Thursday, May 21, 2015

Our Great Friends the Dumbocrats Do One Thing Right and Three Things Wrong.



Seriously? 

Can anyone tell me whose idea it was for Regent Collins to invite Lord Byron to take over Buffalo Public Schools? I'm wracking my brain to come up with an answer but I'm drawing a big fat blank. Remember friends, Collins was the political favorite of Carl Heastie and all the insider Dumbocrats who promised to take care of us by sending Old Bob Bennett out to sea on that Lake Erie ice floe we picked out for him on his 120th Nameday. John Licata was somehow seen as less desirable than Collins even though he served for years as the only sane and sentient member of a Board of Ed whose portrait should have been painted by Hieronymous Bosch. The Dumbocrats unloaded Regentus Flatulentus but brought in another liver maculate Septuagenarian who supports high stakes testing, thinks Common Core is the bees knees and now opines that handing over the school system to Mayor Squarepants is just what the doctor ordered. Wait, whut? Do Regents in New York have to be walking the razor's edge with senility or is it possible that a person under age 70 could make a sound decision for kids and education?  Just asking. 

And it gets better. In the meantime, Marc $350K NYSUT Campaign Donation Pannepinto along with Tim Right to Life Until Cuomo Says Otherwise Kennedy and Skippy Bitchslapped By Meryl Tisch Ryan have all flung themselves atop the Byronization pyre. Again, I remind both of my readers and you too number three if you're paying attention, these are Democrats -- you know the great allies of teachers, the ones who automatically get endorsed because everyone knows the Republicans are on the side of ownership and management but the Democrats are on the side of the workers. Right? Isn't that how it goes? Yeah I know, it used to go that way and if you read Salon the other day they even talked about The Right attacking public education. I love Salon and they have been getting the charter/privatization debacle right longer than anyone else. But even they fail to note that this is not exclusively a right wing, Republican attack. For years now, the Neo-Liberal White House, the Neo Liberal Governor of NY and all of their corporate dependent Dumbocrat pals have been raping unions, attacking teachers and fellating hedge funders and others who show up with a checkbook and say  "Dance,bitch." Watch Pannepinto, Ryan and Kennedy shake their pasty white asses while NYSUT makes it rain teacher dollars. And after the money is tucked into their G-strings they shuffle off and do whatever the hell they please. Including handing over control of the Buffalo Schools to a marginally capable mayor who ran unopposed and appointed politically wired cronies to the top spots in the Police and Fire Departments. 

 Pannepinto and Kennedy both voted NO on the Cuomo anti teacher budget but quickly erased any good feelings a teacher might have towards them by tying themselves to this Mayoral Control bill. Skippy Ryan, another of Arthur Goldstein's aptly named "Heavy Hearts Club" voted YES to Cuomo's budget yet thinks he can weasel his way around his voting record now by acting like he gives a rat's ass about Buffalo Schools. Fact is none of these clowns huddled with anyone I know and said Hey BTFers, we think we can outflank the Board Majority by turning the Board over to Byron Brown, what do you all think of that? What concerns do you have about it? What suggestions do you have for us about how we might go about it? Nope. Not one word with anyone I know who teaches kids in a classroom all day. Nobody had any input into any of this. They call themselves our elected representatives and pay obnoxious amounts of lip service to the concept of representing their constituents. But who exactly are they representing with this maneuver except themselves and their fucking useless Democratic Party pals? 

I'm saying as far as I know this crew had no conversations with anyone in a classroom. What I can't say for sure though is whether or not they had conversations with anyone in NYSUT or any other union that might have an interest at stake here. If that turned out to be the case and we learn that someone above the rank and file whiteboard teacher grunt gave Collins, Kennedy, Pannepinto and Skippy and wink and a nod to go ahead and push for this, we'd have to take a long hard look at who we're allowing to "represent" us. It's one thing for Albany based hacks to sell us out and act on their own with no regard for our concerns. But if anyone connected to our own union in any way signed off on this we'd be in a very dire situation. I'm hoping nobody did but it's hard not to wonder. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

It's Official. More Rumore.



