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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Tell President Bush To Make Darfur A Priority

Next Tuesday President Bush will set out his top priorities for the year when he delivers his annual State of the Union address to Congress.
We need your help to make sure the President emphasizes the urgency of ending the crisis in Darfur in his speech.
Please click here to ask President Bush to highlight his plan for Darfur when he addresses the nation on Tuesday.
Tuesday's State of the Union address provides an opportunity to ensure that ending the genocide in Darfur is a central part of the President's agenda and a top priority for the new Congress.
But there is another, even more critical reason why we need your help to reach out to President Bush today.
Right now, infamous Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is making a bid to become the next president of the African Union (AU) -- the very same international organization of African nations whose peacekeepers are trying to stem the violence in Darfur.
President Bashir's own policies have already led to the death and displacement of millions of Darfuris. We must do everything we can to stop President Bashir from become President of the African Union or more innocent Darfuris will pay the price.
Please join us in contacting President Bush right now to urge him to make Darfur a priority in his speech and to do everything in his power to prevent President Bashir from taking control of the African Union.
Click here to send your letter to President Bush now.
Once you've sent your letter to the President, help us spread the word about this urgent effort by forwarding this message to your friends and family.
Thank you again for your support.
Best regards,
David RubensteinSave Darfur Coalition
P.S. Will you join us as we turn up the heat? Click here to join our Weekly Action Network and commit to taking one action each week to stop the genocide in Darfur.
Donate to Help Save DarfurHelp build the political pressure needed to end the crisis in Darfur by supporting the Save Darfur Coalition's crucial awareness and advocacy programs. Click here now to make a secure, tax-deductible online donation
The Save Darfur Coalition is an alliance of over 175 faith-based, advocacy and humanitarian organizations whose mission is to raise public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and to mobilize a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of more than two million people in the Darfur region. To learn more, please visit http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/track.jsp?key=269132050&url_num=5&url=http://www.SaveDarfur.org

President Bush's State of the Union address to Congress

Next Tuesday President Bush will set out his top priorities for the year when he delivers his annual State of the Union address to Congress.
We need your help to make sure the President emphasizes the urgency of ending the crisis in Darfur in his speech.
Please click here to ask President Bush to highlight his plan for Darfur when he addresses the nation on Tuesday.
Tuesday's State of the Union address provides an opportunity to ensure that ending the genocide in Darfur is a central part of the President's agenda and a top priority for the new Congress.
But there is another, even more critical reason why we need your help to reach out to President Bush today.
Right now, infamous Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is making a bid to become the next president of the African Union (AU) -- the very same international organization of African nations whose peacekeepers are trying to stem the violence in Darfur.
President Bashir's own policies have already led to the death and displacement of millions of Darfuris. We must do everything we can to stop President Bashir from become President of the African Union or more innocent Darfuris will pay the price.
Please join us in contacting President Bush right now to urge him to make Darfur a priority in his speech and to do everything in his power to prevent President Bashir from taking control of the African Union.
Click here to send your letter to President Bush now.
Once you've sent your letter to the President, help us spread the word about this urgent effort by forwarding this message to your friends and family.
Thank you again for your support.
Best regards,
David RubensteinSave Darfur Coalition
P.S. Will you join us as we turn up the heat? Click here to join our Weekly Action Network and commit to taking one action each week to stop the genocide in Darfur.
Donate to Help Save DarfurHelp build the political pressure needed to end the crisis in Darfur by supporting the Save Darfur Coalition's crucial awareness and advocacy programs. Click here now to make a secure, tax-deductible online donation
The Save Darfur Coalition is an alliance of over 175 faith-based, advocacy and humanitarian organizations whose mission is to raise public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and to mobilize a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of more than two million people in the Darfur region. To learn more, please visit http://www.SaveDarfur.org.

DC Teachers Can Help Save Darfur!

