January 19, 2012 / Brooklyn news / Williamsburg / Brooklyn Is Angry

W’burg parents fight city’s school-closing plan

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Angry Williamsburg parents and teachers claim the city “failed the community” by proposing to cut three grades from a beloved but struggling S. Third Street elementary school.

More than 200 opponents of the Bloomberg administra­tion’s bid to eliminate kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classes at PS 19 lashed out against the plan, chastising the mayor as a “liar,” “criminal,” and “thug” on Wednesday in a contentious public hearing — the second in two days for the neighborhood, where the city is also making a controversial push to open a charter school inside a nearby middle school.

“You’re prime real estate — within three years, there’s going to be a charter school in here,” said PS 19 teacher Pat Tambakis, who urged public school parents to “fight for their kids.”

“They’re teasing us, they’re lying to us,” said Tambakis. “I’m going to go out fighting and screaming.”

PS 19 received a failing mark last year from the Department of Education for reporting poor math and English language scores, prompting the city to call for the elimination of three grades from the 378-child school.

But critics of the closure plan allege the city didn’t do its part to help the school succeed.

“Instead of pointing to PS 19, the Department of Education leaders needs to look at themselves,” said Community Education Council 14 member Elaine Manatu. “They have given us inadequate support and they don’t meet the needs of our kids.”

Department of Education officials dispute allegations of neglect and insist the city supports all of its schools.

“The decision to close a school is a difficult one,” said Deputy School Chancellor Dorita Gibson. “We don’t take it lightly.”

The city first announced its plan to eliminate three grades at PS 19 in December, when it also proposed opening Success Academy Williamsburg, a branch of a high-achieving charter school network run by a former city politician, inside JHS 50 on S. Third Street.

If the state approves the plan, the city will phase out PS 19 kindergarten classes this fall, cut the first grade in 2013, and nix the second grade in 2014. Grades three through five would remain intact and a new public school, PS 114, would fill the vacant classrooms.

The city will decide PS 19’s fate in early February.

Updated 5:29 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Tom from Williamsburg says:
This is insane. 80% of the students can't read or write at the basic level. That means in today's world they will not get any employment and have pretty bad life.

What sane person would want to keep this school open?
Jan. 19, 2012, 7:36 am
Concerned from Williamsburg says:
To put things in perspective, here is how dire our children's future is. I want to share a few facts with my brothers and sisters, drawn from a 2011 Harvard study on education (the link is provided below):

The percentage of teens finding work is now 28.6%, a Depression-era level of employment. In 2000, the percentage was 45.2%.

91% of low-income Black teens are unemployed, an incredible number.

85% of low-income Hispanic teens are unemployed.

Middle-income white teens are employed at a 41% rate.

Young adults (20-24) of all types have an employment rate of 62.2% as of June 2010.

These are the lowest levels recorded since the end of the Depression.

70% of Blacks, and more than 80% of Latinos, in their mid-20s have not obtained an associate's degree or higher.

Our current public education system has failed this generation of students.

The current one-year budget for the NYC Department of Education is $24 BILLION and District 14 elementary schools cannot get a more than 30% passing rate in ELA and Math tests? This is what is really unacceptable.

The Harvard Study on Education can be found at:

The situation is dire, folks.
Jan. 19, 2012, 7:52 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Excuse me, the opposition is NOT insane. Please, some contextualization is in order before readers fall for some canards already being thrown around about "failing schools" along PS 19 and JHS 50. I will quote from my comment on the thread for the article, "Fighting Over Success--Opponents Call Williamsburg Charter Racist":

Councilwoman Diana Reyna, El Puente's Luis Garden Acosta and Evelyn Cruz from Congresswoman's Nydia Velasquez were there all spoke against the closure, passionately, eloquently, lucid in English and Spanish--THANK YOU.

I went to school at PS 19 from K to 4 and it was quite the bittersweet moment. The auditorium that seemed so gargantuan when I was a child now seems so small physically but enormous in memory and service.

