In front of 900 in the Ward Melville High School auditorium, and several hundred more in the overflow cafeteria, PJSTA President Beth Dimino shredded NYSED Commissioner John King, Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch, and New York State Senator John Flanagan. She first called out King for what his agenda is: child abuse. Then she urged Tisch to fire King, citing the 350 letters she has collected supporting this stance. Finally she warned Flanagan that he had “awoken the mommies” and that “The mommies in New York don’t abuse their children and they’re not going to let bullies do that either!” She walked off to a rousing standing ovation.
Tisch later stated to the crowd, “I know you are passionate. We hear you, we get it.” But of course we know she doesn’t. We know that as currently constituted, NYSED, the New York State Board of Regents, the state legislature, and the governor have no plans to abandon their abusive reform agenda. Plutocrats like Tisch stand to make far too much money to abandon the agenda. Instead they may make minor alterations that change very little. They will claim these alterations are examples of them listening to parents, students, and educators. Nobody will buy it. Their agenda is now crystal clear. Too many people can now see what’s going on here. That’s why nothing short of a full withdrawal from Race to the Top, the Common Core, and test based evaluations is acceptable. Not waivers for special needs students. Not a three year moratorium. Only a full withdrawal from the entire agenda is acceptable.
Community members like the ones who filled the auditorium last night can’t fire the puppet John King. We also can’t fire puppet master Merryl Tisch. But next November we can vote out John Flanagan. We can vote out Andrew Cuomo. Then we can let a new state government deal with Tisch.
Flanagan, who hid in his office two weeks ago when 1,000 people rallied outside, looked like he wanted to slither away and hide under a rock last night. Don’t let his arrogance fool you. He knows the days of shoo-in victories in his senate district are over. He knows, that palling around with John King and taking big money from Michelle Rhee have now attached him to this agenda as much as anybody else. He knows that next November he will have to answer for the child abuse that he has supported as the chairman of the New York State Senate’s Education Committee. He knows now that he has awoken the mommies!
There was a slew of coverage of last night’s event. Just a bit of it is below…
YouTube sensation Dimino:
Fox NY’s coverage.