Occupy the DOE

IT’S TIME TO OCCUPY THE PEP

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9TH, 5:30PM

Brooklyn Technical High School, 29 Fort Greene Pl (between Fulton and Dekalb) in Brooklyn

Near the Nevins 2/3/4/5 or the Dekalb B/D/N/Q/R

 

Background

On Thursday, February 9th, the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) will hold an open meeting and then a vote to close down dozens more schools. The PEP is an un-elected 13-member body (the majority of whom are appointed by Mayor 1% Bloomberg) whose decisions dramatically affect the lives of the 99%. Every time a vote for school closings has come before the panel, they have voted on behalf of their puppeteer, Mayor Bloomberg. No matter what impassioned students, parents, educators or elected officials have said in the past, the PEP has ALWAYS voted against the people. PEP meetings are open to the public.

We, students, parents and educators from the 99%, invite you to join us in having our OUR OWN VOTE on the fate of our schools.

If you don’t believe Mayor 1%’s puppet board should be empowered to make decisions about our schools, come help us OPEN THE MEETING UP! In October, the panel walked out of their meeting and we held our own meeting. Click here to see how it went down. Now, let’s do it with thousands!

Ways YOU can Occupy the PEP:

Option A: Are you a student, parent, educator or elected official from a school that the PEP has targeted for closure? Members of your school community should plan to use THE PEOPLE’S MIC to speak out about the mayor’s policies and about your school! To see how the people’s mic works, click here.

  • EXAMPLE: I am here because the panel shouldn’t be voting without the community’s consent to close down schools. In my school…
  • EXAMPLE: I am here because the mayor has it all wrong, and because he wants to take over space in our public schools to hand it over to charter schools. Our school is an amazing community…
  • EXAMPLE: I am here because what is happening here is wrong! Because the people have spoken and they say enough is enough!…

Or you can plan a song, performance, or skit. Every school that the PEP plans to vote on will have a chance to speak out and use the people’s mic. Please practice! The people’s mic can be tricky and you have to speak in short phrases of three to seven words and wait for people to respond. But it’s a powerful tool that can change the balance of power in the room! Let’s use it!

Then the PEOPLE (not the puppet panel) will vote on the state of your school!

Option B: Not from a closing school? Well then we need your help to support the occupation of this undemocratic meeting! There are definitely ways you can participate. We need your voice to help amplify the voices of those speaking on behalf of their schools. We also need folks to sit near the aisle to protect the people’s mic. And we’re asking folks to wear shirts or stickers that identify who the occupiers are and what we stand for. For example, you might consider wearing a shirt or sticker that says “Student Against School Closings” or “Parent for Community Control of Schools”, etc. There will be speeches, performances, skits, signs to hold, and more! Join us.

Please contact occupythedoe@gmail.com with any questions. Let’s open up the PEP and put the decision making power where it belongs—with the people!

_________________________________

 

Occupy the DOE! Call to action: photos needed for OCCUPY THE DOE video!

Hi all,

I’m Marie, one of the teachers who worked on the Occupy the DOE video last month http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbmjMickJMA. The meeting today at Wall St was inspiring and really motivating!  I was very moved by everyone’s perspectives, especially about the charter school movement.
At the meeting, we came to consensus that, given the success of media in spreading the message of our movement, a video (or videos) would be a powerful tool for action at the upcoming December 14th PEP.  We are proposing to use a portable small video projector, to display a video on the walls of the meeting room at the PEP. The video will not have sound.
We need your immediate help to create these videos!  The content of the video will be a photo essay – many images displayed in sequence, on a loop.

These images will be sourced from you!  Or from friends.  So if you feel comfortable, grab a camera(or a cellphone, iPhone, etc)!  Instructions for those who can help are below.

And don’t forget to forward this email to anyone you think can help!
1ST VIDEO
Working title: “Separate is Not Equal”

demo-picture.jpg

 