Firstly, let's get rid of some canards that some people are throwing up here about "failing schools" in our District. In anticipation of the changing landscape, the Mayor's Office and the Department of Education began an oversight program at PS 19 a few years ago when it was an 'A' rated school.

Upon that intervention, significant personnel were withdrawn or denied the school: it therewith functioned without an assistant principal, several teacher vacancies went unfilled, equipment and supplies were withdrawn. Like the community around them, the City and the DOE had imposed their own policy of "benign neglect." The school plummeted into a 'failing' grade--the agencies imposing the grade being the same "faceless bureaucrats" as those who came in with their phony intervention.

Now rapacious individuals who pretend to care about "education" but themselves don't have the moral foundation to do their homework beyond their rigidly-defined and opportunistic positions are the ones who are quickly referring to the "failure" of these schools as though this "failure", like the Corporate Business Academy hungry for JHS 50's space, was not a deliberate construction.

David from N. 3rd--thank you for that information about the "founding parent." What is so sad is how that corresponds to so many people in this changing neighborhood, who move in for a couple of years, know nothing about the community's history, take a snapshot visual impression of the community's struggles and erroneously impose the environmental failures on the Puerto Rican and Dominican community of Williamsburg.

Incredibly, those positions are not educated. The positions that are educated are under attack by financial interests themselves demonstrating awful pedagogy in their attacks. My message to intelligent, informed and impassioned residents of Williamsburg--fight back. You have friends who fight alongside you.
Jan. 19, 2012, 9:23 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
The fact of the community's problem with absentee entities is further attenuated by the fact that given sufficient resources, autonomy of operation and imagination, the community builds and maintains successful institutions--when conditions are reversed, when funding and personnel are withdrawn, and then absentee entities appear late upon benign neglect, those institutions are unduly attacked. Those who are reading this and considering donating or assisting should contact PS 19's offices.

If you are an investor or philanthropist, if you wish to make a donation, and you expect a return on human capital, why not consider the best and most successful institution in the area, one that is not just the heart of Latino Williamsburg, but is the HEART OF ALL WILLIAMSBURG, at the very center and connected to all the institutions under attack here in Williamsburg but impervious to those attacks because of its sound operations policy and autonomy:

To donate:

They accept credit cards!
Jan. 19, 2012, 9:43 am
k from ? says:
what are the parents of the kids doing well doing that The failing ones are not?
Jan. 19, 2012, 10:30 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
They are doing what Southside Williamsburg parents have been doing for more than 50 years--doing it themselves, under-supplied, under-staffed, under-funded, and under attack.
Jan. 19, 2012, 10:36 am
A Parent from Williamsburg says:
It would be great if people without kids would just go away and not make comments.

Serioussly, if you don't have skin in the game, then please go away.
Jan. 19, 2012, 11:30 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
We are all deferring to parents, but I am a lifelong resident of this community with a vested interest opposed to its displacement--so I will continue to stay.

