Tuesday, February 23, 2010

GEM Scares 'Em: Klein Urges Achievement First Charter School Parents to Come Out

Cross post from Ed Notes:

GEM on the radar.

This was passed on from a parent.

Of course while the charter schools are rallying at 4:30 the UFT will be holding another staged Delegate Assembly, leaving the field open. I rsvp to Courtney telling her that GEM will be there and thanking her for the plug.

The UFT is holding a Delegate Assembly tomorrow and thus won't have much of a presence unless they follow my advice and adjourn the meeting and take them all uptown to counter the pro-Klein forces. But how does the UFT organize to stop co-locations when they have their 2 charter schools occupying public schools? I was at the PS 92 charter school hearing last night and no presence from the UFT.

Thus, the Jan. 26 action at PEP looks like a one-shot deal for the UFT. Now let the courts do their thing? Rip Van Winkle time?

Note how the letter mentions GEM and uses " around grassroots. As if GEM was being organized anywhere outside of the schools. Ironically, though GEM as an organization is not involved in the UFT elections, almost every activist in GEM is running on the ICE-TJC slate in the elections against Mulgrew's Unity. So any attempts to paint the opponents of charter schools as a union front group will not work.


I wanted to invite you to be a part of an exciting and important event in the fight for NYC school reform. This coming Wednesday, February 24, 2010, the NYC Department of Education’s Panel for Educational Policy will meet to decide whether to allow public charter schools to have continued access to NYC public school buildings. In fact, one of our newest schools, Achievement First North Crown Heights / AF Apollo (Jabari Sims’s new school), is up for specific discussion and decision. As you know, the Chancellor has been incredibly supportive of high-performing charter schools and sees us as a vital part of his overall reform strategy – but there is increasing opposition to his policy of providing charters with access to public school buildings (for example, see attached literature from GEM – a “grassroots” group that is opposing charters and spreading false information). At a local hearing specific to the new AF school last week, protestors outside chanted “We don’t want you in our school!” and, as Jabari says in an email to his fellow principals pasted below, pro-charter folks were outnumbered and out-organized. The Chancellor has asked AF specifically to step up, help turn the tide, and to have a big turnout for the city-wide hearing on Wednesday night; he views it – and we agree – as one of the biggest battles to date in NYC’s overall school reform movement.

This is a case where numbers matter. Our NYC schools are organizing a big parent turnout, and we hope to have at least 200 AF parents and staff who will join with likely a thousand or more charter school supporters from around the city. It should be a heck of a night. In order to make it easier for everyone, we have arranged for a bus to leave from Waverly at 3:30 P.M. to take any AF staff (and AF Endeavor families) who are interested to the High School for Fashion Industries in Manhattan where there is a planned rally for charter school supporters at 4:30 P.M., followed by the hearing itself at 6:00 P.M. Our buses will leave to return to Waverly around 8:15 P.M. (arriving before 9:00) – but it will undoubtedly be a long night of testimony for anyone who wants to stay later and enjoy all the fireworks.

If you are able, please join us with us. Please RSVP to courtneyarcher@achievementfirst.org.

What: Meeting of the Panel of Education Policy

When: Wednesday, February 24, 6:00 p.m.

Bus Departs Waverly at 3:30 P.M.

Charter School Supporters Rally at 4:15 P.M.

Hearing at 6:00 P.M.

Where: The High School of Fashion Industries

225 West 24th Street, Manhattan

It should be a big and important night. We’re fired up, and ready to lend AF’s strong voice to the Chancellor’s reform effort. Please join us if you can.

Many Minds, One Mission.

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