Posts tagged "rallying the troops"
June 6, 2012
In what organizers are calling the largest gathering of public school parents ever in New York City, thousands turned out for a rally to support the charter school movement and to warn future politicians that their constituency is a sleeping giant in upcoming elections.
“We will vote and we will be heard,” said Tara Brown Arnell, a parent in the Success Academy network.
Plenty of charter schools stayed home from the rally, including some that did so over ideological differences with the leadership that organized the event. But their absence wasn’t immediately apparent based on crowds that packed the sidewalks for four city blocks next to City Hall.
Most of the parents, students and staff were bused in from one of the large charter school networks that helped organize the event: Success Academy, Uncommon Schools, KIPP and Achievement First.
Organizers estimated that the crowds reached 5,100, more than double the audience that turned out for a similar rally around the same time last year. But unlike last year’s rally, which became a heated protest against a co-location lawsuit, this year’s event was more festive. Face painters, magicians and clowns lined the sidewalk and entertained children while music blared on the loudspeakers.
Politics still dominated the day. Parents spoke about the threat that they believed they faced under a new mayor whose education policies differed from that of Mayor Bloomberg’s. (more…)
November 10, 2010
School officials are battening down the hatches as they prepare for an onslaught of public hearings about school closures.
Just hours after the city released the latest round of high school rankings, Sharon Greenberger, the Department of Education’s chief operating officer, sent an email recruiting top-level deputies for an “all hands on deck” effort for the hearings, which could start as soon as this month and last through March.
“Be prepared to maintain a very flexible evening schedule in January,” Greenberger wrote to a small group of high-level deputies in Chancellor Joel Klein’s cabinet. She also asked each of them to designate several staff members to help at the hearings, which are required by state law when the city seeks to close a school.
Last year, the city held hearings for 19 schools that it tried to close. Many went late into the night, and the January meeting of the Panel for Educational Policy, which had to approve the closures, finished at 4 a.m.
This year, the city has signalled that it wants to close even more schools. The high school progress reports released last week added nine more schools to the already record-high list of 47 schools that the city has said it might try to close. (more…)
February 23, 2009
In its campaign to unionize a KIPP charter school in Brooklyn, the national American Federation of Teachers union has a new target: other teachers in the wide KIPP network. The AFT today reached out to KIPP teachers from San Jose to D.C. to Boston, asking them to join an e-mail campaign to urge the charter network’s co-founders to recognize the union.
The saga began earlier this year, when 15 teachers at the Brooklyn school, called KIPP AMP, told school officials that they want to form a union with the help of the local United Federation of Teachers. They said a union would help them feel more secure in their jobs and have a stronger say in building their school.
KIPP leaders, who have traditionally touted their freedom from teachers unions as a strength, because it allows them to hire and fire as they please, could have recognized the union and worked with it. Instead, they have hedged — and even indicated they might fight back against the teachers or drop their affiliation with the Brooklyn school. A state labor board is now considering the teachers’ petitions. (And the group of teachers, meanwhile, has swelled to 16 from 15.)
The fliers sent today ask KIPP teachers to send e-mail messages to KIPP’s co-founders, Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg, asking them to recognize the union — and offer teachers tips on how they could form a union themselves. Titled “BE NICE,” a riff on the KIPP motto, “Work Hard. Be Nice,” the fliers narrate the story of how Levin and Feinberg founded KIPP 14 years ago. “They put good ideas together with hard work and a relentless drive,” the flier says. “They also worked for supportive administrators who gave Dave and Mike the power they wanted to start a new program.”
The flier goes on:
Today in Brooklyn, a dedicated group of KIPP teachers and parents want the same thing and they’re forming a union and PTA to have a stronger voice. They’re asking for the power to add their own knowledge to the program and to sustain the school’s success.
Full flier is below the jump. (more…)