Archives For February 2017

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A toolkit for educators and school communities to support and stand with those who are undocumented and immigrant students and their families. Inside you will find resources such as activities, lessons, articles, and “know your rights” links to share and use in in your class-room. Please share out over your social media. #ImmigrantRightsSyllabus #NoBanNoWall #HereToStay #Unafraid #weallbelonghere #publicschoolproud #eduationnotdeportation #immigrantdayofaction

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_hpqgBI1LK6WDBPSjNaOFJ5bHM/view

Education Not Deportation

Educators and Students Ask Chancellor Fariña to Take Immediate Action!

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

media@morecaucusnyc.org

 

New York City’s public school students, parents, educators, and supporters are requesting that Chancellor Carmen Fariña take immediate action to protect them from anti-immigrant actions by the federal government at the February 28th Panel for Education Policy at the Prospect Heights Educational Campus.

 

An estimated 345,000 public school students are the children of undocumented immigrants, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute. Students are approaching their teachers and counselors  overwhelmed with the fear of being deported or having family members deported.

 

Chancellor Fariña is the daughter of immigrants and has actively advocated around the issues facing students and families who have come to our shores in pursuit of the American dream throughout her career. She reiterated after the November election, “The outcome of the Presidential election has left many youth and adult members of our community feeling confused or anxious. Undocumented immigrants and their families, LGBTQ students and staff, Muslims, people of color, and members of other religious, racial, or ethnic groups may be feeling particularly vulnerable during this time. In recent days Ms. Fariña has issued a letter school communities informing them of their rights and how to obtain legal help. While we applaud this first step, the Chancellor, the PEP and the Mayor must do more; the time to stand with immigrant New Yorkers is now!

 

Community members will join with the United Federation of Teachers’ request for the creation of an immigrant liaison position in every school to advise students of their rights, direct them to agencies for assistance and coordinate services in case of deportation proceedings. Also, they will join calls for a webpage on the DOE website with resources regarding immigration rights, with clear and transparent protocols for what schools can do to support and protect those who are undocumented. They will ask the Chancellor to issue a public policy that schools are safe-zones and ICE agents must secure permission before ever entering a school building.

In addition, educators will call for a curriculum that reflects the diversity of our student body and embraces our values as a multicultural and multilingual community.

 

Another request will be that the Chancellor do everything in her power to urge the state government to pass the New York Dream Act. Community members will ask the Chancellor and PEP to call for an end to the practice of arresting New Yorkers for minor violations and zero tolerance policies in our schools that can put our students in jeopardy of deportation. When federal policies are creating a horrific climate of fear and xenophobia, local governments have power to protect our students and their families.

 

On February 28th students, teachers and community members, will be available for comment at 5:00pm Dr. Ronald McNair Park across from Prospect Heights Educational Campus, Brooklyn New York.

 

Supporting organizations include:

 

MORE-UFT

TeachDream

Teachers Unite

New York State Youth Leadership Council

IntegrateNYC4me

NYCORE

New Action-UFT

Dear School Staff and Allies,

We invite you to participate in our February 28th day of action to protect immigrant students.  We are pleased that Chancellor Carmen Farina responded to public support of immigrant New Yorkers by issuing a meaningful statement describing rights and resources for immigrant students on January 30th. We applaud this first step.

At the same time, we continue to ask for more because the time to stand with immigrant New Yorkers is now. We know that aggressive immigration policies will continue to affect our students’ ability to learn, so we are asking the DOE to do its part to advocate for children and families both inside and beyond the classroom doors.

Join us on February 28 as we ask Chancellor Fariña and the NYC Department of Education to:

  1. Train and provide an immigrant liaison in every school.

  1. We ask the Chancellor and DOE to expand on the initial letter by publicizing an explicit, transparent protocol for all of NYC schools that includes no ICE agents granted entry at schools unless they have received permission from the Chancellor.

  2. Fully develop the Department’s recently created web-page to support immigrant students so that schools can connect families with the information and resources they need during this important time.

