Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cruella de Black Hears It From The Crowd

And puts her foot in her mouth once again!

New schools chancellor Cathie Black got an education in rowdiness at her first education policy meeting.

Black was repeatedly interrupted by boos and catcalls by the roughly 200 parents, students and teachers assembled in the Brooklyn Technical High School Wednesday night.

She managed to plow her way through a four-minute prepared speech but later was taunted by parents waving condoms in the air, in reference to her unpopular joke last week that "birth control" might solve downtown Manhattan's school overcrowding crisis.

"We know that we need to help those who need it most," Black told Wednesday night's crowd.

"Then why do you want to close all those schools?" called out one of the many teachers who came from one of the 26 schools slated for closure by the Education Department.

Panel for Educational Policy chairman Tino Hernandez warned the crowd to conduct themselves "with decorum."

Black sat mostly stone-faced through the more than four-hour meeting. When she responded to the one direct question she received from long-time panel member Patrick Sullivan, she referred to him as "Mr. Cunningham."

Scores of students and teachers from the John Jay campus in Park Slope came to protest the department's decision to put an elite school into the building, which houses mostly poor and mostly black and Latino students.

In a rare example of a principal speaking out publicly against department policy, Jill Bloomberg, of Secondary School for Research, said that the placement of Millennium Brooklyn was an example of putting the interests of upper income white families above those of low-income families of color.

When she went a few seconds over her allotted time, the panel turned off the sound on Bloomberg's microphone. She finished her speech by shouting and led the crowd in a chant, "Integration, yes; segregation, no."

John Jay students and parents are outraged that extra money will be provided to the deteriorating campus only if Millennium is placed in the building.

Several students also piped up.

"You are saying that our school isn't good enough for Park Slope residents," said Kwaesi Laguer, 16, an 11th grader at the Secondary School for Law on the John Jay campus. "Why don't you use the money to help make our schools better?"

The panel voted in favor of moving Millennium into the John Jay campus with 10 members voting in favor, two abstaining and none opposed.

Ah, yes - calling PEP member Patrick Sullivan "Mr. Cunningham."

Perhaps she thought she was on a Happy Days episode?

Aaaaayyy, what's up, Mr. C!!!!

Or maybe those bottles in front of her were full of vodka and gin, not water?

In any case, the policies are the same with Cruella in charge as they were when Herr Klein was in charge - starve traditional schools of funds, hand money to politically connected schools and/or charters, tune out what teachers, principals and parents have to say.

People were waving condoms at Ms. Black last night, mocking her for her comments about birth control as the solution for school overcrowding.

Next PEP, she ought to be showered with streams of toilet paper for all the crap she and her boss bring to the system.

And for the fact that she looks shit-faced at the meeting.

Uh, bartender, I'll have another drink - and make it a double!


  1. I actually do not think it was appropriate for her to be booed while she is speaking. While I completely understand that what she was saying may be strongly opposed by many people, it does not show respect when someone is booed in public.
    It kind of makes the 'booing person' look a little petty.

  2. Normally I would agree with you, Miss Elphaba. Adding more negativity to an already overly negative situation is a recipe for disaster.

    But to be honest, these people don't care to hear anybody else. The best emblem is when people were trying to tell Klein their concerns at a past PEP and he was on his Blackberry. That infuriated people bit it really symbolized the whole corporate ed movement and how they see the "people."

    Black is from the same place. She was reading cue cards yesterday. They gave her the corporate ed script to read and she dutifully read it. But she was not interested in saying anything new, not interested in hearing what those people at the meeting wanted to say to her and has made it clear that the policies under her are the same as they were under Klein.

    So when a dialogue is clearly a sham, sometimes it's good to react with mockery and derision. Ms. Black, given all the stupid things she has said and all the damaging policies she intends to pursue, is not deserving of anything else.

    It's kinda like in the movie Animal House when the trial is rigged against Delta and the frat responds by mocking coughing "Blowjob! Blowjob!" while the rigged verdict is being read. I know that's kind of a silly example to use, but it really fits.

    I wish we could have a more productive dialogue, but unfortunately the ed deform side - from Klein to Rhee to Black to Duncan to Gates to Bloomberg to Obama - have made it clear they are NOT interested in hearing ANYTHING anybody else has to say. They think they have the answers and they're going to do what they want. So might as well cough "Snowjob! Snowjob!" when they're talking...

  3. Miss Elphaba, It is inappropriate for the PEP members, the chancellor, and the DOE to consistently turn a deaf ear to parents, students, teachers, and entire communities. Therefore, the booing is essential to draw attention to the central issues. The agendas of parents, students, and the community are a far cry from the agendas of PEP and the DOE: close schools and punish entire communities for their own poverty, starve public schools, bash teachers, send senior teachers out to pasture, and so on. As a matter of fact, activism is rarely a "respectful" act. It is supposed to go against the grain, not bow to it. I am a product of the anti Vietnam War movement, so I remember true activism well. Protesting oppressive government policies is never pretty. The booing represents the extreme level of frustration and powerlessness that these parents feel.

  4. Cathie Black appeared on Channel 1's "Inside City Hall" tonight--with Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott running interference for her. He did a lot of the talking--and jumped in frequently to keep her from getting into trouble. They were doing damage control and trying to put a good face even on the meeting at Brooklyn Tech. I shouldn't have eaten supper before watching this performance.

  5. Oh, Cathie tried to use the word "unanimity" but just couldn't seem to get it out.

  6. I still do not think she needs to be booed.
    She is already making a fool out of herself without the extra booing.
    And yes, the DOE deputy chancellors and their other whatever their titles are do not care and fiddle with their blackberries. This is why I think we need to show that we are better than that. Why stoop down to their level of disrespect, dishonesty and unethical behavior towards their employees?

    Do not get me wrong. I am just as disgusted with what Ms. Black said at the PEP and with putting her foot in her mouth again. I do think that we do need to keep on protesting and rallying for the right causes.

  7. Trust me, I know all about the DOE's propaganda where they are promulgating 'for the goodness of the children'. Please!!!

    I am also a victim of their horrible reforms and was angry for a really long time on what happened to me. There was so much I wanted to do to get back at them but I had to bite my tongue. So I really do know what it feels like to just have people 'not care' and say '1 thing' when they mean another.

    Absolutely disgusting.