Pulling rank by pretending to be a parent under a pseudonym is escapist nonsense, meant to detract from the substance of the issues.
Jan. 19, 2012, 11:35 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Get used to it.
Jan. 19, 2012, 11:35 am
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
And what kind of "Parent from Williamsburg" refers to their children as "skin in the game"? Really? People who refer to their children as such have no place in this discussion--or anywhere, except possibly Children's Protective Services.
Jan. 19, 2012, 11:51 am
Hipster mom from 11211 says:
it would be great if people that don't live here like Eva moskowitz, Eric grannis, etoy ridginal, citizens of the world charter network and their hedge fund buddies would stay out of the conversation.
Jan. 19, 2012, 3:24 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
To make matters worse, both Bloomberg and Cuomo want an evaluation that holds teachers fully accountable to for how a student performs. However, I find this program only to be partly true. I say that teachers should not be solely responsible for how a student performs, some of that blame should be taken to parents. I for one do believe that there is such a thing known as bad students, not bad teachers. Some of them can be teaching their heart out and still have terrible students. It's not the fault of the teacher that the student wasn't doing their homework or studying for the test, so quit the scapegoating. I am so tired of those saying that the UFT is to blame when it's in fact that only the DOE can actually hire teachers, while the UFT has just been defending due process. One other thing, it was Bloomberg and his cronies who created the rubber room, not the unions.
Jan. 19, 2012, 4:19 pm
SAM from Brooklyn says:
Why is it everyone thinks bringing in a charter school is going to fix everything? Why can't we give our already existing schools the resources they need to succeed just like a charter school? So many factors go into failing school. Children come in hungry, have single parents, homeless families, the list goes on. We need to involve the community more in our school and have a strong PTO. This is what makes a school succeed and community grow.
Jan. 19, 2012, 6:30 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Tal Barzilai, please thank the United Federation Teachers for sending this letter to the meeting, supporting their teachers at P.S. 19. It was signed by Michael Mulgrew. I can't speak for the teachers there, or the parents, but I appreciated it. There were teachers there--they were awesome. I remember them from my childhood, but there were so many of us there for them to remember--nevertheless they were kind and hospitable to everyone, just like the school and its namesake, Roberto Clemente.
Jan. 19, 2012, 6:42 pm
BB from GP says:
Nothing to see here - please proceed as normal with the same formula that has been failing for decades. Then you can all absolve yourselves of any responsibility and can feel justifed in finger-pointing and complaining in 5 years time about how the schools are still crap.
Jan. 20, 2012, 9:28 am
Prophet Elijah from Elijah's Neighborhood says:
Roberto Clemente Walker (August 18, 1934 – December 31, 1972) was a Puerto Rican Major League Baseball right fielder. He was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, the youngest of seven children. Clemente played his entire 18-year baseball career with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1955–72). He was awarded the National League's Most Valuable Player Award in 1966. Clemente was selected to participate in the league's All Star Game on 15 occasions. He won 12 Gold Glove Awards and he led the league in batting average in four different seasons. He was also involved in humanitarian work in Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries, often delivering baseball equipment and food to them. He died in an aviation accident on December 31, 1972, while en route to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. He was elected to the Hall of Fame posthumously in 1973, thus becoming the first Latin American to be selected and the only current Hall of Famer for whom the mandatory five-year waiting period has been waived since the wait was instituted in 1954. Clemente is also the first Hispanic player to win a World Series as a starter (1960), win a league MVP award (1966) and win a World Series MVP award (1971).

Early life

Roberto was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, to Don Melchor Clemente and Luisa Walker. He was the youngest of seven siblings, having four brothers and two sisters. During his childhood, Don Melchor worked as foreman of the sugar crops located in the municipality.[1] The family's resources were limited and Roberto had to work to earn money; this work included delivering milk cans to the family's neighbors. Clemente demonstrated interest in baseball early in his life and would often play against neighboring barrios. He studied at Vizcarondo High School, a public school located in Carolina. During his first year in high school, he was recruited by Roberto Marin to play softball with the Sello Rojo team; Marin had taken interest in Clemente when he saw him playing baseball in Barrio San Anton.[2] He was with the team two years, playing shortstop. Clemente joined Puerto Rico's amateur league when he was sixteen years old; while there, he played for the Ferdinand Juncos team, which represented the municipality of Juncos.[3]
On November 14, 1964, he married Vera Zabala at San Fernando Church in Carolina. The couple had three children: Roberto Jr., Luis Roberto and Enrique Roberto.

