"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Fenty/Rhee's Divide-and-Conquer Strategy Inspires Parent Boycott

Democracy lives in DC! Fenty, Rhee, and their PR firm thought they would neutralize opposition to Phase 1 of their school charterization plan by having 23 simultaneous "data-gathering" meetings in the schools set to be axed. Parents and teachers aren't buying it, and neither are the local politicians who recognize an important issue when they see it.

Will the boycott lead to calls for Rhee's resignation? From WaPo:

Parents and community activists called yesterday for a boycott of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's 23 public hearings on school closings set for Jan. 17 and have set up a single meeting that evening for residents to attend instead. Fenty's multiple gatherings, critics say, are an effort to minimize public input.

D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) said he supports the boycott, and fellow council member Harry Thomas Jr. (D-Ward 5) helped secure the John A. Wilson Building as a meeting site. The mass meeting is a response to public anger over Fenty's decision two weeks ago to cancel a citywide public hearing and replace it with 23 hearings that Fenty (D) said would allow for more detailed discussions. Activists opposed the arrangement because the mayor and D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee would not be able to attend all the hearings.

Parents from some of the schools slated to be closed and community activists formed the Coalition to Save Our Neighborhood Schools. The group has launched a citywide campaign -- including fliers, radio public service ads and church announcements -- urging parents to attend what is being called "The People's Meeting" at the Wilson Building.

Fenty "is on his one-man routine. We're telling parents we don't have to put up with this," said Cherita Whiting, a parent activist and coalition member.

"Parents are not going to sit back and be told what to do," she added. . . .


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