  3. Collect and distribute teacher-developed tools and curriculum that embrace our values as a multicultural and multilingual community.

And join us in calling on Mayor De Blasio and the NYC District Attorneys to:

  1. Support the New York Dream Act by lobbying the State Senate, Assembly and Governor Cuomo to pass the bill

  2. Direct the NYPD to stop making broken windows arrests and for the five District Attorneys put a moratorium on broken windows prosecutions, as outlined in the #NYCdontprosecute campaign.

  3. Work with the Department of Education to invest in restorative justice positions and practices and restrict the presence and role of law enforcement officers in schools, as outlined in the Counselors Not Cops campaign

Sign up here for more information: https://goo.gl/forms/fnNGEgvswgKXwW163

MORE-UFT

TeachDream

Teachers Unite

New York State Youth Leadership Council

"Immigrant Rights Day of Action" Immigrant Rights Day of Action Flyer

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By Mike Schirtzer- UFT Executive Board and Delegate from Goldstein HS Brooklyn

I settled down in my chair for the February UFT Delegate Assembly (DA), our monthly union meeting that should be attended by your chapter leader and delegate (many don’t go). With all that is going on since Trump took office I expected this would be a serious meeting with important decisions that would impact all rank and file members and the students we serve.

 

UFT President Mulgrew came on the stage and said “I know what you want all to talk about!” with a grin on his face. I immediately thought good, we’re going to speak Trump right off the bat, but some people yelled out “SNOW!” and Mulgrew laughed and reiterated “yes, snow!”  After the snow talk, Mulgrew then played the SNL video on Sean Spicer, a hilarious parody of Trump’s press secretary. Now, let’s face facts, to be a good teacher you damn well better have a sense of humor.  However, this was just not the moment to be having a fun time. Our public education system and union are at risk of being completely dismantled, I have Muslim and Latino students who feel threatened by executive orders that put their lives in danger; there are schools which are slated to be closed; some teachers have principals that threaten their careers with abusive observations. This is a serious, critical time for the existence of our union.  Yet, in the first twenty minutes of our union meeting we have laughed at snow and watched SNL. Can we get to serious business?

 

Finally, Mulgrew gets to Trump, Devos, and all that is happening. Mulgrew explained that the entire country and politicians of both sides know how unqualified she is thanks to us. We all agreed, although I’m not sure what “we” did to sway any votes. We were told to make calls, but I tend to think the mass demonstrations on the streets have given the Democrats the chutzpah they need to fight these nominations and policies. Frankly, if people were’t hitting the streets, parks, airports, trains, marching in DC, I believe many Democrats would have confirmed Devos. So I’m still not sure what the UFT had to do with this, but at least we were discussing real things.

 

The next big chunk of his report was on how our “Public Schools Proud” campaign is our big fight back. Mulgrew showed photos of teachers holding public school proud signs and tweets from our colleagues. Mulgrew told the DA how happy the other union presidents are that we started this campaign. According to him, they were all sitting at a table scratching their heads about what to do and Mulgrew, like Moses bringing the tablets down from Mount Sinai, presented his Public School Proud power-point show, and all the presidents jumped from their chair. He saved them from their despair with his hashtag and photo campaign. The American Federation of Teachers, our national union, with union presidents from all over the country think the best way to fight Trump is with tweets and photos?

 

Mulgrew then put pictures of buttons on the screen and asked everyone to choose white or black. The largest teachers union in the country monthly meeting in the face of destruction was tasked with choosing colors of buttons. Mulgrew and “Public School Proud” is not going to defeat a Republican Congress, Conservative Supreme Court, and narcissistic dangerous President that will not think twice about privatizing education.

 

During the open question period one chapter leader asked “Can we get buses to DC to welcome Betsy?” Now that seemed like the best idea in the whole meeting. Leave it to a rank and file member to think strategically. Let’s get as many members as we can up to DC for a pro-public education march with parents and students. Lets show the congress and president that the masses love their public education system and are willing to fight for it. However, this was immediately dismissed by Mulgrew: “I think we will wait to see what she does. If there is a need, we will go.”