Next Tuesday President Bush will set out his top priorities for the year when he delivers his annual State of the Union address to Congress.
We need your help to make sure the President emphasizes the urgency of ending the crisis in Darfur in his speech.
Please click here to ask President Bush to highlight his plan for Darfur when he addresses the nation on Tuesday.
Tuesday's State of the Union address provides an opportunity to ensure that ending the genocide in Darfur is a central part of the President's agenda and a top priority for the new Congress.
But there is another, even more critical reason why we need your help to reach out to President Bush today.
Right now, infamous Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir is making a bid to become the next president of the African Union (AU) -- the very same international organization of African nations whose peacekeepers are trying to stem the violence in Darfur.
President Bashir's own policies have already led to the death and displacement of millions of Darfuris. We must do everything we can to stop President Bashir from become President of the African Union or more innocent Darfuris will pay the price.
Please join us in contacting President Bush right now to urge him to make Darfur a priority in his speech and to do everything in his power to prevent President Bashir from taking control of the African Union.
Click here to send your letter to President Bush now.
Once you've sent your letter to the President, help us spread the word about this urgent effort by forwarding this message to your friends and family.
Thank you again for your support.
Best regards,
David RubensteinSave Darfur Coalition
P.S. Will you join us as we turn up the heat? Click here to join our Weekly Action Network and commit to taking one action each week to stop the genocide in Darfur.
Donate to Help Save DarfurHelp build the political pressure needed to end the crisis in Darfur by supporting the Save Darfur Coalition's crucial awareness and advocacy programs. Click here now to make a secure, tax-deductible online donation
The Save Darfur Coalition is an alliance of over 175 faith-based, advocacy and humanitarian organizations whose mission is to raise public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and to mobilize a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of more than two million people in the Darfur region. To learn more, please visit http://www.SaveDarfur.org.