Votes are counted and it's going to be another term for Phil Rumore as President of BTF. My guys with Renew did not win and of course I am bummed but not defeated. The idea of BTF operating as anything other than an extension of Phil is a little less of a strange scary fantasy to a lot of people now, moreso than a year ago or even 6 months ago I'll wager. And it's really not my M.O. to go looking for that slack jawed moon faced silver effing lining to shit but I think there are some reasons we'll all see before long why things went as they did.

For starters I'd like to be able to send the guy off with a party and a big thank you and even a crappy Timex like the important people in the private sector are known for doing. I'll bet Lars Quinn has a drawer full of Casios for all the times he's been shitcanned, errrr,  righty-sized, errr, replaced. So maybe in two years we'll have put some of what we learned to work. Maybe in two years we'll be toasting Phil Rumore instead of feeling like we had to have him whacked to get the chair away from him if you'll indulge me a Sopranos reference. It felt unseemly that it had to go that way, that there was not going to be any hand off of the torch or any up and coming pool of new leadership we could choose from. Just taking the guy out because there was no other option was not what I saw in my William Glasser Total Quality World. (Christ on a bike, remember all those in services?)

And while we were campaigning and counting our votes, look what the Floundering Five did -- they hired their S.O.B. $350/hr lawyer to screw us for every fucking cent they can get and strip us of everything but the enamel in our teeth. This guy has wood for the Triborough, like he sits in bed at night wishing he could repeal it and see union people lose every shred of self worth they've ever collectively bargained for. With that on the rear burner for now, let's wonder aloud what ne'erdowell reformy hacks are going to slither into town straight outta da Broad Foundation's unaccredited school for slimeballs hacks and shitheads looking to be King for a Year or So? Do you think nobody's told those 5 dopes where to look for a Super who'll be simpatico to the corporate ed reform/privatization agenda? Do you think that perky little privatizing cheerleader of the reformers Katie Campos her annoying self, hasn't emailed all of her reformy pals to tell them about the opening in B-Lo? And did the Bflo Nooze Editorial Outhouse not suggest with a perfectly straight face that the Board should be sending smoke signals to Reformy John King to get his own personal short list of preferred Privatizing Scumbag Superintendents? Oh they are busy busy busy. Don't kid yourself otherwise.

I guess my point is it was fun to fling a few mudballs and vent. It served a purpose to question giving Phil yet another kick at the edu-can. I honestly believe some good will come of people speaking up and making their voices heard. And as things stand I think the best thing we can so is make sure we have it all out of our system. While we took a little break to air some family laundry and file a few grievances of our own, it's important to note that the people looking to screw us to the floor never stopped trying to find new ways to do so. If we ever needed the solidarity so many of us like to talk about, it's now. And if there's someone you're not feeling real great about who's wearing the same BTF badge as you, maybe this might be a good time to ask yourself just how important your differences are. God knows if you didn't see this one coming across the Skyway you might want to go get your lasiks surgery before we lose it: We'd best hang together or we're surely going to hang separately.

Solidarity.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Board Majority Artifacts Posted Here


Well fellow scavengers it's been a frantic week of scanning and uploading that post test you had crumbled up in a moldy wad at the bottom of your gym bag. But we deserve it don't we? I mean if NYSED and the people who never set foot in a public school classroom think we need to prove that we're not playing Words with Friends and Farmville all day on the public dime then dammit I think the least we can do is send them a few shartifacts to validate our existence. In case you didn't know there was some kind of log jam this afternoon at about 2:00 and I'm wondering if too many people counted on the system to handle the 4:00 deadline. My colleague was trying to post some quiz scores on Infinite Campus and couldn't even get to Finite Campus. Here's hoping. And while I was at it I dug up some artifacts for the Board Majority to justify their miserable existence too. Enjoy. 

Artifact 1.1 Larry Quinn's Bar Tab



Artifact 7.4 Jay McCarthy's Guide to Using the School Board to Further a Political Career


Artifact 6.2 Hello Patti's Martini Glasses for When the Boys Take Her Out Drinking


Paul Hastings
4 months ago
I am surpised people have not looked into Jim Sampson's past more. According to his resume on http://www.ecfsa.state.ny.us/D..., Sampson states he moved the agency from a $2 millon deficit to a $1.5 million surplus But according to agency financials online the agency runs close to $1 million loss every year while Sampson was CEO. Glad he lied on his resume. Now this report comes out and NYS taxpayers get to learn that they paid for his car and membership to local social clubs. He needs to resign from the school board!!!