 

The very worst part of the meeting came with another question from a delegate: “Our president proposed national right to work law. How do we protect pensions, collective bargaining, dues checkoff?” For those that may not know “right to work” means that members have the choice to join the union, rather than automatically becoming a member. Without dues, unions lose their power and membership. In many states this has meant the death of organized labor, with lower wages and reduced workplace protection. Mulgrew replied, “We are going to become a right to work country. We are preparing for what we will do when that happens on the state and city levels. It depends on the provision in the laws and what states can do within that law- some states sign up members every year others sign once”

 

Basically, he has already thrown in the towel! Mulgrew spent at least 30 minutes explaining how his tweet campaign is the greatest thing and when members want to know how is the union planning to really fight back against the greatest threat, the president of the largest AFT local basically said we have already lost.

 

My good friends of UFT leadership/Unity Caucus always accuse MORE of complaining but offering no solutions. So here are some suggestions from MORE:

 

-Send out texts, emails and articles in our newsletters to communicate how unions and public education are being threatened.

 

-Visit schools where there are no functioning chapters to educate our members about the importance of being in a union.

 

– Encourage our members to get involved, to join their chapter consultation committee and/or school leadership team, become a delegate or chapter leader, and/or organize a pro-public education rally at their school. Ask members to speak at PTA/PA about the importance of the UFT.

 

-UFT trainings for those interested in resisting abusive administrators. The goal should be to rebuild confidence in the union at the chapter level.

 

-Start a city-wide contract campaign consisting of district level meetings open to all members to discuss demands for the next contract and strategies for how to win them.

 

-Build a UFT presence at the various anti-Trump rallies that are in the works. For example, we should support the February 28th PEP and Day of Action which seeks to defend our immigrant students. Also, we should have a large presence around the “Save JHS 145” campaign. Teachers who have not protested much before, have hit the streets in recent weeks.

 

-And last but certainly not least have members of the UFT leadership go to schools and listen to members about what they want to do and start to implement their ideas.

 

Now is the time to involve our members and show the value of our union, or else we’re not going have a union to save!

UFT Executive Board, February 6, 2017

As reported By Arthur Gooldstein- UFT Executive Board- High School divsion from MORE
Secretary Howard Schoor welcomes us

Open Mike:

Jerry Fronhoffer, retired from Aviation—reports or organization, with teachers, students and professors—on homeless crisis. 105K children in shelters or doubled up with friends or neighbors. Many are enrolled in public schools. Effects both immediate and longterm. 40K foreclosures in NYC right now. Many 2-3 grade levels behind. Absenteeism, lateness common. Evaluation is useless.

But can be solved—all we need is political will. We have the money to build. The money is there. 1.2 billion a year given to condo owners and developers. We’re spending 1.6 billion a year on homeless shelters. With that money we can build at no additional cost, 57K new housing units to cover 90% of our homeless. Public housing has bad name, but many living there work every day.

Let’s pass a resolution at the DA that states what is needed. Let’s
send a message.

Schoor—email us and we will send you a copy of a resolution we’ve already passed.

Approval of minutes—approved.

President’s Report—6:10 Mulgrew is not here.

Staff Director’s report—LeRoy Barr—

Was resolution regarding immigration—proposed we collect lesson plans—we looked up AFT lessons on that which already exist. We have included that in your folders.

Middle school conference was held, thanks to Rich Mantel. We have an event 2/11 with 4 hours of CTLE. Black history film series started, was great discussion. Will be more, 13, and Rising from the Rails. African Heritage Dinner Dance last Friday. Evelyn de Jesus honored. Lobby day March 14th. Ex Board the 27th DA this Wednesday.

Questions

Carmen Alvarez answers ICT question from weeks ago—Discusses various percentages of special ed. complaints.

Mulgrew arrives—-6:20, interrupts report from Alvarez

Says he’s happy about energy with DeVos, thinks VP will have deciding vote, but glad country knows who she is. Now we have credibility, will see where it goes, will keep pressure on, NY Senators fantastic.