USIP is teaming up with International Crisis Group to present a unique look at the role of young people in building and sustaining peace. We often overlook the huge toll that war takes on the younger generation whose lives are profoundly affected by conflicts around the world. This program brings together educational experts with young adults who have lived through conflict and are working to prevent it. USIP is teaming up with International Crisis Group>> to present a unique>> look at the role of young people in building and>> sustaining peace. We>> often overlook the huge toll that war takes on the>> younger generation>> whose lives are profoundly affected by conflicts>> around the world. This>> program brings together educational experts with>> young adults who have>> lived through conflict and are working to prevent>> it. The program will>> feature Zlata Filipovich, whose diary from 1991-1993>> during the Balkans>> war awoke the conscience of people all around the>> world about life in>> the midst of violent conflict. Zlata has co-edited a>> new book with>> Melanie Challenger which traces the diaries of young>> people from WWI to>> Iraq. Both will speak, in addition to our own Yll>> Bajraktari, who>> founded a youth organization in Kosovo. Among the>> question we will>> explore:>>>> * What role can young people play in preventing>> international conflict?>> * How do the diaries of young people shed light on>> life during war?>> * Where can youth be most effective after a conflict>> is resolved and>> reconciliation begins?>> * What kinds of programs exist to bring youth into>> the peacemaking and>> peacebuilding field?>>>>>> Speakers>>>>>> * Zlata Filipovich and Melanie Challenger>> Co-editors of Stolen Voices: Young People's War>> Diaries, From World War>> I to Iraq>> * Ambassador Donald Steinberg>> Former USIP Fellow and currently Vice President of>> International Crisis>> Group>> * David J. Smith, Moderator>> Education Program, U.S. Institute of Peace>>>> Discussants will include young people who have>> experienced>> international conflict including:>> * Yll Bajraktari, Discussant>> Founder of The Forum, a youth organization in Kosovo>>>>>> RSVP>>>> To RSVP, please send your name, affiliation, daytime>> phone number, and>> name of the event to the Office of Public Affairs>> and Communications at>> rsvp@usip.org.>>>> Media Inquiries>>>> Please direct media inquiries to Lauren Sucher in>> the Office of Public>> Affairs and Communications at lsucher@usip.org.>>>>>> Of Related Interest>>>>>> * Youth and Violent Conflict>> National Peace Essay Contest, February 2007>> * International Conference on Muslim Youth in Europe>> and North America>> Summary, October 2006>> * Kosovo's Future: Between Hope and Reality>> Public Event, April 2006>> * Youth in Violently Divided Societies>> Senior Fellow Project Report, April 2003>> (Audio Available)>> * The Enemy Has a Face: The Seeds of Peace>> Experience>> USIP Press Book, February 2000>>>>USIP is teaming up with International Crisis Group>> to present a unique>> look at the role of young people in building and>> sustaining peace. We>> often overlook the huge toll that war takes on the>> younger generation>> whose lives are profoundly affected by conflicts>> around the world. This>> program brings together educational experts with>> young adults who have>> lived through conflict and are working to prevent>> it. The program will>> feature Zlata Filipovich, whose diary from 1991-1993>> during the Balkans>> war awoke the conscience of people all around the>> world about life in>> the midst of violent conflict. Zlata has co-edited a>> new book with>> Melanie Challenger which traces the diaries of young>> people from WWI to>> Iraq. Both will speak, in addition to our own Yll>> Bajraktari, who>> founded a youth organization in Kosovo. Among the>> question we will>> explore:>>>> * What role can young people play in preventing>> international conflict?>> * How do the diaries of young people shed light on>> life during war?>> * Where can youth be most effective after a conflict>> is resolved and>> reconciliation begins?>> * What kinds of programs exist to bring youth into>> the peacemaking and>> peacebuilding field?>>>>>> Speakers>>>>>> * Zlata Filipovich and Melanie Challenger>> Co-editors of Stolen Voices: Young People's War>> Diaries, From World War>> I to Iraq>> * Ambassador Donald Steinberg>> Former USIP Fellow and currently Vice President of>> International Crisis>> Group>> * David J. Smith, Moderator>> Education Program, U.S. Institute of Peace>>>> Discussants will include young people who have>> experienced>> international conflict including:>> * Yll Bajraktari, Discussant>> Founder of The Forum, a youth organization in Kosovo>>>>>> RSVP>>>> To RSVP, please send your name, affiliation, daytime>> phone number, and>> name of the event to the Office of Public Affairs>> and Communications at>> rsvp@usip.org.>>>> Media Inquiries>>>> Please direct media inquiries to Lauren Sucher in>> the Office of Public>> Affairs and Communications at lsucher@usip.org.