Artifact 2.2 Comment on James Sampson's Thievery from Gateway Longview in Buffalo News

Artifact 6.4 Carl Paladino's Crazy Excellent Emails to Pals

 Oh and did anyone else find out yesterday that instead of attaching 1 element to each standard as we were told earlier that we were really expected to attach 3?  Oh boy it's been a week of excellence and the Board hired a reformy lawyer who has lots of grit to see what kind of buggery they can perpetrate on us contractually. So far they've shot themselves in the foot with every one of their hamfisted maneuvers. Let's just stand back as  the buckshot flies. Watch your Weejuns Larry!









Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Look Who Just Tried to Pop His Head Out!

This Mofo 


"As the air to a bird or the sea a fish," writes William Blake,  "so is contempt to the contemptible."

With that in mind I can't allow an attempted surfacing of Assemblyweasel Sean Ryan to pass unmolested. As I'm sure you recall it was Ryan who escorted Dragon Empress Tisch and now deposed Regentus Flatulentus Ole Bob Bennett into School #45 where Tisch held up an imperious palm and demanded silence from the dithering oaf  Ryan who'd tried to say something nice about Buffalo. The scenario had the air of a Prole being muzzled with a withering glare by a bureaucrat from The Ministry of Information or The Cowardly Lion being bullied into silence by "the man behind the curtain" depending on your frame of reference. Either way it was a disgusting show of spinelessness from yet another of our great "friends" we keep making it rain for with our VoteCope funds.

Surely you recall a pretty large handful of local bigmouths sat up on their haunches when it was announced that the cigarette heiress (by injection yes but still) was bringing her act to town. I emailed our great ally and stalwart NYSUT hand Monsieur Deeley asking for reinforcements from his ranks to show up and at least hurl a few raspberries at Tisch or heckle her with signs and a bullhorn. 

The appearance was to take place during school hours when jerks like us are all busy being ineffective, shopping on our iphones and putting our feet up while our students hemorrhage and fail in the aisles. Some other souls emailed Phil Rumore and Edie asking for similar backup and bodies to make a show against Tischy, informing her that she is not welcome here in the rain or on a train or in a box or with a fox. The others were met with crickets from BTFHQ on Porter Ave and I was chided by Big Mike for being something of a dolt. Ryan is going to show Tisch that all of the talk about Buffalo failing is bullshit, said the VoteCoper4Life. "Why would we want to protest that?" And silly me I thought he had me. Shows what I know I think I said to the ceiling but suspecting I wasn't really all that dumb and the truth remained to be seen.

Sure enough, the only resistance the two of them faced in Buffalo had nothing to do with anyone connected to our union affiliates lifting a damned finger. Instead it was anti-privatization gadfly and educational loose cannon Mad Myke OBowen on the front lines flinging invective along with fistfuls of monopoly cash in their yellowing bridgework calling them out for betraying our kids and selling them out to Pearson.

But I digress.

Last we heard of the muzzled one he was timidly squeaking up to vote a big cowardly, salad tossing YES to Sheriff Andy Cuomo's piece' d' resistance of anti teacher pogroms aka the 2015 state budget. Yes, Roquefort Ryan was one of Sargeant Cuomo's Heavy Hearts Club Band described so eloquently by Arthur Goldstein of NYCeducator.com. They all held their noses, wept a little into their hankies, several fainted and were given mint juleps and let out of their heavy hoop skirts but in spite of their acute cardio gravatus they all managed to get in line like good little mice and do as they were told by sociopath Governor Andrew Cuomo, Esq. 

Apparently this little mouse doesn't think anyone here in B-Lo is paying any attention to the way he's voting. He should know that teachers study behavior and learn a lot from it even if it's the from the simplest of invertebrates. And now that he's embarrassed himself being shushed by the shrewish little rich broad and been bullied at the voting box by Mean Andy, Assemblyweasel Ryan thinks it's a good time to come up from the root cellar and declare how happy and a little proud he is that the wind stopped blowing.