Now are locals countrywide who have adopted Public School Pride campaign.  We have to show people we can use this. It’s in Houston, Cleveland, St. Louis. Lot of energy toward Valentine’s Day to show love for public schools. Bumper stickers soon.

Wants to thank people who worked on mayoral endorsement.

Mulgrew leaves6:25

Alvarez continues—tells us which districts had most violations.

Mike SchirtzerMORE—Last week JHS 145 spoke—Can we have an update?

Rich Mantel—going to school to meet with staff and help organize. Will do all we can to support.

Ellie Engler—Story he told was compelling. We knew this was kind of a setup. Brought to highest level at DOE, supposed to give us an answer. We have found some shady stuff going on at Success Academy, we are checking, and we are prepared to bring it up at Tweed. We are buying sweatshirts for schools supporting them

Tricia Filomena—March 20th replacing which date?

Schoor—13th.

Arthur GoldsteinMORE  We had our MOSL committee meeting today and I was pretty surprised at how it went. As an ESL teacher, my score is linked to a test that changes each year and does not appear to test the language acquisition it’s my job to promote. Why are we supposed to make the course level irrevocable MOSL decision independent of the teacher level with no current knowledge of what choices or mandates will be available for teacher level decisions? Wouldn’t if make more sense if we knew what both factors were at the time of the first choice? Wouldn’t that help us to make the best possible decisions for our members? Won’t this system cause conflict among members who may prefer not to teach courses that terminate in state exams, and who may find it advantageous to be judged by broader measures?

Schoor—Regents are tied to eval, we can’t change.

Jackie Bennett—Teacher level and school level have always been made separately. We want schools to clearly make those choices. We want teachers to pay more attention. We are doing this midyear. If we absolutely wanted to we could release all rules at same time. But if we want to address questions, they would take more time and discussion. We would prefer to thoroughly discuss those rather than just do it. Discussions ongoing for your sake and for whole system. We advocate for best we can.

Group and single measures have always been case. We want lower stakes. If we wanted to continue that it would continue. Across state common decision is to go for matrix that takes away higher stake.

Reports from districts

Dave Kazansky—Labor seder March 28th.

Rich Mantel—4th annual middle school conference—260 people, workshops, 3 ctle hours.
May 6 UFT 5K Coney Island.

Anthony Harmon—Thanks for African Heritage event, over 300. Feb. 18 Black and Puerto Rican legislative weekend. March 16, 7th annual faith based breakfast.

Pat Crispino—principal removed from Harlem Ren—can’t hurt people anymore


Arthur GoldsteinMORE–I report that UFT came to our school and Christine Rowland offered PD, that it was very well received, and that our members are all very happy to get two hours of CTLE credit.

Janella Hinds—Thursday, hosting a college and career fair for HS students around city. Fliers available at DA.

Wendy Walker Wilson—Thanks to everyone who contributed to Helen Dowdy Scholarship. Raised over 5K.

Legislative report—Paul Egan—Finished YTD at COPE, cards coming in, 71 from Lewis. Constitutional Convention is serious. We will have 250K increase in COPE from last year. First preference on Lobby Day buses to COPE contributors.

Jonathan HalabiNew Action—IDC big in NYC. Are we looking at how we relate to 6 state senators asking for our endorsement>

Egan—IDC is breakaway, yet all run on Democratic line. Some are well-accepted members of Democratic committees. 32 elected Democrats but GOP in charge. This was answer to dysfunction. They will claim results for constituencies. May be buffer. We at least have dialogue. Will we run people against them? No one will run against Jefff Klein or Diane Savino. May be some places people step up, but not because of IDC. Depends on what they do over next 2 years.

Endorsement—Manhattan committee endorsed 7 candidates for seat vacated by Inez Dickens in city council. Recommends Bill Perkins to that seat.
Speaker says Perkins spoke against colocations, is active in district. Staunch supporter of UFT.

Passes.