>>>>>> Of Related Interest>>>>>> * Youth and Violent Conflict>> National Peace Essay Contest, February 2007>> * International Conference on Muslim Youth in Europe>> and North America>> Summary, October 2006>> * Kosovo's Future: Between Hope and Reality>> Public Event, April 2006>> * Youth in Violently Divided Societies>> Senior Fellow Project Report, April 2003>> (Audio Available)>> * The Enemy Has a Face: The Seeds of Peace>> Experience>> USIP Press Book, February 2000>>>>USIP is teaming up with International Crisis Group>> to present a unique>> look at the role of young people in building and>> sustaining peace. We>> often overlook the huge toll that war takes on the>> younger generation>> whose lives are profoundly affected by conflicts>> around the world. This>> program brings together educational experts with>> young adults who have>> lived through conflict and are working to prevent>> it. The program will>> feature Zlata Filipovich, whose diary from 1991-1993>> during the Balkans>> war awoke the conscience of people all around the>> world about life in>> the midst of violent conflict. Zlata has co-edited a>> new book with>> Melanie Challenger which traces the diaries of young>> people from WWI to>> Iraq. Both will speak, in addition to our own Yll>> Bajraktari, who>> founded a youth organization in Kosovo. Among the>> question we will>> explore:>>>> * What role can young people play in preventing>> international conflict?>> * How do the diaries of young people shed light on>> life during war?>> * Where can youth be most effective after a conflict>> is resolved and>> reconciliation begins?>> * What kinds of programs exist to bring youth into>> the peacemaking and>> peacebuilding field?>>>>>> Speakers>>>>>> * Zlata Filipovich and Melanie Challenger>> Co-editors of Stolen Voices: Young People's War>> Diaries, From World War>> I to Iraq>> * Ambassador Donald Steinberg>> Former USIP Fellow and currently Vice President of>> International Crisis>> Group>> * David J. Smith, Moderator>> Education Program, U.S. Institute of Peace>>>> Discussants will include young people who have>> experienced>> international conflict including:>> * Yll Bajraktari, Discussant>> Founder of The Forum, a youth organization in Kosovo>>>>>> RSVP>>>> To RSVP, please send your name, affiliation, daytime>> phone number, and>> name of the event to the Office of Public Affairs>> and Communications at>> rsvp@usip.org.>>>> Media Inquiries>>>> Please direct media inquiries to Lauren Sucher in>> the Office of Public>> Affairs and Communications at lsucher@usip.org.>>>>>> Of Related Interest>>>>>> * Youth and Violent Conflict>> National Peace Essay Contest, February 2007>> * International Conference on Muslim Youth in Europe>> and North America>> Summary, October 2006>> * Kosovo's Future: Between Hope and Reality>> Public Event, April 2006>> * Youth in Violently Divided Societies>> Senior Fellow Project Report, April 2003>> (Audio Available)>> * The Enemy Has a Face: The Seeds of Peace>> Experience>> USIP Press Book, February 2000>>>>The program will>> feature Zlata Filipovich, whose diary from 1991-1993>> during the Balkans>> war awoke the conscience of people all around the>> world about life in>> the midst of violent conflict. Zlata has co-edited a>> new book with>> Melanie Challenger which traces the diaries of young>> people from WWI to>> Iraq. Both will speak, in addition to our own Yll>> Bajraktari, who>> founded a youth organization in Kosovo. Among the>> question we will>> explore:>>>> * What role can young people play in preventing>> international conflict?>> * How do the diaries of young people shed light on>> life during war?>> * Where can youth be most effective after a conflict>> is resolved and>> reconciliation begins?>> * What kinds of programs exist to bring youth into>> the peacemaking and>> peacebuilding field?>>>>>> Speakers>>>>>> * Zlata Filipovich and Melanie Challenger>> Co-editors of Stolen Voices: Young People's War>> Diaries, From World War>> I to Iraq>> * Ambassador Donald Steinberg>> Former USIP Fellow and currently Vice President of>> International Crisis>> Group>> * David J. Smith, Moderator>> Education Program, U.S. Institute of Peace>>>> Discussants will include young people who have>> experienced>> international conflict including:>> * Yll Bajraktari, Discussant>> Founder of The Forum, a youth organization in Kosovo>>>>>> RSVP>>>> To RSVP, please send your name, affiliation, daytime>> phone number, and>> name of the event to the Office of Public Affairs>> and Communications at>> rsvp@usip.org.>>>> Media Inquiries>>>> Please direct media inquiries to Lauren Sucher in>> the Office of Public>> Affairs and Communications at lsucher@usip.org.>>>>>> Of Related Interest>>>>>> * Youth and Violent Conflict>> National Peace Essay Contest, February 2007>> * International Conference on Muslim Youth in Europe>> and North America>> Summary, October 2006>> * Kosovo's Future: Between Hope and Reality>> Public Event, April 2006>> * Youth in Violently Divided Societies>> Senior Fellow Project Report, April 2003>> (Audio Available)>> * The Enemy Has a Face: The Seeds of Peace>> Experience>> USIP Press Book, February 2000>>>>

