May 20, 2008

TAGNYC Statement at P.E.P. Meeting of May 19, 2008

Every month, the Board of Education, which now calls itself the Panel on Educational Policy, meets in public hearings. The public is invited to speak. Anyone desiring to address the Panel must sign up prior to the beginning of the meeting and is allowed two minutes to speak during the Public Comment portion of the meeting.
TAGNYC has been a constant presence at these meetings. We are unyielding in our
criticism of Bloomberg/Klein’s treatment of teachers and misuse of the educational system for political advantage. We take our message straight to the top- Klein is always in attendance.
Below is our statement delivered at the P.E.P. meeting of May 19, 2008.

The P.E.P. meeting of April 14th was truly amazing. Amazing in the eyes of the Teacher Advocacy Group NYC for three reasons:
First reason: The chilling testimony given by the psychologists working in the NYC schools. Their testimony was absolute in its indictment of the Mayor, Chancellor, and P.E.P.’s knowing disregard for the thousands upon thousands of special needs students of NYC. It proves the truth that most teachers know: The past seven years have not been about the kids.
Second reason: That the press did not pick up the psychologists’ stories and keep them on the front page of every newspaper in the City. But then, the Bloomberg/Klein administration did not issue the psychologists’ stories as a press release to the compliant and seemingly defeated press!
Thirdly, at the end of the meeting, a panel member told the TAG representative that her manner was not conducive to winning over the Panel. Perhaps you misunderstand why we come to these meetings. As representatives of the Teacher Advocacy Group NYC we are not here to woo, but to stand before this mike to tell you again and again that academic fraud is rife within the schools; to tell you that testing is a tool for individuals’ political advancement but it is dumbing down the students; to tell you that the credit recovery program is an affront to teachers and to the students who strive. To tell you that the credit recovery program, along with the outrageous scoring of Regents, along with organizing students at the end of the year to ‘make up’ mandated science labs by having them copy completed labs, along with giving credit to students for classes they did not take, along with all the other academic fraud, is social promotion, is pushing kids through, is teaching our students that lying is the way to get ahead in the world. Maybe that is the business model - a model not known for positive character formation.
Klein (Keeper of the Clock) Thank you. Your two minutes are up