|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.