|Assemblyman Ryan Shortly Before M.O.B. Brought the Thunder|
Today's rally against the corporate takeover of Buffalo Public Schools was a good old fashioned (and long overdue) shot in the arm for me and I think a lot of other people who are weary and wary of the creeping creeps who've emerged as the "New Majority" of B-lo's Board of Education.
It was good to hear that so many other people are hip to the games being played behind closed doors among the NYSED friendly, wealthy insider's Caucasian Caucus.
I was glad to hear others laughing out loud at Larry the Liar Quinn's lame assertion that neither he nor any of his Brahmin associates has had any talks with charter school operators. Hearken back to school board election night as the Buffalo News reported breathlessly on Quinn sitting in an elevated table at Bacchus wine bar shoveling prawns and scallops down his gullet seated alongside Frank McGuire, the guy whose company is teaming with Paladino's to convert the Holy Angels building to a charter school. Yeah, that's who he's chilling with on election night but we are all supposed to believe that they haven't been sharing spread sheets on Lafayette, Bennett and the rest. Get real.
It was great to hear the teachers and Principal Naomi Cere from Lafayette, the kids from Lafayette with signs in Arabic and Burmese asking Can You Pass this Test?
It was good to hear someone point out that Carl Paladino a sitting board of education member is collecting over a million per year in rent from just one of the three charter schools he leases property to. I am not happy about it but I am thrilled to hear a Parent Teacher Group representative talk about it. Curious too that the Buffalo News wrote a fawning fellation of said school for Sunday's feature yet somehow neglected that tiny detail in their reportage.
I enjoyed watching idiot Dumbocrat Assemblyman Sean Ryan being eviscerated as he tried to talk by local educational loose cannon and gadfly Michael O'Bowen. Ryan didn't seem to know what to do as Michael strode toward him his trade mark top hat and monopoly character costume in full effect roaring "You are a disgrace! You don't stand for kids! How dare you stand up here!"It was a little like watching Beth Dimino of PJSTA lay into Tisch and King and tell them to resign last year during their star crossed and ill fated barnstorming of the Empire State. Phil Rumore eventually intervened to belly bump O'Bowen aside but not before Michael made his point. I truly hope the smattering of people who tried to shush him have looked into Ryan's antics on both sides of the argument to comprehend why Michael ambushed him as he did. It more than paid for my downtown parking.
I am no fan of Dumbocrat Sean Ryan's as he invited Dowager Empress Tisch here last year supposedly to prove to her that our international schools are thriving and the failing schools myth is exactly that. At least that's what NYSUT Regional Poobah Deely told me when I asked for his support in organizing a protest against Tisch showing her face on B-lo turf. He is bringing her here to show her that the failing schools story is bullshit, why protest that? Deely wrote back. But when the day came and Ryan went to say something to Tisch she interrupted him, attacked low scores of Buffalo's immigrant kids and said I know what success looks like, come to Brooklyn. So instead of putting her in her place, he got punked by Tisch and silenced like a twerpy bell hop with a wave of her imperious hand. Fortunately, loose cannon Bowen was once again on hand outside to fling monopoly money in Tisch and Bennett's faces as they scurried like rats to their CIA-ish black Suburban.
After Ryan we heard from South Buffalo blogger and political analyst Mike Blake's favorite chewtoy, NYSUT darling and Dumbocrat Tim Kennedy. Kind of comical that Phil Rumore had to introduce Kennedy as some stalwart friend of public education when any sentient being in the 716 knows Phil is a dyed in the wool Betty Jean Grantophile to the point that NYSUT's ensorsement of Kennedy and their nifty $10K donation to him last cycle likely had everything to do with Phil's eager endorsement of the current crew of stooges running NYSUT as it offered a chance to bury an axe in what remained of outgoing Prez Dick Ianuzzi's career. Ianuzzi, the story goes, is the one mainly responsible for giving the nod to Kennedy instead of Grant. Custom previously allowed the local Prez to make the call in such matters but for whatever reason, Ianuzzi put the wood to Phil and handed it to Kennedy over Rumore's objections. And while Timmy bloviated his way through a list of memorized data bullets, essentially hitting all the right notes for the assembled crowd, it was not lost on the assemblage that this SB resident may have overdone it with the bloody blarney. For all of his public education blather Tim surely hoped nobody remembers as far back as a week ago when a charter school proposal with his big fat Imprimatur all over it was shot down by NYSED. Here's a little quote about the SMART charter getting denied from our champion of public schools Timmy K: Senator Kennedy said, "The indication that we've gotten is that the application is not only viable but very strong and that the denial should not have happened, and we're trying to figure out exactly where the application went wrong and get those answers over to those folks." Mmmm yeah. I am thinking of an old Pete Seeger tune about now can you guess which one it is?
In spite of the gasbaggery and specious blarney from Ryan and Kennedy, the other speakers were highly energized, on point and eager to take the fight to the boys' club who are looking all too eager to cozy up to rookie amateur John King and privatize as much of B-Lo as they can sink their hooks into. Once the politicians were disposed of the message was loud and clear. The energy was good, the focus was 20/20 and the kids from Bennett and Lafayette were a joy to behold. We are apparently stuck with the Dumbocratic Party and NYSUT in a strangely selective symbiotic waltz. I say strangely symbiotic as it only seems to benefit the hacks who've attached themselves to teacher's unions and the hacks who serve as administrators of those unions. Double strange that the governor himself claims to be a Democrat but could give Scot Walker a run for his Republican money on any given day. I look forward to reclaiming our unions, reclaiming our schools and ridding ourselves of parasites who show up for photo ops and to collect endorsements and donations then run out and work very very hard against us. If we can keep this moving and maintain a shred of the energy I felt this afternoon in Niagara Square I believe the Rich Guys' Charter School Club may be headed for the dustbin.
If you're looking for your next fix or you missed this one you will have to attend A Forum on Corporate School Reform and a Public Vison for Public Education on Saturday November 15 at 12:30 pm. The location is the Karpeles Library Manuscript Museum 453 Porter Ave. Buffalo NY. Be There and Bring a Friend. Local educational savant Professor Mark Garrison and NYC Parent Advocate extraordinaire Leonie Hamison will share their invaluable insights into dealing with the ed reform class.