April 16, 2010

Young Teachers Lead The Way In Newark (part two)

The United Front to Defend Public Education has announced state-wide on-campus demonstrations for Tuesday, April 27 (FotM readers on Facebook see this link). The organizers write:

"As many have heard, the new governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has recently made mass cuts in state education. In fact, he has already cut 475 million dollars from the budget, and plans to cut more...the cuts will total just about 1 Billion dollars. Many After-school programs are going to cease to exist from now on. That means sports teams, clubs, arts and musics programs are going to no longer exist in NJ Schools…"

This is a very important call to action, please read it and sign on to participate. The Facebook page linked above has additional links to many supporting documents…
Readers will remember that March 4th this year saw an impressive campaign of demonstrations for education across the entire country. Teachers as Leaders in Newark (TaLiN), a group of young NJ teachers, brought together the United Front to Defend Public Education for those actions locally. This coalition of community residents, teachers, students and others consists of The Abbott Leadership Institute, Community Unity LLC, the Eastside High School Debate Team, One Newark Education Coalition, People's Organization for Progress, Teachers as Leaders in Newark and an ever growing blend of concerned community residents and leaders (see "March 4: Young teachers lead the fight in Newark, NJ…" for info on the Newark March 4th march and rally.)
Faced with the unprecedented attacks from the new Christy Administration in Trenton, TaLiN has proven that the United Front to Defend Public Education was no flash-in-the-pan, no one-time coalition for the national day of action on March 4th. TaLiN and the United Front to Defend Public Education has held multiple demonstrations since the big day of protest, including rallies and marches to Newark Board of Ed meeting and other county and city education-related meetings. This past Wednesday, TaLiN and allies demonstrated at Springfield Avenue and Irvine Turner Blvd during rush hour and then marched to Central High School for the meeting there on School Improvement Grants.
In the words of Leah Z. Owens, Chief Organizer of TaLiN, "Wednesday evening’s meeting at Central High School concerning the School Improvement Grants was yet another example of the executive administration ignoring the demands, wants, needs, and questions of the community… If the District is not going to address the questions and concerns of the community, [our next line of defense is] the principals… We need you to advocate for our students!"
These attacks on education are not going to stop! Krispy Kreme Christy is not going to end his assault against public education unless we unite and force its end. Public education is the last vestige of the victories of Reconstruction. Public education in fact would not exist in the U.S. if the Freedmen's Bureau hadn't enforced it a an early reparations plan for the children of former slaves after the Civil War. This bombastic attack on our children's future has nothing to do with "budget shortfalls" and is entirely about one more outburst against African Americans achievement.
Once again the young people of Newark lead the way! For additional photos from this impressive rally and march, where TaLiN brought together nearly 100 young teachers and students, please view this link.


Unknown said...

Thank you! This is THE most important media we get. As I continue to urge those in leadership positions to stand in solidarity with us, it turns out that Newark Public Schools has blocked my email address from sending emails to anyone with the @nps.k12.nj.us tag! I sent the link to this article to all of the principals, and rapidly, the emails were all sent back to me. But that's ok, because we will continue our fight. Next week--the City Council meeting to ask for our local elected officials' support. We're making a lot of noise in Newark, but, ultimately, we have to make it down to Trenton. Peace, Leah

Unknown said...

Thank you again Fire on the Mountain, The message is the SIG Process must include Parents, Students, Community Organizations along with the surrounding residents. I totally understand that the 10 school administrations and staff should be a part of making the change but let's stop sugar coating the process Yes we need the money for the ten schools and maybe it will improve the schools climate,academics and environment but only those who live and work in those communities knows what their community needs and every effort should be given to educate and involve each and everyone within the ten schools which are affected by the SIG grant. I am very upset that NPS have blocked emails coming from Ms. Owens, I really hope that was a error because how can Newark Public School continue to state that they are working with the community when someone feels like they want to share information they get blocked. We will continue to Rally and March and speak out to what we feel is right. I just hope those who are paid by the system learns that it's not about them it's about the students and the community after this process is over.

NobodyToToyWith said...

Thanks for posting. My niece's husband is a Chicago teacher, and they are active in a similar campaign, will pass on the info and find a way to get you all in touch.

NobodyToToyWith said...

Here is her project, Kuumba Lynx, you can get in touch through this I'm sure.