I’m madder than Al Roker in a windowless office over the fact that yesterday’s and today’s politicians continue to do what politicians have done for centuries — the wrong thing.
Look, you all know that we now have this situation in my neck of the woods where a couple of them thar charter schools are being forced down the throats of the good students, teachers, and parents of Community School District 20 and 21 — even though our new mayor ran — and won — on one simple platform — “You want school space? Then rent it!”
But then he went and did Emperor Bloomberg’s bidding and signed off on a charter school moving into the same building that houses one of my most beloved middle schools.
Now I don’t need to tell you that the only reason I voted for Mayor DeBlasio was to make sure the good teachers, parents, and students of Cavallaro Junior High School don’t end up with another school inside their school — and I’m going to use as many em-dashes as is humanly possible to make my point — so get ready — now!
The latest “Rally for the Children” happened on Thursday, March 27, when a huge crowd of parents, teachers, students, union reps, and even the media came forth to show their disgust and displeasure with the mayor for going against his word and choosing to destroy Cavallaro.
If you were there, all you needed to do was read the signs and placards to learn the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth — and here’s my concise breakdown of what some of them said, in the necessary capital letters:
• “SPEND $$ ON SPACE RENTALS, NOT TV COMMERCIALS”
Now I wonder which billionaire could afford to spend prime-time money on commercials? Hmmm.
I’ve been to the past four rallies and saw the Department of Education bull turds’ inaction, and since this a family newspaper or website or whatever, I’ll simply call it dishonest treachery distorting the truth. Another placard at the rally pointed out the pros — and cons — about charter schools. I asked my editor if he could make me one of those fancy charts they use in the newspapers these days, but he pointed out to me that my column still gets set in hot type, so it is impossible to do. So I’ll break it down for you as only the Screecher knows how: Charter schools are bad and traditional public schools are good.
Another sign was as pointed as a No. 2 pencil: “No More Co-Location,” it read (rules or punctuation insist I leave that comma inside the quotation mark, but I can assure you that it was not actually on the sign).
And it wasn’t just placards on oak tag that got the rally revved-up. Councilmen Vincent Gentile and Mark Treyger were there vowing to sue to stop this thing — by taking it to court! Public Advocate Letita James not only showed strong support, but also listened to the parents at a hearing she had investigating the co-location debacle.
If you were there, you probably didn’t see me, as I hang kinda low sitting atop of Tornado. But you could certainly hear me. My trumpeted “Yeeeaaahhhs!” could be heard for miles around.
In fact, my editor, who works in a lavish Downtown office, rang me on the cellphone and told me to quiet down, as he couldn’t concentrate.
Heather Fiorica, the president of the Community Education Council 21, presented the true facts of the issue: charters have spent $3.8 million dollars on advertising, and those ads have apparently hit their mark, giving the Blaz second thoughts on the issue he campaigned on.
But the fight continues, organized and led by my bosom buddies Linda Dalton, Maria DiGraziano, Erica Kuskin, Randi Garay as well as the Cavallaro students, parents, and teachers of the “Caring School” that have worked long and hard despite losing promised funding.
Folks, I have a long history with that wonderful school. It was one of the first schools to have its own television studio and made fantastic tapes of the community and its schools in action. Where’s Bloombergs money when you need it?
If you missed channel 2, channel 7, and News 12’s coverage, you can see it on the Facebook at www.facebook.com/cecd21.
And if you want to see justice prevail, drop a note to the chancellor and mayor tell you don’t want to see this co-location go through!
Congratulation to all participated and that made the rally great!
Screech at you next week!