Janella Hinds—Moves resolution in support of juvenile justice reform. NY treats all youth offenders as adults after 16. HS students get caught in this. We have young people in justice system with hardened adult criminals. NYS should do better. We know this costs them opportunities.

Ashraya GuptaMORE—moves to amend—Whereas, police presence in our schools as well as punitive zero tolerance discipline policies have contributed to the disproportionate, criminalization of students of color,

Resolved, UFT will support the work of community partners like Dignity in Schools Campaign to encourage DOE to increase staffing for and provision of restorative practices in our schools.

Dignity in Schools is national coalition of parents students, educators, working against school push out. Want increase in counselors and fewer police in schools.

Kuljit AhluwaliaNew Action—first whereas could be misconstrued—there is youthful offender status in NY.

Schoor—How would you change that.

Kuljit Ahluwalia—Not all teenagers are treated as adults. Should say some, not all, because that’s legally correct.

Hinds—Youthful offender is after arrest, but initially they are treated as adults. Will take out all.

LeRoy Barr—Against amendments.  Safety agents are NYPD. If we don’t want police presence is problem, but we work closely with police dept. in training. We don’t want to live in an armed camp, but we aren’t saying we don’t want any safety agent presence. We need to use options, as in metal detectors. Sometimes they are needed, sometimes not. We want safety agents to have different relations with our students.

Second point—We’ve worked with this group, and they don’t necessarily believe in suspensions or classroom removals. We think the power should be in hands of teacher. We think there should be suspensions where necessary. Should be last resort, but a resort nonethelesss.

Not in favor of armed camps or police disrespect. Want presence, training.

Jonathan HalabiNew Action—Heartened by main motion. Glad Cuomo was pushed. Likely this will happen. Intrigued by questions about restorative justice. Discipline code changed, good to reduce suspensions, but we shouldn’t say no you can’t do it anymore. Would like to continue discussion and come up with something to increase training.

Gregg Lundahl—Has problem anytime program brought up I don’t know about, but would like to look at it. DOE did major number on our school, were no consequences for any infraction. Got to point where we were no longer in control. School erupted in violence. We did need police. We tried and did get that school back. I don’t want to say we believe all police are not productive for students.

Carmen Alvarez—Supports initial resolution. We have to understand behavioral literacy. Not about one program over other. How do you create school that understands all behavior. We have used things that worked. Supports Jonathan’s idea that we provide framework of how to move forward.

Marcus McArthurMORE—Supports amendments. Supports debate. It’s OK for us to acknowledge complexity of issues. More guns than citizens in USA and we know about violence. We understand it can spill over. Remember that often times progress we want to see requires imagination and different way to deal. I support restorative justice because it’s a solution. Shows promise in moving away from punitive discipline. OK if we challenge our members on issues. We understand we want authority, or may need it. Sometimes we can be wrong, though, and we need to be brought along.

Sterling Roberson—Speaking for resolution. Cannot say there is magic bullet. Union has history of holding DOE accountable. We have lobbied for expansion of counselors. We have provided training in prevention. Conversation must be broader. We have discussed discipline, and intervention, mediation. We appreciate amendments but our scope has to be wider. We need more services.

Stuart Kaplan—calls question.

Amendments fail.

Main resolution—passes

Mayoral committee report—LeRoy Barr—recommends endorsement, discusses committee process, recommends endorsement of Bill de Blasio.

Things are not perfect, but remember what it used to be like. As bad as things seem, we know it’s not as bad as it used to be. We have a lot of work to do. Is the mayor someone we can work with, or is someone out there who wants to move the other way? I say we need to stick with someone who’s made a commitment to improve things.

Dolores ?—very much in favor. There are things he’s already done to show he is the choice. Personally, universal pre-K important. Voiced concern against charters. Stopped school closings. Also we know political climate. Must know that here someone can support UFT positions. Asks you endorse.

Antoinette Offucio—Many same points, but when Bloomberg left we had no contracts. De Blasio made contracts with 98% of unions. Made fair contracts. Helped with evaluation system. Now we need pro-union Democrat. Refuses to drop city as sanctuary.

