|April 6: Massive police presence at rally|
Did de Blasio tell Farina to get a meeting with parents and teachers of CPE1? Hell yes. I heard one very liberal parent say last Friday that she would rather vote for a Republican than de Blasio unless the CPE1 situation was resolved.
After over a year of agitating at PEP meetings, rallies at Tweed and organizing the parents and community to call for the removal of Monika Garg, it took the sit-in at the auditorium following an SLT meeting last Thursday/Friday overnight and a phone call from a parent raising the issue with de Blasio on the Brian Lehrer show to get the DOE to invite parents and teachers (two of each) to Tweed today for an 11 AM meeting.
While one of the teachers should be Chapter Leader Marilyn Martinez, still banned from the school until the outcome of her hearing, the DOE is apparently pushing back on allowing her into Tweed. The story is that the UFT supposedly tried to get permission and at this point has not been successful.
This is clearly a show by the DOE to give some cover to de Blasio - lame duck Farina is irrelevant at this point - and we have seen the focus shifted to de Blasio whose base is being undermined by stories like this. While he doesn't face much of a challenge, the number of votes he gets make a difference and given the Trump win, anything is possible. If my local city councilman, Republican Erich Ulrich, had run I would have voted for him, that is how annoyed I am at deB over ed policies.
Now people are not going in with their eyes closed and understand this is a PR stunt of sorts and that the idea that Garg will be gone is not in the DOE game plan. The hostility is at such a high pitch, that there is no bridging the gap. How can teachers who have been under attack work under Garg? How can parents whose children have been called in and questioned in attempts to "get" something on their teachers without parent permission trust Garg?
So the outcome will be a promise to monitor the situation, etc, etc and to try to split the parents and make the most militant look unreasonable. Now we do know that about a dozen parents and some teachers support Garg and the DOE is hoping to woo people over to that position and give those supporters a wedge. To me that is what this meeting is about. Stall until Garg can get a new batch of parents into the school to try to shift the balance of power -- and she has the ability to do that by manipulating the admission process. (I'll have more on how admission to CPE1 has worked over the years -- CPE 1 had the biggest waiting list per student of any school in the city according to some parents - before Garg, that is.
What next for parents? More sit-ins, boycotts, hunger strikes? Everything is on the table.
Keep up to date with the CPE1 story at: savecpe1.org and sign their petition.