the impact of the school closings on the community. Although the mayoral control law still leaves decision making in the hands of Bloomberg and Klein, instead of with teachers, parents and students -- where it should be-- one of the new regs required the DOE file EISs (educational impact statements). As always, it went through the motions of holding hearings, and then ignored what 99 percent of the speakers said.

This is a big deal but only a temporary set back for the corporate education "reformers" in the ongoing war over public education. That war goes straight up to the White House (see Obama's praise for firing all the teachers and staff at Central Falls, R.I. high school), and both ruling class parties and leading capitalists like Bill Gates.

But "the law" is a reflection of the class struggle, and the judge certainly wouldn't have made this ruling if thousands of parents, teachers, students hadn't turn out at the PEP meeting January 26th and at hearings and picket lines for months at the targeted schools.

Everyone who participated in those protests can feel proud of their contribution to this struggle -- now we must redouble our efforts. In particular, we need to continue to fight to get the UFT to mobilize to stop the racist school closings and charter invasions. This is the opportunity to overcome the divisions between the unions and the minority communities going back to 1968.

In response to the court decision, the DOE is pulling every trick in the book to circumvent the Judge's ruling. First, it said it will immediately appeal. A few hours later they announced they were going ahead with sending out notices to all 80,000 eighth graders assigning them to high schools for next year. Those who had chosen one of the 19 schools are being sent to other schools. The DOE says it is sending these students a SECOND letter saying that IF the schools remain open, they can re-apply to go there. In effect, this means there will be no 9th grade class at these schools, if the DOE gets away with this.

This is a blatant defiance of the court, from a crowd that are always ready to use the Taylor Law against us. The judge issued an injunction saying that the DOE could not prohibit enrollment in those schools. But Klein and Bloomberg are going ahead and doing it anyway, creating "facts on the ground." (What is this, Netanyahu building settlements on the West Bank?)

The UFT says it will go to court to stop Klein, but the DOE letters are going out tonight.
Tweed and the mayor routinely violate and ignore the law if they don't like it. Witness their misappropriation of funds for lowering class sizes.

We have a lot of work to do. We have got to get behind the teachers, parents and students at the schools slated for closing, who are on the front lines of a fight that effects us all.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to all of us in the uft, including those of us who may not always agree. President Mulgrew spearheaded the efforts to support each and every school. In my school, my union provided us with packets of data, analysis of our schools data, info on the governance process, a thorough understanding of the educational impact statements and union staff that were ready at a moments notice to answer questions, attend our staff meetings and tremendous support.

The union on the ground has changed in my eyes...and I believe President Mulgrew is a stand up guy who has made good on every promise.

We all won with this one...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the UFT/ICE/TJC/GEM needs to call for demonstrations either in front of each school or a citywide one at Tweed a week after we return to school.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Unity your hand must be hurting from all the patting on the back you've done on Mulgrew. Finding that Joel Klein's DOE broke the law does not take Perry Mason. ICE supported the move as did any sane person.

Anonymous said...

Today's Daily News reports that, "In what was widey seen as a slap against the ruling, the Department of Education is not initially planning to admit any students into the closing schools. Some 8500 students applied to those schools, and 916 listed them as a first choice". This should be grounds for additional lawsuits and a mass outcry over the contempt for law exhibited by the administration.

Anonymous said...

not a surprise.

ed notes online said...

While ICE and GEM supported the law suit, our criticism of the UFT is: Do they/did they have a strategy beyond the law suit? We called for a continuous series of public demos and pressure beyond the Jan. PEP (we began with the Jan. 21 rally at Bloomberg's). The UFT was totally absent at the Feb. PEP. And what about March? If the suit keeps schools "open" and no students are sent there for 9th grade, what does that mean? ICE/GEM/TJC and other groups may have to take the lead for a demo over the Klein response in the absence of a UFT response other than stopping at court action.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday was a day we can all be proud of. Stop the petty "Mr. Unity" crap.

Anonymous said...

Ed Notes, be critical all you want. We know that comes natural to you and nothing will stop it.

However, how's about a little acknowledgement that yesterday was a good day for all of us and Mr. Mulgrew's actions were a big part of that.

ed notes online said...

I'll acknowledge what you want if you can tell me what happens next if Klein wins the appeal. Or if all the schools end up being closed anyway.

We need a long-term strategy to stop school closings. When we see that we will join Mulgrew and stand up and cheer.

Tell you what. Come back in a year or two and tell us about Mulgrew. The BloomKlein assault on the schools and the UFT just might wake the leadership up. And don't think we are not hoping for that since the reality is that they will be in power for a long time. Our role is to be critical and drag them to the right place.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, WHO? It was JAMES ETERNO, ICE candidate for UFT President, who drove the campaign to stop the closings. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, Mulgrew "just wants to be on the side that's winning."

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Anon Sunday, March 28, 2010 3:48:00PM

What planet are you on where James "drove the campaign to stop the closings"?

Anonymous said...

The more you know (and read here) the clearer the choice...


here's why

Anonymous said...

Hello James Congratulations on the school win by the judge. I hope you win the
election. Sincerely Marilyn Harra Kaye, Pres. MLBKaye International Realty
former JHS graduaqte