Friday, June 01, 2018


Leonie Haimson, Executive Director of Class Size Matters, is a powerful advocate for public education. She presents the Skinny Awards annually. They are the opposite of the billionaire Eli Broad Awards.

I was honored to receive a Skinny in 2011. For 2018, Leonie is giving a Skinny to our own Norm Scott along with Councilman Danny Dromm and testing expert Fred Smith. There is also a mystery fourth winner.

Here is a link to attend:

Invitation to our Annual Class Size Matters
"Skinny Award" Dinner
honoring four individuals who have given us the
"real skinny" on NYC schools:
Council Member Danny Dromm, Chair of the Finance Committee & former Education Chair
Norm Scott, retired teacher and blogger/videographer extraordinaire
Fred Smith, testing expert and critic
And a surprise honoree who will we announce at the event!
Dinner to be held on Tuesday June 19, 2018  at 6 PM
Casa La Femme, 140 Charles St.
Join us for a delicious three course meal with a glass of wine and great company!
Together we will celebrate our victories and gain strength for the challenges to come.

Norm and Fred react: Congratulations to all three winners.

Hey folks -- here is your chance to see me be Skinny - and to contribute to the amazing work Leonie Haimson does for all of us.

And I can't think of better people to be honored with than Danny Dromm and Fred Smith. And the anticipation of the mystery honoree. Past award winners have been James Eterno, Arthur Goldstein, Julie Cavanagh, Diane Ravitch, Patrick Sullivan and so many others.

I've attended every one of Leonie's Skinny (Not (Eli) BROAD) Awards. It is always the most fun events of the year where the major people battling ed deform gather -- sshhhhhhh - don't tell or they will drop a bunker bomb on us.

Even my wife, who should be sick of ed talk after almost 50 years of it, wants to go.

If any of you Ed Notes readers are going let me know at

Last year our pals from CPE1 were honored. It was a wonderful evening and I'm thrilled to be included this year.
Former teacher Danny Dromm has been a force for change on the city council. And Fred Smith -- who has done so much work for the opt-out movement. I remember hearing from Fred about 10 years ago, asking to come to an ICEUFT meeting to talk about the tests and trying to enlist people. Fred was there when GEM took positions on testing and was one of the founders of Change the Stakes. His research has been crucial. And let's not forget his other job as a statistician for the NY Jets, which and turn out to be more frustrating than dealing with the DOE.

Ten years of skinny awards and a way for Leonie to continue her amazing work. So even if you can't come, consider contributing to class size matters.


I can only echo what Norm said.  The truth is I have long coveted a Skinny.  The annual dinners have been a highlight of the year for me and spending a few hours with the terrific people who attend is always invigorating.   Thank you Leonie for, as Yogi would say, making this occasion necessary.
[And I want us to draft Leonie to be the next NYC Public Advocate--which is a job she doesn't seek, thereby making her eminently qualified for the position.  Think of the round-the-clock time and energy she has spent doing impeccable research in search of truth and equity--all pro bono.  An astounding combination of intellect, never-quit courage and idealism.]
But I digress...  It's great to be in this celebration with Danny Dromm and Norm, who comes closest to Leonie in the struggle for the sound public education of all children and concern for their teachers.  I was lucky to stumble upon him a few years back, which brought me out of mothballs into the light of so many wonderful, unsung people fighting for the greater good.  (Norm: You had to mention the Jets?!)
I urge my friends in Change the Stakes / NYC Opt Out to reserve a seat at this event if they can and make a contribution to Class Size Matters.  It will add years to your life.


Bronx ATR said...

Congratulations to Norm. I once had a long conversation with him. He is a very caring, highly intelligent and hard working advocate for teachers.

ed notes online said...

Thanks James and Thanks Bronx ATR. I wish I could remember our conversation but I think I have an inkling of where and when. Inklings are still a sign of some brain activity.

Anonymous said...

Have seen Norm on videos fighting for educators and for that all educators should be thankful for your dedication to the profession. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Congratulations on the upcoming honor.