GW University Wants DC Teachers

Dear DCPS Teacher: The Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University is conducting research into the response of urban public school personnel to various education reforms that are taking place in the District of Columbia. This project is a joint effort between faculty and graduate students and has been approved by Georgetown University's Institutional Review Board.
You are invited to participate in a teacher focus group regarding education policy and practices in the DC public schools. We are asking for your input as to how these reforms have or have not affected you and your teaching environment. As a token of our appreciation for your participation, we are offering $75 American Express Gift Cards to participants. Your participation will be confidential and your name will neither be shared with anyone outside of the research team nor be published in any research report. Please contact me ASAP if you are available for a focus group on either
Saturday, February 10th, from 10:00am - 11:30am, or
Tuesday, February 13th, from 4:30pm - 6:00pm
at the Georgetown University Law Center. The Law Center is located at 600 New Jersey Ave. NW, near Union Station. If you are interested in participating in a focus group or if you have any questions, please send an email including your name, school, telephone number and/or mailing address to dbc26@georgetown.edu. Additionally, please contact me if you cannot meet during these particular times but are interested in participating in the future. Sincerely, Dean Campbell Georgetown Public Policy Institute Master of Public Policy Program
dbc26@georgetown.edu

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Letter on 'School Takeover' from Gary Imhoff

Dear News Hounds: The news from the new city administration begins tomorrow. Yesterday's private inauguration was just a formality, and today's public inauguration wasn't that much more important. Mayor Fenty's speech at (http://www.dcwatch.com/mayor/070103.htm) was a collection of platitudes. I just posted it, and I have already forgotten it. Council Chairman Vincent Gray's speech (http://www.dcwatch.com/council/070103.htm) didn't say anything either, although it signals his desire for a return to 1960's-style liberalism and 1970's-style governmental social programs. But tomorrow the news begins. Tomorrow Mayor Fenty announces his plan to take over the schools. That's where the important money and property is. That's where there is a multitude of desirable land holdings that are ripe for divestment and dispersal to the insiders. That's where there is over two billion dollars in construction and renovation money ripe for the picking, money that the powers-that- be want to funnel to EdBuild, the Federal City Council creation that keeps a revolving door open for high-level city government officials (http://www.edbuild.org/). By the way, don't expect much reporting about EdBuild and its sweetheart insider deals from the Post or the Times (although V. Dion Haynes did have one story about it recently, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/25/AR2006122500546.html). This is an occasion on which we miss The Common Denominator, which would take on stories about who is profiting from sweetheart back-room deals. You may want to start subscribing to the Afro-American, since its reporter, Valencia Muhammed, is interested in covering the story. Fenty has prepared well for this, naming new appointees to the Board of Education who are primed to undermine its authority and power, asserting that his secret plan for improving education will speedily improve DC's schools, somehow. When I dealt with education affairs in some depth, a few decades ago, I formulated a personal rule: someone who referred to himself as a "teacher" probably had some idea of how to teach kids; someone who referred to himself as an "educator" would have theories about teaching, but no clue of what to do in a classroom; and someone who referred to himself as an "educationalist" was purely a quack. Fenty hasn't given us any reason to trust that he has a teacher's understanding of what DC's students need, any reason to believe that he really has a plan that will change for the better what goes on in the classrooms. I have no doubt that he has a plan for the city's assets, but I don't see what's in it for the kids. I suspect he's an educationalist. Gary Imhoffhttp://us.f348.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=themail@dcwatch.com

Yo' Adrian, Wrong Way!

The following article was taken from Sam Smith's Progressive News Blog (City Desk)
"Like Wrong Way Corrigan who mistakenly flew from New York to Ireland when he was meant to be going to California, Adrian Fenty has his plane headed in the wrong direction.Even before his inauguration, Fenty made a number of errors that have raised serious apprehensions about what lies ahead. These include a planned takeover of the school system; the questionable appointment of Kathy Lanier as police chief without consulting even with members of his own team; and a suspiciously close involvement with the Federal City Council. The school system takeover is a terrible idea for a number of reasons:- It is a dagger aimed at the heart of home rule. An elected school board was DC's first modern victory in its struggle towards self government. Anthony Williams callously eviscerated it and now Fenty wants to destroy it. This makes him an enemy of home rule.- The excuse that the takeover will create a better school system has no basis in fact. For example, the NYC model has had extremely mixed returns which Fenty clearly doesn't understand as he has primarily listened to its advocates and not to its victims. Furthermore, there is nothing in Fenty's record that indicates sufficient knowledge of education to justify his coup against an elected board.- The concept essentially involves replacing democracy with a corporate system. While democracy is often flawed, it is inherently no more so than the failures of the self-appointed and is inherently a fairer system.- The very attempt displays a gross misunderstanding of education. Education is, at its heart, a personal relationship between teacher and student. The principals, bureaucracies and superstructures are there for support and logistics. Fenty, like so many, is treating education as a corporate organizational problem. This is doomed to failure because it reduces the key players - teachers and students - to the weakest position in a corporate bureaucracy when, in truth, they should be its most important participants.- A far better approach to school reform would be to reverse the course that Fenty proposes. Instead of tyranny at the top, permit the bottom to blossom. For example, you could make every high school and its feeder schools semi-autonomous systems with their own elected boards made of up teachers, parents and community. By having multiple systems at work in the city, you would quickly see which are effective and which are not. Working on the principle of subsidiarity (as used by the European Union, for example) government would function at the lowest practical level, which in a school system, is very close to the class room.- It seems highly likely that a primary reason for the takeover is to make valuable school properties more easily available to developers and/or campaign contributors. There is a name for this in urban politics; it is called corruption.
Finally, it appears almost certain that some sort of covert arrangement - perhaps implicit, perhaps more conscious - has been made between Fenty and the Federal City Council. In any case, the Council - a disingenuous polite front for local corporados - is clearly exercising far more influence in terms of appointments and policy than is good for the city. In DC, one doesn't have to make a pact with the devil; making one with the Federal City Council and its spiritual mentor, the Washington Post, produces much the same results without the theological hassles. It is not too late for Fenty to turn his plane around and head in the right direction. Showboating as Mr. Super Manager isn't going to fool people for long just as it didn't with Anthony Williams. What does work is getting a good team together that loves the city more than it loves campaign contributors, that is willing to stand up for the people of the city as opposed to those who just use the city to make a lot of money.It wouldn't hurt for Fenty to pay attention to the telling silence over the departure of Williams. It's hard to find anyone outside of the Board of Trade and the Washington Post who's really sad to see him go. And it's worth noting that, despite all his faults, Marion Barry was able to maintain a constituency well past his prime. Why? Because he had actually helped a lot of people when he wasn't destroying himself. If Fenty only pays off those who paid for his election, he will end up on the losing end. It he serves those who voted for him, he will turn into a winner.