WBFO.org quotes Ryan as he questions the Wealthy White Men's Advocacy Group aka The Board Majority on how they plan to search for a new Superintendent. Actually he questions the entire board but we all know the 2FacedDumbocrat seeking donations from gullible teacher types always takes the suck up route which in this case would involve siding with the minority. Here is what came out of him:


"The inability of the district to conduct a proper search gives me pause and makes me wonder -- can the board actually conduct its basic functions?", said Ryan.
As for mayor control of the city school district, Ryan is still not saying if he would support mayoral control of the district. "It's a question mark now. There's no details being provided. It's too broad and it's conceptually -- it can mean anything," stated Ryan. Ryan says proposed legislation by Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples Stokes for mayoral control has not been field in Albany."   

Once again Ryan comes out cheering for a search, the equivalent of nominating the Pope for Man of the Year honors in the College of Cardinals. Then he chickenshits on saying where he stands on Byronic Control of the School Board. Finally, more of trying to tie himself to something positive by saying nobody in Albany has acted on Peoples Stokes resolution to Byronize the Board. I guess it could be worse, it could be a resolution to Bryonize the Board which many with the sense God gave them see as one in the same.

To summarize: Can it Skippy. Nobody needed your 2 cents on the Superintendent search as we all know what Lars, Carl the Churl and Gateway Jim, aka "Fatman" are about. So why don't you twiddle on back to Albany and see if you can find Scary Meryl. Ask her for your ball back since she stuck it in her purse when Mad Mike powdered her nose with a handful of orange $500.00 bills as she was clambering into her black Suburban. We need less of guys like Squeaky trying to crowd the stage, grab the mic and spew empty promises and applause lines at us then betraying us before the cock even crows once. If you can't be a man Monday morning Assemblyman, don't come slithering around on a Friday afternoon thinking a couple of free drinks is going to make everyone forgive and forget. We watch how you vote and you voted like a coward. Aint nobody forgetting that any time soon. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Just When You Thought It Was Safe for Carl to Be Carl Again, This Happens!

With Friends Like These Who Needs Enemies. Am I Right?


Just when the circus of incompetence that has marked Carl Paladino's tenure as a member of the Board of Education seemed to be settling down it looks like new storm clouds are gathering. I shouldn't be surprised by this of course as Carl's term on the Board has been an endless volley of missteps, explosions, accusations and mantrums since Day One. So let's just say the beat of Carl being Carl goes on: Seems the guy who was Carl's driver during his ill fated $10 million campaign for governor, a guy named Russ Thompson, is married to a lady named Jul Thompson who runs a Tea Party flavored blog that has accused the guys who released Carl's horsey porn and racist emails of fraudulently creating the emails themselves. Yeah. That must be what happened.

Why at this late date, some 5 years after the fact would a Tea Partier with ties to Paladino take a run at a local blogger who moonlights as a lawyer and who did actually blog for WNYMedia.net, the web site that released the emails, but was not the guy who released them? I'm not that clever but if you are please find my email on this blog and enlighten me. Or post it in a comment I promise I won't moderate you.

To make a short story of this mess is a tricky business but suffice it to say Carl's friends -- whatever their motives might have been -- in accusing BuffaloPundit aka Alan Bedenko of fraud appear to have shoved their friend Carl into yet another public relations minefield if not one with legal ramifications too. As Bedenko states in his piece on BuffaloPublic.com Carl Paladino is also a lawyer. When these emails were made public Carl had all kinds of time to make claims if he had any to make. Instead, being the lawyer and semi savvy businessman that he is, Paladino allowed his campaign manager to handle it saying there were a lot of questions about the authenticity and source of these emails and he really wasn't even going to discuss them. Period. No finger pointing at Bedenko, no threats or promises or baseball bats. Just that the campaign was not going to dignify these things with a comment or idle speculation.  Here is the link to Alan's piece on ThePublic.

And now that Carl is currently and endlessly going toe to toe with an African American female caucus on the Board of Education trading emails and insults on a regular basis I can't help but wonder how it's going to play out if Bedenko has to sue Carl's friends for slandering him and accusing him of fraud. There is no way this thing gets revisited without all of the previously released porn and racist laden missives being brought to light for everyone's perusal --AGAIN!