Baseball career

Clemente's professional career began when Pedrín Zorilla offered him a contract with the Santurce Crabbers of the LBBPR.[4] He was a bench player during his first campaign, but was promoted to the team's starting lineup the following season. During this season he hit .288 as the team's leadoff hitter. While Clemente was playing in the LBBPR, the Brooklyn Dodgers offered him a contract with the team's Triple-A subsidiary.[5] He then moved to Montreal to play with the Montreal Royals. The climate and language differences affected Clemente early on, but he received the assistance of his teammate Joe Black, who was able to speak Spanish. In 1954, Clyde Sukeforth, a scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates, noticed that Clemente was being used as a bench player for the team and discussed the possibility of drafting Clemente to the Pirates with the team's manager, Max Macon.[6] The Pirates selected Clemente as the first selection of the rookie draft that took place on November 22, 1954.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Clemente debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 17, 1955 in the first game of a double header against the Brooklyn Dodgers.[7] At the beginning of his time with the Pirates, he experienced frustration because of racial tension with the local media and some teammates.[8][9] Clemente responded to this by stating, "I don’t believe in color".[10] He noted that, during his upbringing, he was taught to never discriminate against someone based on ethnicity.[10]
During the middle of the season, Clemente was involved in a car accident; this caused him to miss several games with an injury in his lower back.[11] He finished his rookie season with an average of .255, despite confronting trouble hitting certain types of pitches.[12] His defensive skills, however, were highlighted during this season.[13]
During the off season, Clemente played with the Santurce Crabbers in the Puerto Rican baseball winter league, where he was already considered a star.[14

The 1960s
The Pirates experienced several difficult seasons through the 1950s, although they did manage their first winning season since 1948 in 1959. During the winter season of 1958–59, Clemente didn't play winter baseball in Puerto Rico; instead, he served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. He spent six months of his military commitment at Parris Island, South Carolina, and Camp LeJeune in North Carolina. At Parris Island, Clemente received his basic training with Platoon 346 of the 3rd Recruit Battalion.[15] At Camp Lejeune, he served as an infantryman. The rigorous training program helped Clemente physically; he added strength by gaining ten pounds and said his back troubles had disappeared.

He remained in the reserves until September 1964.[16][17][18] Early in the 1960 season, Clemente led the league, batting an average of .353 and scoring Runs Batted In (RBIs) in twenty-five out of twenty-seven games.[19] Roberto's batting average stayed above the .300 mark throughout the course of the campaign. In August, he was inactive for five games as a result of an injury on his chin; he received this injury when his head impacted a concrete wall while he was trying to catch a hard line hit that reached the park's outer wall. Following this accident, he was transported to a local hospital, where the doctors stitched his chin; this prohibited him from playing until the injury was healed.[20] The Pirates compiled a 95–59 record during the regular season, winning the National League pennant, and defeated the New York Yankees in a seven-game World Series. Clemente batted .310 in the series, hitting safely at least once in every game.[21] His .314 batting average, 16 home runs, and defense during the course of the season earned him his first participation in the All-Star game, where he served as a reserve player.
During 1961 spring training, Clemente tried to modify his batting technique by using a heavier bat in order to slow the speed of his swing, following advice from Pirates' batting coach George Sisler.[22] During the 1961 season, Clemente was selected as the starting right fielder for the National League in the All-Star game. In this game, he batted a triple on his first at-bat and scored the team's first run. With the American League ahead 4–3 in the tenth inning, Clemente hit a double that gave the National League a decisive 5–4 win.[23]
Following the season, he traveled to Puerto Rico along with Orlando Cepeda, who was a native of Ponce. When both players arrived, they were received by 18,000 people.[24] On November 14, 1964, Clemente married Vera Zabala. The ceremony took place in the church of San Fernando in Carolina and was attended by thousands of fanatics.[25] During this time, he was also involved in managing the Senadores de San Juan, as well as playing with the team during the Major League offseason. During the course of the winter league, Clemente was injured and only participated as a pinch hitter in the league's All-Star game. He experienced a complication on his injury during the course of this game and underwent surgery shortly after being carried off of the playing field.[26]
This condition limited his role with the Pirates in the first half of the 1965 season, during which he batted an average of .257. He was inactive for several games during this stage of the campaign before being fully active; when he returned to the starting lineup, he hit in thirty-three out of thirty-four games and his average improved to .340.[27] Roberto and Vera had their first son on August 17, 1965, when Roberto Clemente, Jr. was born; he was the first of three children, along with Luis Roberto and Enrique Roberto.[28] During the 1960s, he batted over .300 in every year except 1968, when he hit .291.[29] He was selected to every All-Star game, and he was given a Gold Glove every season from 1961 onwards.[29] He led the National League in batting average four times (1961, 1964, 1965, and 1967), led the National League in hits twice (1964 and 1967), and won the Most Valuable Player award in the 1966 season, when he hit .317 while setting career highs in home runs (29) and RBI (119).[29] In 1967, he registered a career high .357 average and hit twenty-three home runs and 110 runs batted in.[29]