Charter   vs.   Public
One video we agreed upon will focus on the Brown vs. Board of Ed. statute, “Separate is Not Equal.”   It will show pictures that depict the opulence of Charter Schools, contrasted with images of the poverty of public schools.
Here’s what you need to do:
  1. Take photos of your school’s facilities.
  2. Note whether the image is Charter or Public.
  3. Email them to me: mmounteer@gmail.com
Remember not to send images that allow you to be identified – we want to avoid specific DOE members from being singled out.
The images we would need from Charter Schools:
(The images do not need be high-res — iPhone photos are fine, it’s the content we’re after)
    • Photos of separate entrances to the building (one for Charter and one for public),
    • separate entrances to auditoriums,
    • separate bathrooms,
    • separate water fountains etc…
    • Anything that shows the division clearly
And anything that shows the wealth:
    • Smartboards,
    • new computers/computer labs,
    • new science labs/science equipment,
    • new books,
    • new gym equipment,
    • lots of space in the cafeteria,
    • new playground equipment, etc.
The images we would need from Public Schools:
  • Anything falling apart or old:
  • leaky roofs,
  • old gym equipment,
  • old computers,
  • old books or lack thereof
  • pavement for a playground, instead of playground equipment
  • overcrowded cafeterias (no kids faces clearly visible)
I am also toying with an idea – that we juxtapose our own images with iconic images from the Civil Rights movement, of separate water fountains and entrances to schools, etc.  My fear is that it would be too incendiary and distract from our message, but also it may draw attention in a dramatic way that could further our cause.  I’m curious to hear what people think.
2ND VIDEO
Working title, “In Solidarity with Occupy the DOE” 
This is a simple concept –  images of the people that support us who maybe can’t be at the PEP meeting. I was thinking any group that wants to, can take their picture behind a banner that say OCCUPY THE DOE and we could project that as we were speaking to show the amount of people that support us. We can open it up to Occupy groups like Save our Schools across the country and get images from everywhere. We can then use that projection for whatever we do, any meeting we go to.
So here’s the action item list:
  1. Create a banner that reads OCCUPY THE DOE
  2. Find students, parents, teachers, (administrators!) who want to pose with the banner.
  3. Find a time to take a group photo op, and take a picture of everyone smiling and holding the banner.
  4. Email it to me! mmounteer@gmail.com
I am excited to see all the wonderful photos from all of us brave educators! It would be nice to have something done by next Sunday’s meeting so get those pictures to me as soon as possible!
In Solidarity,
Marie Mounteer

__________________________________________

 

Calling all future Occupiers of the Department of Education!

Occupy the DOE will be meeting at 4:30 on the steps of Tweed 0(52 Chambers) with the Children’s Brigade as part of the National Day of Action in support of OWS.

 

Even though the mayor and the other 1% think that they can break the Occupy Wall Street movement by clearing Zucotti Park, we, the 99%, will show them that they ARE WRONG this Thursday!

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=164709760292053

As scheduled, Nov. 17th will be a full day of non-violent mass demonstrations throughout the city to celebrate Occupy Wall Street’s two month anniversary, and the birth of a movement that has inspired people locally and globally.

We will celebrate this historic day through sign making, speak outs, teach ins, and a march across the Brooklyn bridge. This will be a family friendly event, with activities for children. Feel free to bring cupcakes, art supplies, your mic check and a whole lotta noise!

A better future on the horizon and we celebrate it this Thursday. Why? Because we are unstoppable and another future is possible!!!!!

ALSO, PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!!!!

__________________________________________________________________________________________

From Alternet:

Occupy the Education System: Students, Teachers and Parents Find New Spirit and Challenge the Attack on Public Schools

In the past couple of weeks, Occupy Wall Street has spurred dedicated education activists into some of the most innovative and inspiring actions.
November 9, 2011  |

Mouse over and click the photographs in this story and you can listen to audio recordings as well.

“I work hard, but my grades don’t matter. But I have a voice and I will be heard!”

Jordan is 13, and she’s speaking to a crowd of mostly adults, sitting on the granite steps of the New York City Department of Education at Tweed Hall. Or rather, she is speaking through them, as her words echo through the people’s mic used at Occupy Wall Street just few blocks south from where she’s speaking.

Tonight the steps of the DOE themselves have been occupied and are packed with teachers, students, parents, and supporters holding a general assembly on the state of public education in New York. (full article)

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Footage from OCCUPY DOE GENERAL ASSEMBLY Tonight!

 

Teachers, Students and Parents Against Privatized Education Join Occupy Wall Street

From theREALNews Network

by Jaisal Noor

From NY1

From Gotham Schools

http://gothamschools.org/2011/11/07/occupy-protesters-join-teachers-and-parents-on-tweed-steps/

 

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Educators use Occupy Movement to Empower Students, Defend Public Education

From theREALNews Network

by Jaisal Noor

__________________________________________________________________________________________

***Calling all parents, students, teachers, school aides, community organizations, youth groups, and community members concerned about creating public education in the interest of the 99%***

OCCUPY the Department of Education invites you to the:

People’s General Assembly 

on Public Education

Date: Monday, November 7th

Time: 5 PM

Location: Steps of Tweed Hall, 52 Chambers St.

Please join us for the exercise of democracy, the raising of silenced voices, outrage at the lack of public representation in decisions of educational policy, the creation of a People’s Agenda for our schools and creation of collective actions that can realize this agenda.

During the OCCUPY the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP), we invited Chancellor Walcott to this forum. He declined our offer but we still think he should hear our voices. Please encourage him to come along with members of the City Council Education Committee in this exercise of real democracy.

Click here to send Walcott your invitation

Councilman Robert Jackson, Chairperson, Education Committee

 

Brought to you by the OCCUPY the DOE Committee of Occupy Wall Street

__________________________________________________________________________________________

October 25th Occupy the PEP!

At the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP)* meeting on October 25th, Chancellor Walcott (the 1%) is planning a “conversation on raising standards in the classroom.” But we have some more pressing issues for changing public education.

 

Video edited by teachers who participated on Oct. 25th

An excerpt from the meeting on the 25th featuring members of NYCoRE (Seth Rader and Karla Tobar)

Watch live streaming video from occupynyc at livestream.com

 

Related Articles & Blogs

Blogs—