NYC Schools System Ripped By Activists

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Barron also denounced the fact that although the city has a "$18 billion budget" it has cut "$450 million" most of which will be stripped from Black schools. When asked by a local teacher what the community must do about those school officials and administrators who are causing chaos in our schools, Barron replied "we must organize to get them out."

[New York's Crumbling Schools System]

 



A distinguished panel of community leaders and activists, including Bob Law, Dr. James Macintosh, Betty Dobson, Paul Washington, Roger Wareham, Adelaide Sanford, Councilman Charles Barron and his wife Inez,  decried the educational crisis in New York City's minority public schools.    

Legendary radio veteran Bob Law,  of "Night Talk" fame-whose new documentary "Disappearing Voices: The Decline of Black Radio" directed by Black Waxx's U-Savior,  which is already creating a buzz, decried the "decrepit" nature of Black New York City schools and stated that many of our children are "trapped in the school system."

He warned that education is a "critical issue" and that educators and administrators must "make the curriculum relevant" to Black children who aren't being taught African or African-American history in city schools.  

Psychiatrist Dr. James Macintosh of Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive to African People (CEMOTAP) stated that the problems we face in our schools and community "didn't happen by accident."

The major gathering occurred June 15.

In his presentation, Dr. Macintosh highlighted the concept of "bullying" as more far-reaching that just those kids who bully others.  In fact,  Dr. Macintosh connected the "bullying"  that kids do to those city officials who have bullied the community into accepting inferior schools.  
He spoke out against the removal of star educators like Shongo Blake and Lee McCaskill. Blake was the former principal of Intermediate School 109, in Queens Village, who was relieved of his duties amid allegations that he assaulted a 14-year-old student and mismanaged over $30,000 in school funds.

McCaskill retired in the midst of a slew of controversies including: allegations that he voided the recommendations and grades of teachers he didn't like, that he forced parents with vouchers for Advanced Placement tests to pay cash and that he skirted the rules when he registered his daughter in a New York City school, although his family lived in New Jersey.  

Dr. Macintosh defended the aptitude and character of these two educators and hinted, as other speakers did, that brilliant teachers who are invested in the community are being set-up and singled out for attacks by a white bureaucracy committed to the mis-education of Black people.

Dr. Macintosh stated that it would be possible to document the targeting and silencing of a "list of Black educators they are going after--if we had an effective Black Press."   

Ironically, last week a story broke on the national scene from Watts, Los Angeles of Karen Slazar, 25, a political science major who was allegedly fired from her teaching job at Jordan High School for using "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" in her English class.

Salazar says she was accused by school administrators of "brainwashing" her students and of being too "Afro-centric." Miranda Manners, a veteran teacher assigned to mentor Salazar, defended her saying "I did not see the same things that the administrator said he saw...I saw her engage with her students and interacting with them in a very positive way."

Salazar has criticized the Los Angeles Unified School District saying "This school system for far too long has been denying them [Black and Hispanic students] human rights, basic human rights but doing it on purpose in order to keep them subservient, to subjugate them in society."  
Democratic candidate for the 40 District State Assembly,  in New York, Inez Barron, pointed out that those who control the schools are "criminalizing our children" echoing panel moderator Paul Washington's statement that Black "schools are a pipeline to prison."

Mrs. Barron called for the "expansion of TAP" and "Beacon-type programs," like the one created by Betty Dobson to help develop critically thinking children.   Mrs. Barron also challenged New York City's test-driven system and said that she is "opposed to just testing at the expense of other programs including music and art."

Like the rest of the panel, she questioned the wisdom of having people who don't have a background in education running an education system, like school Chancellor Joel Klein.  At one point, she asked "how can he be a chancellor?" She stated that there are also many bad teachers in the profession and that "not everyone who has a degree can teach."    

Councilman Charles Barron declared that if the community wants real change in the school system for Blacks that "we must rise up" because it's "not going to happen from the top down." Barron said that we "must end mayoral control" of the city school system. New York City scholar, Sol Stern, has already articulated his opposition to mayoral control.

In his 2007 essay, in City Journal Summer, Stern stated "extending mayoral control would be an invitation for the next politically ambitious mayor to keep undermining the credibility of the public education system that is so essential to our democracy."  

Barron also denounced the fact that although the city has a "$18 billion budget" it has cut "$450 million" most of which will be stripped from Black schools. When asked by a local teacher what the community must do about those school officials and administrators who are causing chaos in our schools, Barron replied "we must organize to get them out."

He stated that we must get our students to expect excellence for themselves in academics because they need "education for liberation." Councilman Barron proposed implementation through legislation of an African -American course, at the high school level, as a requirement for Blacks to graduate.



 

 


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