The 1970s
The 1970 season was the last one that the Pittsburgh Pirates played in Forbes Field before moving to Three Rivers Stadium; for Clemente, abandoning this stadium was an emotional situation. The Pirates' final game at Forbes Field took place on June 28, 1970. That day, Clemente noted that it was hard to play in a different field, saying, "I spent half my life there".[30] The night of July 4, 1970 was declared "Roberto Clemente Night"; on this day, several Puerto Rican fans traveled to Three Rivers Stadium and cheered Clemente while wearing traditional Puerto Rican indumentary. A ceremony to honor Clemente took place, during which he received a scroll with 300,000 signatures compiled in Puerto Rico, and several thousands of dollars were donated to charity work following Clemente's request.[31][32]
During the 1970 campaign, Clemente compiled an average of .352; the Pirates won the National League East pennant but were subsequently eliminated by the Cincinnati Reds. In the offseason, Clemente experienced some tense situations while he was working as manager of the Senators and when his father, Melchor Clemente, experienced medical problems and was subjected to a surgery.[33]
In the 1971 season, the Pirates won the National League pennant and faced the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. Baltimore had won 100 games and swept the American League Championship Series, both for the third consecutive year, and were the defending World Series champions. The Orioles won the first two games in the series, but Pittsburgh won the championship in seven games. This marked the second occasion that Clemente had won a World Series with the Pirates. Over the course of the series, Clemente batted a .414 average (12 hits in 29 at-bats), performed well defensively, and hit a solo home run in the deciding 2–1 seventh game victory.[34] Following the conclusion of the season, he received the World Series Most Valuable Player award. Struggling with injuries, Clemente only managed to appear in 102 games in 1972, but he still hit .312 for his final .300 season.[34] On September 30, in a game at Three Rivers Stadium, he hit a double off Jon Matlack of the New York Mets for his 3,000th hit.[35] It was the last at-bat of his career during a regular season, though he did play in the 1972 NLCS playoffs against the Cincinnati Reds.[34] In the playoffs, he batted .235 as he went 4 for 17. His last game ever was at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium in the fifth game of the playoff series.

Death in airplane accident

Clemente spent much of his time during the off-season involved in charity work. When Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, was affected by a massive earthquake on Saturday December 23, 1972, Clemente (who had been visiting Managua three weeks before the quake) immediately set to work arranging emergency relief flights.[36] He soon learned, however, that the aid packages on the first three flights had been diverted by corrupt officials of the Somoza government, never reaching victims of the quake.[37]
Clemente decided to accompany the fourth relief flight, hoping that his presence would ensure that the aid would be delivered to the survivors.[38] The airplane he chartered for a New Year's Eve flight, a Douglas DC-7, had a history of mechanical problems and sub-par flight personnel, and it was overloaded by 4,200 pounds.[39] It crashed into the ocean off the coast of Isla Verde, Puerto Rico immediately after takeoff on Sunday December 31, 1972.[40] A few days after the crash, the body of the pilot and part of the fuselage of the plane were found. An empty flight case apparently belonging to Clemente was the only personal item recovered from the plane. Clemente's teammate and close friend Manny Sanguillen was the only member of the Pirates not to attend Roberto's memorial service. The catcher chose instead to dive into the waters where Clemente's plane had crashed in an effort to find his teammate. Clemente's body was never recovered.[40]
At the time of his death, Clemente had established several records with the Pirates, including most triples in a game (three) and hits in two consecutive games (ten).[41] These include tying the record for most Gold Glove Awards won among outfielders with twelve, which he shares with Willie Mays.[42] He also became the only player to have ever hit a walk-off inside-the-park grand slam.[43] He accomplished this historic baseball-event on July 25, 1956 in a 9–8 Pittsburgh win against the Chicago Cubs, at Forbes Field. In addition, he was one of four players to have ten or more Gold Gloves and a lifetime batting average of .317.