Marcus McArthurMORE—Also in favor. Echoes points made. De Blasio campaigned as progressive, tried to deliver. Taxing rich, affordable housing, reforming stop and frisk. City needs this right now. Ally of public ed. against charters. We need to hold him to fire to continue that fight. He’s the person who can help with things like family leave. This is opportunity to organize and engage members. Going forward we need to engage members in discussion of these issues and involve more people, raise awareness of what members think and what our priorities are. We need to organize and rally people. We need to make sure these people speak to our issues. We didn’t hear much about ed. in last presidential campaign. Now we can have that discussion.

Resolution in favor of endorsing de Blasio—passes unanimously.

We are adjourned.

education-not-deportation

Resolution in Support of Immigrant New Yorkers

In bold are amendments raised by MORE’s UFT Executive Board members from the high school division:

WHEREAS, President Trump has announced his intention to build a wall along the United States’ southern border, intensify enforcement efforts against undocumented immigrants, and ban many immigrants and refugees from majority-Muslim countries; and

 

WHEREAS, the recent increased visibility of racist and Islamophobic rhetoric has raised alarm and concern amongst our students, members, and families; and

 

WHEREAS, there are approximately 535,000 undocumented immigrants in New York City, and an estimated 345,000 public school students are the children of undocumented immigrants, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute; and

WHEREAS, New York City has historically been a beacon of hope and a gateway to opportunity for immigrants from all over the world; and

 

WHEREAS, the UFT has a long record of advocating for the safety and rights of immigrant New Yorkers, endorsing President Obama’s 2012 executive order — the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals — and having participated in the annual May Day Labor Rights, Immigrant Rights, and Jobs for All Rally for several years; and

 

WHEREAS, the UFT is in ongoing talks with the New York City Department of Education to implement a plan to bring Immigration Advisers to ensure that schools and school processes are welcoming of immigrants students and families; and

 

WHEREAS, Mayor de Blasio emphasized the City of New York’s commitment to remaining a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants in the wake of President Trump’s immigration announcements; therefore be it

 

RESOLVED, the UFT supports Mayor de Blasio’s position that New York City should be a sanctuary city; and be it further

 

RESOLVED, the City of New York should continue to keep student and immigration status information confidential; and be it further

 

RESOLVED, the City of New York should develop a plan for low-cost legal advice for immigrant families; and be it further

 

RESOLVED, New York City schools should continue to develop plans to deal with student concerns as immigration issues are issues for the entire school; and be it further

 

RESOLVED, the UFT will continue to work with the DOE and the City of New York to inform, assist, and protect immigrant families; and be it further

 

RESOLVED, the UFT will continue to hold free legal intake screenings open to its members, students and families in concert with legal advocacy groups; and be it further

 

RESOLVED, the UFT will mobilize its members in support of our immigrant and Muslim students, members and families in conjunction with our public school proud campaign.

 

 

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Hello. My name is Jim Donohue.

I’d like to start by thanking you for allowing me a few minutes to speak tonight, and I’d also like to thank Carol Harrison and Mary Atkinson from the Bronx chapter for their support in what has been a very difficult couple of weeks.

I’m an English teacher at JHS 145, where I’ve worked for the past 17 years. JHS 145 is a renewal school, and we were told (through a leak to the New York Times) that a proposal has been made to close the school at the end of the school year.

I want to share a quote with you because it precisely defines the situation my colleagues, my students, and our school community find ourselves in today. It reads as follows:

“For the past 12 years, New York City’s ‘answer’ for struggling schools was simple: warehouse our neediest students, starve the schools of support, and then close their schools if they didn’t miraculously turn around. “

As you may have guessed, that was spoken by Mr. Michael Mulgrew back in 2014 in response to Mayor de Blasio’s announcement of the Renewal school plan.

