“I love the concept of change. Everybody’s in favor of change. You ask people do we need change they say yes we need change…What they really mean is YOU need to change. …They like control and they want to stay just the way they are. But everybody thinks they like change. When change actually comes to them, it’s shocking and it’s frightening….And that’s where we are today.”
-Andrew Cuomo, February 1, 2011
Truer words were never spoken. You say you want to lower the state budget deficit? Then let’s see who you want to fire, what services you want to cut, and how deep you’re willing to go into your pocket.
These questions can be applied across the board. Take education. You want to change the system? Let’s see if you’re willing to dismantle a school, fire teachers and provide more rigorous instruction.
The current firestorm over the city’s closing of troubled schools (one of those schools being Paul Robeson located four blocks from where I live), and approval of new charter schools, strike at the heart of what kind of change we want in public education, and what we are willing to do to get it. Nobody in their right mind should want to hold on to an institution that is structured to fail our children. But the question is, with the state budget and New York City’s public school system alike, will this actually be “change,” or more of the same? Is this what our families actually need? Or are, once again, the poorest, darkest, least socially resourced, and least English proficient among us simply getting punished? And do these people and communities most profoundly affected have any say in the matter?
Oh change, it is a comin’to Central Brooklyn. Or maybe it’s more of the same. Boys and Girls High School, the most beloved – and most notorious – school in the area, has a bull’s-eye on its back. It too is a troubled school and the principal, Bernard Gassaway, has been given only a short time to turn things around.
The Brooklyn Movement Center is standing by principal Gassaway, and the students and parents of Boys and Girls to turn our high school into a model of success, and to challenge the notion that the only way to save a struggling school is to shut down.
Sign up to join the fight.