On March 20, 1973, the Baseball Writers Association of America held a special election for the Baseball Hall of Fame. They voted to waive the waiting period for Clemente, due to the circumstances of his death, and posthumously elected him for induction into the Hall of Fame, giving him 393 of the 420 available votes, or 92% of the vote. Clemente's Hall of Fame plaque had originally read "Roberto Walker Clemente". In 2000, the plaque was recast to express his name in the proper Hispanic format, "Roberto Clemente Walker".[44]
MLB presents the Roberto Clemente Award every year to the player who best follows Clemente's example with humanitarian work.[45] In 1973, Clemente was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and the first Presidential Citizens Medal. In 2002, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2003, he was inducted into the United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame.[18] On October 26, 2005, Clemente was named a member of Major League Baseball's Latino Legends Team.[46] At the Major League Baseball All-Star game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 11, 2006, many of the players on both teams wore yellow wristbands with the initials "RCW" in honor of Clemente. At the end of the fourth inning, Clemente was awarded the Commissioner's Historical Achievement Award by the Commissioner of Baseball; the award was accepted by his widow.[47] During the award presentation, the Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig stated that "Roberto was a hero in every sense of the world".[47]
PNC Park, the home ballpark of the Pirates which opened in 2001, includes a right field wall 21 feet (6.4 m) high, in reference to Clemente's uniform number and his normal fielding position during his years with the Pirates.[48] The Pirates originally erected a statue in memory of Clemente at Three Rivers Stadium, an honor previously awarded to Honus Wagner. The statue was moved to PNC Park when it opened, and stands at the corner near the Roberto Clemente Bridge. There was talk of the team even naming PNC Park after Clemente, but despite popular sentiment, the team chose instead to sell the naming rights to locally-based PNC Financial Services, with the bridge being renamed after him considered a compromise.[49]

Puerto Rico has honored Clemente's memory by naming the coliseum in San Juan the Roberto Clemente Coliseum; two baseball parks are in Carolina, the professional one, Roberto Clemente Stadium, and the Double-A. There is also the Escuela de los Deportes (School of Sports) that has the Double-A baseball park. Today, this sports complex is called Ciudad Deportiva Roberto Clemente.[50] In Pittsburgh, the 6th Street Bridge was renamed in his memory, and the Pirates retired his number 21 at the start of the 1973 season.[51] The City of Pittsburgh maintains Roberto Clemente Memorial Park along North Shore Drive in the city's North Side which includes a bronze relief by sculptor Eleanor Milleville. In 2007, the Roberto Clemente Museum opened in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh.[52] Near the old Forbes Field where he began his pro career the city of Pittsburgh has renamed a street in his honor. In 1973, the state of New York opened Roberto Clemente State Park in The Bronx.[53] Some schools, such as Roberto Clemente High School in Chicago, Illinois the Roberto Clemente Charter School in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Roberto Clemente Academy in Detroit, Michigan, were named in his honor.[54] Clemente was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame. There's also a Roberto Clemente Stadium in Masaya, Nicaragua. There's also a middle school in Gaithersburg, Maryland called Roberto W. Clemente Middle School
On August 17, 1984, the day before what would have been his 50th birthday, the United States Postal Service issued a postage stamp honoring Clemente.[55] Designed by Juan Lopez-Bonilla, the spare clean design shows Clemente wearing his Pirates cap, with the Puerto Rican flag in the background. In 1999, he ranked Number 20 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, the highest-ranking Latino player on the list.[56] Later that year, Clemente was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.[57] As part of the Golden Anniversary of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, Clemente was selected to the All-Time Rawlings Gold Glove Team.[58]
Clemente's #21 remains active in Major League Baseball, and is worn by multiple players. Sammy Sosa wore #21 throughout his career as a tribute to his childhood hero.[59] The number is unofficially retired in the Puerto Rico Baseball League. While the topic of retiring #21 throughout Major League Baseball like Jackie Robinson's #42 has been broached, and supported by groups such as Hispanics Across America, Jackie Robinson's daughter disagrees, believing that Major League Baseball should honor him another way.[60]