Mr. Mulgrew used the term “warehouse our neediest students.” Well, I’ve come to you tonight directly from the warehouse. How else to describe a school whose students come NOT FROM ONE OR TWO zoned elementary schools in their district, but from 94 different schools located in EVERY BOROUGH of NYC? How else to describe a school with 140 students who arrived at its doors DIRECTLY from the Dominican Republic? How else to describe a school with 53 (20% of its population) shelter students, another 50 classified as Special Needs students, and another 20 with Interrupted Formal Education? We’ve done some research. NO OTHER MIDDLE SCHOOL IN THE BRONX has demographics to match this.

Mr. Mulgrew used the term “starve the school of resources”. Well, I come to you from a place of terrible starvation. How else to describe a situation in which 140 out of 298 students are English Language Learners but had NO ESL teacher for the entire 2014/2015 school year, and only 1 this year. How else to describe a situation in which 60% of a school’s population are English Language Learners, but have NO Bilingual math teacher, NO bilingual science teacher, NO bilingual English teacher and No Bilingual Social Studies teacher? How else to describe the following absurdity: One year into the renewal program, a program that promised ADDITIONAL RESOURCES to schools like ours, the DOE allowed the Success Academy to take 18 of our classrooms, which scattered our staff and students across 3 floors of a building occupied by 4 different schools, and forced us to dismantle our computer lab in order to convert it into classroom space?

Mr. Mulgrew mentioned the closing of schools, which brings me to my true purpose tonight. After attempting to systematically starve JHS 145 to death, the DOE now calls for the school to be closed.  And I say “ATTEMPTING TO STARVE TO DEATH” because we are far from dead. Despite DOE claims that our students “FAIL” the state ELA and MATH assessments, we have data that shows otherwise.

Our students come to us reading at levels between Kindergarten and 4th grade. Do they miraculously (another term used by Mr. Mulgrew) achieve grade level scores on these tests at 145? No, they do not. What they do is move, consistently, from Kindergarten levels to 2nd grade, from 2nd to 3rd or 4th, from 3rd to 5th or 6th and so on.

Despite years of neglect, our students have won the Thurgood Marshall Junior Mock Trial Competition 8 times, more than any other school in the citywide tournament.

Our students have won the BronxWRITeS Poetry Slam more than any other school in the city, recently sharing the stage with Mayor De Blasio and Ambassador Caroline Kennedy in an exhibition at Goldman Sachs.

The DOE’s 2014-2015 School Quality Snapshot tells us that “86% of this school’s former 8th graders earned enough high-school credit in 9th grade to be on track for graduation,” a number that is nearly identical to the citywide average of 87% and better than the district average of 81%.

Our kids are some of the most vulnerable in the city, living in the poorest congressional district in the country, but they are smart and capable and worthy of respect. They are not failures.

Finally, I want to use a term that Mr. Mulgrew didn’t use. That term is DIRTY POOL. Because a full 3 weeks before the DOE’s closure proposal even becomes official, and 2 months before the PEP vote takes place, and despite the DOE’s claim that the closing has NOTHING to do with the charter school, Success Academy’s website has begun advertising for applicants to its new middle school, opening in 2017, at JHS 145. In recent weeks, Success Academy staff members have been measuring our classrooms, apparently 100% confident that the PEP will rubberstamp our demise in March.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m here to ask you for 4 things:

We ask that the UFT publicly demand that the proposal for the closing of JHS 145 be pulled from the PEP agenda.

We ask that the UFT utilize its resources in the form of media, social media, twitter, etc. speak out against this proposal.

We ask the UFT to help us move the PEP from Manhattan to the school so that the community can attend, and if that proves impossible, to supply a bus for community members to travel to the PEP.

Finally, and perhaps mosti importantly, we ask that Mr. Mulgrew come to our school to witness or participate in the student march to the District Office that we are scheduling for next week.

Thank you.

 

Please Contact

Jim Donohue              917-318-8762          donohuenyc@gmail.com

Craig Moss                914-319-1227          poet145@gmail.com

Deidre Walker           347-869-4810          deidremw@gmail.com