The Mayor's Takeover of DC Schools

What DC Teachers Ought to Know about Mayor Fenty’s Plan to Takeover DC Schools!
DC citizens voted for Adrian Fenty because he promised them that THEIR mandate would be HIS mandate, but he is already going around the people, straight to Congress and the Federal City Council (FCC), Terrence Golden and company, to rubber stamp his plan to take control of our schools! He’s already using the same tactics used by former Mayor Williams when he wanted to impose a school voucher program on DC citizens against their wishes! These are the facts;
Mayor Fenty is rushing to get his plan to takeover our schools approved by a City Council that has no representation in Ward 4 or Ward 7. These two seats were vacated by former Ward 7 Council members Vincent Gray (who became Council chair) and Ward 4 Council member Victor Reinoso ( who Mayor Fenty has decided to name as the new Deputy Mayor of Education)
Wards 7 has more public school students per capita than any other Ward in DC.
Mayor Fenty is asking Congress to rubber stamp his school takeover plan instead of putting it to the people for a referendum
Mayor Fenty knows that he has no mandate from the DC community for this power grab, because he never mentioned "take-over" to them until after his primary victory.
Mayor Fenty’s "take-over" plan is being fueled and driven by the Federal City Council (FCC) and other business-friendly interests who have lusted after our school properties and exploited our communities for decades. Even Washington Post columnist Colbert King has questioned how Fenty's selection of Victor Reinoso, a FCC employee with no serious experience as an educator or even as a manager, will help our public schools or the DC public school children.
DCPS does NOT need another layer of bureaucracy on top of what we already have.
The DC community fears that Fenty's populism may have been nothing more than a convenient campaign strategy.

Fenty's plan complicates instead of simplifies the chain of command.
The new Deputy Mayor (Victor Reinoso-hand-picked by the Federal City Council a.k.a. Terrence Golden), will be co-equal to the school Superintendent, and will also oversee the Charter School Authority -- giving out unlimited funds to start new schools and will supervises the State Education Agency that will be holding the purse strings of public construction money that was supposed to go to modernize DCPS buildings.
If the Deputy Mayor and the Superintendent are at odds, who will the Mayor support—the Superintendent who must educate all the special needs kids and those who have been kicked out of charter schools as "not fitting their profiles", or will the winner be the Deputy Mayor, hand-picked by the Federal City Council, and his portfolio of charter schools who have many influential friends: FOCUS, Mary Landrieu, the Kimsey Foundation, the Walmart Foundation, etc. who believe that no matter which city or which students, public education would be better managed by the private sector.
DCPS and our public school students cannot win with this structure. Our neediest students are in DPCS. There is no equivalent of the well-financed FOCUS (Friends of Charter Schools US) to lobby the mayor, council, and Congress on behalf of our neediest students. All we parents have is the vote, and that is being compromised by Fenty's plan. Residents used to have a council member and a board of education member to contact to advocate for students' needs and under-funded DCPS initiatives. In the new scenario there will be only a council member, controlling the purse strings and tempted to hand out contracts and other favors to campaign contributors.
Our neediest citizens and our current DCPS students will notbe served at all well by the proposed structure. The charter schools of the city appear to be well-sheltered and well-served in this proposed structure, and their unfettered expansion -- by default --spells the demise of DCPS, the safety net we count on for all of our kids.
We did not ask for a complicated "take-over" plan when we supported Adrian Fenty. We told him we want a public school system that works. Fix the schools Adrian—it's not as complicated as you think.
“Mayor Fenty, Here is what you have a mandate to do:
Reinstate career and technical (formerly vocational) education
Rehire all the teachers, maintenance workers, and custodians laid off when the city had no money to adequately staff our schools, but was building a new $600 million convention center
Reinstate art and music at all our public schools.
Put a moratorium on new and expansion charter schools. We have more than enough schools. Fix them now! Stop marketing lifeboats when the ship is sinking.
Put the same time, energy, and money into the public school system, jobs, housing, healthcare, and recreation that Mayor Williams and the last Council put into convention centers, baseball stadiums, condos, and hotels.
Help Save Our Schools! Visit the Save Our Schools (SOS) website at www.saveourschoolsdc.org to learn more about our work and find out about our next meeting and what YOU can do to help.