Biographies and documentaries
Clemente's life has been the subject of numerous books, articles and documentaries. David Maraniss wrote a book titled Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero, which was published in 2006. Clemente is also the subject of a one-hour biography as part of the Public Broadcasting Service history series, American Experience which premiered on April 21, 2008.[61] The film is directed by Bernardo Ruiz, narrated by Jimmy Smits and features interviews with Vera Clemente, Orlando Cepeda and George F. Will.[61] The production received an ALMA Award. In 2011 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente was released, a graphic novel by Wilfred Santiago detailing Clemente's life in a comic-book format. In their USA Today Magazine article titled "Saluting Pittsburgh's Finest" Richard E. Vatz and Lee S. Weinberg said Clemente was "arguably the best in the history of the game" and stated that "understanding the magnitude of Roberto Clemente requires an appreciation of the gestalt of his presence, which was greater than the sum of his statistics".[62]
A movie called Chasing 3000 was created based on a true story of two kids named Mickey (played by Ray Liotta, Trevor Morgan and Blake Woodyard) and Roger (played by Jay Karnes, Rory Culkin and Nicholas Brady) as they go on an adventure to travel across America to see Roberto Clemente's 3000th hit.
Jan. 20, 2012, 4:09 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Both Bloomberg's and Cuomo's crusade on schools is really nothing but a joke. In reality, they couldn't care less about the children. The only thing public school teachers should be held accountable for is for what they do at school, not what students do anywhere else. Why isn't the same thing being done with parents when they are getting their children ready? Better yet, why aren't charter school teachers ever given the same evaluations? The reason is because they have friends in high places. Closing public schools ends up leading to bussing in other school districts as that school gets grilled for the same thing the other school was, and the cycle gets repeated. For the last time, the UFT was hardly for the status quo, and even its former leader, Randi Weingarten, wrote in today's NY Times debunking that very statement that so many continue to ride.
Jan. 20, 2012, 4:52 pm
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
@Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY. Good point. But where are the parents. Where is the initiative of the parents and teachers to put some elbow grease into the school and fix it? The champions of PS19 don't seem to grasp that at this point the DOE has to be proven wrong, not just told they are wrong.
Jan. 22, 2012, 9:23 am
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
"The children have always been a pleasure to teach and parent support not as strong as it should be."

Posted by a PS19 teacher on 10/31/10

Could it be for lack of parent support that the school is failing?
Jan. 22, 2012, 9:36 am
Peter from Park Slope says:

Bloomberg fails the school;then Eva Moskowitz steals
the space.
When she steals the space her "charter school"
is 'public,'but when it comes to her very high pay
it's "private"; then it's 'public' when it's "approved"
but 'private' when it is not held to standards- and so on...
We have to educate All children,not just the bright ones
with the motivated parents. Bloomberg is playing a vicious game that shunts aside the lower achieving students, with a bait and switch on the public's dime, while blaming the teachers and their Union.

Jan. 22, 2012, 10:35 am
Ethan Pettit from East Williamsburg says:
Agreed. Charter schools are no solution to failing public schools.
Jan. 29, 2012, 9:04 am
Daquan13 from East Boston, mASSachussetts says:
Tal barizlai never makes a good point. This is a physical impossiblity, He is far too retarded to ever make any sense.
Feb. 8, 2012, 10:41 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: