Teachers did not take questions from reporters after the City Hall press conference, and FES executive director, Jeremiah Kittredge, did not take questions from reporters. NY1's Lindsey Christ reported that some teachers were given guidance on how to speak with reporters, including, "reporters often take sound bites, often out of context, and you could easily be quoted saying something in print you didn't actually mean in the way it was portrayed."
The rally itself still looked similar to the numerous other events FES has held.
Teachers were given the same free T-shirts (blue, emblazoned with the words "teacher activist") that their students typically wear at such events, along with sturdy-looking white tote bags. Rally marshals in neon green shirts handed out water bottles and hibiscus doughnuts from Dough, a popular Brooklyn bakery.
Teachers were also given matching blue selfie sticks and encouraged to tweet their pictures with the FES hashtag #DontStealPossible, and asked to pose in front of a banner reading "Teachers for Equality." Teachers formed a long line in front of the banner to collect their printed pictures.
FES has released a series of anti-de Blasio ads in the last several weeks, one of which critics have called racist.
Highly controlled, highly coordinated, expensive and no questions from the press - that's how these Families for Excellent Schools events go.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew, in a statement in response to the rally, noted that given the teacher turnover rate at charter schools, one-third of yesterday's rally attendees won't be teaching at their charter school next year.
That's a pretty apt response.
No school system that controls its teachers and puts them through the burn and churn the way many charters do is sustainable or workable for the school system at large.
One final point - it's a shame FES executive director Kittredge stopped taking questions from the press.
He did such a great job of it last March at that Albany rally with Ashanti.