Journal News Editorial “Calls to remove Superintendent Joel Klein – by protesters at each meeting, and by New York State Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch – must be heeded. Klein last year blamed older immigrant students coming to the district for damaging the district’s graduation rates. “They want to learn the language. They want free lunch, breakfast, and whatever else they can get. They know they cannot get a diploma,” Klein said during an August 2014 meeting. Protests have been held ever since, at just about every school board meeting, including Tuesday’s. Klein has said his words were distorted and taken out of context. In a district where most students are children of color, where many are immigrants, where dozens of languages are spoken, such misunderstanding and stereotyping cannot stand. Klein must go.” Read the full text of the editorial here.
July 11, 2015 (Contributed by Michael Bongiorno) In 1957 John F. Kennedy won a Pulitzer Prize for writing Profiles in Courage, a volume of short biographies describing acts of bravery and integrity by eight United State Senators who did the right thing despite criticism and damage to their political careers. In New York we have the complete opposite: “Profiles in Cowardice”, where self-serving politicians do the wrong thing and sacrifice the future of thousands of schoolchildren in order to retain the support of the ultra-religious and electorally powerful bloc vote. [Read more…]
July 8, 2015 “The East Ramapo school board is parting ways after six years with Minerva and D’Agostino, the pricey Long Island-based law firm that many say added to an already volatile atmosphere in the district. The board hired New York City-based Harris Beach as its new legal representative Tuesday at a 7 p.m. reorganization meeting that drew more than 100 people, including Judith Johnson, the Lower Hudson Valley’s representative on the state Board of Regents, and Family Court Judge Sherri Eisenpress. [Read more…]
All of our state legislators were united in their demand that a robust and powerful monitor be appointed to oversee the East Ramapo School District with powers to act in the interests of the public schoolchildren in real time. They agreed that the district should get more money for the restoration of public school services once the monitor bill was passed. Money was set aside during the budget process for this very result. It was the opponents of the bill that “left money on the table.” [Read more…]
June 29, 2015 The day after the New York bill to appoint a monitor for the East Ramapo School Board had died in the Senate, those opposing the oversight were congratulating themselves online with the kind of bravado that seemed to include great relief that the fire had been put out. At the same time, there was a groundswell of recriminations directed at the Senate Republicans who had refused to bring the proposed bill up for a vote. Also Friday morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Chancellor of the Board of Regents, Merryl Tisch, was calling for the resignation of the East Ramapo Superintendent of Schools Joel Klein. Two days later, on Sunday morning, a large group of parents accompanied by Channel 12 News gathered in front of Klein’s home in New City calling for the Superintendent’s resignation. Standing on the side, attracting very little notice, was the agent who had helped engineer the killing of the bill. [Read more…]