You'd really have to wonder with this sideshow going on in the background what kind of an endless distraction it would create for Board members who already can't be in the same room for ten minutes before somebody MF's somebody on the other team. If nothing else a lawsuit would provide a treasure trove of material for the women to fling at Carl when things started to heat up as they always seem to do.  I have to wonder if one of his own majority members would have the nerve to take him aside and ask him to fall on his sword for the greater good. Or "for the good of the kids" as people like to say when they really mean something else entirely.

Not that I can see Quinn or Sampson showing the stones to confront a guy of Carl's temperament -- Sampson almost got jawed by Sharon Belton Cottman last night fer crissakes -- but maybe they could send Hello Patti or Hey Bartender on a suicide mission to give Carl the message that he should quietly stand down for the good of -- the children. In a normal universe a friend or associate would handle this awkward bit of business. But when egos like those of the Board Majority are involved and their world is compromised of pissants and elephants -- with them being the elephants -- it's the next closest thing to impossible for anyone to reason with them. They're not too different than terrorists in that they only bow to superior force.

Maybe this is where Dr. Nevergold's "Fifth Vote" enters the equation again creating sufficient uproar and protest that Carl is left with no other option than to say "It's just not working out as I planned," and returning to his business ventures. We've seen stranger things already from this board so who's to say where the latest twist will take us? Stay tuned.

Monday, May 4, 2015

B-Lo Edscene Makes Its Long Awaited Endorsement for BTF President

Team Renew Has Met the Challenge and Earned the Right to Take BTF Into the Post Rumore Era


If you've ever read the Buffalo Spree interview with Phil Rumore from a few years ago you'll know why now is the time to vote for  Renew BTF. Asked if he's grooming a successor Phil responds "No. I wasn't groomed..." and continues on to explain essentially that anyone who wants this job has to grab it. I think when this interview took place Phil was in a pretty safe spot where there was really no threat to his incumbency on the immediate horizon. Well friends, times have changed. Team Renew is ready to take the torch and thank Phil for his years of dedicated service.

A lot of teachers are unhappy that we are still working from a ten year old contract and many of them find fault with Phil for this. I'm not exactly sure what good will come of trying to work anything out with this board as it sits unless we're eager to work longer days, longer years, receive less pay and have our benefits stripped. I'm not terribly eager to embrace any of this but I guess it's a fair question to ask what exactly has Phil been doing for ten years to get us a new agreement?

Another area of concern to a lot of us is the inundation of charter schools in Buffalo. Currently, Buffalo has more of them per capita than any other urban area in the state. I read a thank you note in the Provocator from a charter school last issue expressing their appreciation to BTF for a cash donation. A what? Our union donated cash to a charter school? Seriously? When Eva Moskowitz can raise $9 million in one night at a New York fundraiser I have to ask why my union feels inclined to throw its limited resources in the direction of a charter school. Not only is BTF under Phil's direction failing to fight the spread of charters and standing by as they pop up out of the ground like cartoon moles. We are giving them money too?

When Teach for America announced plans to metastasize into Buffalo Public Schools it seemed Phil didn't really know what TFA was. His response to questions in the Buffalo News gave the impression that he'd been caught off guard. Phil's solution to TFA insinuating its way into Buffalo and essentially putting highly trained professional teachers out of work was to make them all BTF members. How that accomplishes anything to stem TFA's spread and restrict their ability to put greenhorns with a 5 week crash course of "Urban Teaching for Dummies" escapes many of us. Again the spectre of Robert Wilmers reared its ugly patrician head when the M&T CEO who brought us human Ebola virus James Williams opened up his bank vault and offered to pay the first year of TFA's stipends and after that the district could pick up their tab. Same as any drug dealer looking to hook new customers, the first hit is always on the house. Then you pay. And pay. And... Some of us know qualified ESL teachers who weren't hired in our district yet doe-eyed 5 week wonders from TFA were hired instead. If this encroachment would have been met head on from the very outset we might not be here watching them plan to expand and add more untrained neophytes for next year. But here we are with nobody doing anything about it and nobody groomed to step into the breach.

It's hard to sit here and trash Phil Rumore. So I won't. He's had his moments, there's no denying it. But times have changed and the fact that members can't even email their union president directly let alone talk to him on Facebook or read his tweets speaks to the situation at hand. While one's  internet facility is no measure of character it's a good sign that the man's time is up when you realize he has made no attempt to embrace the multiple modes of communication every other union president uses as automatically as we use a light switch. Can you see Karen Jennings of CTU not being reachable by email, twitter or FB? Can you imagine Weingarten if she was kicked off Twitter for even an hour? She's a subject for another day and not the best example I know but reality dictates leaders need to keep up. That Phil's members cannot contact him by email is more than just a symbolic expression. It's part of the pattern that shows he's out of touch.

In recent months I've been awed by the relentless efforts of Team Renew. I think before there even was a Team Renew a group of hard core dedicated teachers were making it their business to build bridges with community groups while advocating for teachers and for our students. When Pat Foster and Lafayette teachers brought their immigrant students to a board meeting to share amazing stories of resilience and determination it dawned on me that things that haven't happened around here in some time were now happening on a regular basis. Students were speaking up against seeing their schools closed. Parents were showing at board meetings and speaking their hearts. Community groups were joining with teachers and parents to make their voices heard. A vocal, highly energized movement was taking shape in Buffalo and it seemed to me that that a short list of teachers could be found in the middle of it time after time.

One day Kevin Gibson was destroying the lie that Tapestry is a high performing charter who should be allowed to steal Bennett High School. Another day Gibson's getting tossed by a cop because Larry Quinn didn't want a union guy speaking at "his" meeting.  Pat Foster was organizing a Saturday afternoon  at Karpeleswith Mark Garrison to discuss the many headed hydra of corporate ed reform. Mel Holden was speaking as a parent and a teacher expressing her school in good standing's solidarity with those dubbed "failing" by the ed reform crowd. Kristen Konrad Mendoza was addressing the wealthy white men's advocacy group also known as the board majority putting them on notice that teachers and parents and the community were watching and the majority was not going to give orders.

Someone asked me recently if I'd ever considered throwing my hat into the ring as a candidate and I could only laugh. There's no way I can keep up with those four, I answered. The right people are in place and they have been nailing it day after day week after week and month after month. This team is solid.

A professor at UB who was also an accomplished musician once explained to my class that a band has to have everyone in it playing their instrument at a high level with nobody banging a tambourine on their leg looking up at the ceiling. I've always kept that metaphor in mind when it comes to any group working together. These four are a band and I trust them to lead BTF into the Post Rumore era whatever it may bring. If you study the Chicago Teacher's Union's history of the past few years the similarities are striking. Teachers' rights first then building connections to the community. If you take care of teachers and look out for the community you end up with a united front against whatever the ed reform crowd has to throw at you. So far they've tried to throw quite a bit and I believe the efforts of Pat, Mel, Kevin and Kristen have met the challenge and thrown it right back at them. I pay pretty close attention to the B-Lo Ed Scene. If I don't know who does? Vote for Team Renew and let's keep this thing going. Solidarity.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Democracy Tramples Ruling Class at Board Meeting. Several Egos Bruised

Proposed Portable Board of Ed Meeting Table


Democracy has struck like a bolt of lightning out of a clear blue sky in Buffalo New York. Board Majority rubber stamp Superintendent appointee to be, James Weimer has removed his hat from the ring because it was made public his wife had worked for Carl Paladino. Why he thought this wouldn't be mentioned escapes most of us but I suspect he was told it wouldn't matter and hoped for the best. Maybe in 1915 you could hope that but in 2015 you can count on your overdue library books being mentioned if someone doesn't want you to get the job.

In the aftermath of the strike, Board of Ed Majority members are being treated for their injuries at nearby taverns. Most notably burnt was Lars Quinn who was barely able to point a circling finger at the heavens croaking repeatedly "Outside forces, outside forces..." In the long held and miserably disingenuous tradition of the ed reform caste Sir Larry of Quinn is trying desperately to direct blame at the teacher's union and "a parent group..." for causing Wednesday's lightning strike. He claimed too that these adults were engaging in the dirtiest tricks you could think of to derail Weimer's appointment. I guess pointing out the conflict of interest when your partner Paladino tries to hire the husband of a former employee to serve as your puppet in City Hall is officially a dirty trick. This coming from the guy who took Tapestry Charter officials inside Bennett High to show them what they'd be getting if he could swing the deal without telling anyone he was doing it. Larry, Please.

Well, Lars, as usual you have it twisted. Some teachers union people held a short gathering beforehand and they actually had some people from the state union there in body but none of them said very much. The talk centered around the Teacher's Contract. It was actually one of the more perfunctory shows of unionism this bloggist has ever witnessed. Afterwards the BPTO ( the shadowy "parents group" of note) plugged in and allowed disenfranchised parents to speak. This is where it heated up. This is where the ions started charging and the gathering overhead took shape and motion.

 It was parents, Larry, pissed off mothers and fathers most of them minorities, who couldn't bear the idea that they were not going to have any say in the direction of their children's public education. I'll say it again : No say in their own children's public education. They weren't going to have any say Larry because your buddy and fellow millionaire Carl Paladino at the last board meeting was asked point blank by a mother if parents would have any say in the selection of the next Superintendent. Your friend and partner Carl Paladino looked her dead in the eye and said "No." You could hear all the air being sucked out of the room when he said it.

You'll see the parallel here in Quinn's comments and those from various State Ed and Test and Punish apparatchiks. They feverishly insist that unions are behind every kid's opt out and they are trying to make the same claim about the raucous unfettered expressions of democracy expressed at Wednesday's board meeting. They have to pin this on unions, it's their only hope. Because admitting that parents have had it up to here with their top down arbitrary power plays and other nefarious bullshit would be too big of an admission of their gross incompetence as stewards of the public trust. For all the talk we've heard especially from Carl the Churl about "incompetence" -- it's his mote juste in describing former Super Pamela Brown -- it strikes me that someone needs to start using the "I" word when the current Board Majority is mentioned.

 What exactly have they accomplished to date with the benefit of their majority other than going all John Henry on the divisions that existed before Lars and Hello Patti were swept into office with the help of a tsunami of free drinks at Doc Sullivan's? What exactly has this Gang of Five accomplished? I say Five because I'm feeling generous. Board watchers and students of the game understand that there are only three players on the board here. Hey Bartender McCarthy is along to repeat Sampson's grunts and gavels while Hello Patti the cute little kitten sans mouth keeps the olives and umbrellas fresh in the man fellow's drinks for them. Jay and Patti vote as instructed and Jay hopes to cash in his Board chips for a seat on the Common Council where he can harrumph and yell See here! See here! after Rev. Pridgen speaks.

And just for the sake of Larry Quinn and his "outside forces" it was revealed yesterday by a newspaper not on the ed reform's top ten list that lobbyists for charter schools spent more money than any other group in recent elections including the one that reinstalled sociopath and shithead Andrew Cuomo as governor. You can read it HERE. Recall when Reformy John King, Dragon Empress Tisch and now Deposed Regentus Flatulentus Bob Bennett went on their "I'm Not Listening Tour" fingers jammed firmly in both ears around the state. When their tour was uphended and overwhelmed in much the same fashion as this this board meeting Wednesday, the most pissed off and raucous people in the angry crowd were parents. With his characteristic petulance you'll recall King tried to call off the whole enterprise blaming the fierce resistance on "Special Interests." To admit they've enraged parents is beyond the ken of the Ed Reform Brahmin. They simply cannot go there. Because admitting you've failed and infuriated Mom and Dad and made pawns of their kids with your profit driven policies is simply more truth than the Ed Reform Caste is built to withstand.

I hear they're looking for a place to display Michael Morgulis's iconic wooden "City of No Illusions" table. How about we put it one wheels and take it to wherever the Board of Education meetings are held. The Board majority wants to create some illusions about where this lightning strike came from. Outside sources they say, unions, they say. The Board Majority have tried to create the illusion that the schools are theirs to do with as they please. Sadly for the Wealthy White Men's Advocacy Group, residents of The City of No Illusions are not following the script. There are too many parents paying attention now for Carl and Lars and Co. to wheel and deal in comfort. Buffalo Public Schools remain Buffalo Public Schools.

Our Schools. We Decide.