Public schools are often criticized and scrutinized for perceived administrative bloat, tied to concerns that those sitting behind desks in district offices are diverting funds away from investment in students. Conversely, charter schools are touted for successes through their leaner administrative model, allowing for more resources to go directly to classrooms.
"Getting outside our comfort level, particularly in communities where we need to go the extra mile, is difficult." Dan Malloy 4/10/12 Norwalk Education Town Hall Meeting.
Governor Dan Malloy used that quote to reiterate why the state should terminate tenure, shift to a teacher evaluation system that relies more heavily on standardized test scores and create something called the "Commissioner's Network" in which the state would take over 25 schools, fire the teachers, ban collective bargaining and turn the schools over to a third-party.
The message - yet again - is my way or nothing.
Okay Governor, just for the heck of it, what if we actually talk about going the extra mile and confronting our traditional "comfort level" by confronting some of the real issues;
I don't want to celebrate this event, because there are so many people who feel strongly that this law should remain in place. People like Dr. Petit, who lost his family in a terrible crime. People who have suffered losses similar to his.
Instead, I wish to quietly affirm the idea that our state, and hopefully our nation, is comprised of people who honestly DO believe in the things that are right.
This has been a tough decision, and I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I've proposed to my fellow activists that we take down the physical camp and clean up on the 15th, after our anniversary celebration. Six months is longer than any other occupation made it, and that is a formidable victory. I think we stand to regain a lot of our supporters (and gain more supporters) if we pack up the camp and make sure the Green gets cleaned up, which I'm 100% willing to help with on Sunday.
A lot of people from local and regional community organizations are hanging back right now from helping us because of the whole controversy, and the longer we stay on the Green, the more damage we do to our cause. I think that our ranks will easily double or triple if we can get off the Green and prove that we will continue on in our struggle.
We can thumb our noses at the city and be prideful and arrogant, or we can move forward with greatly increased support to fight the 1%. If we want physical reminders of corporate greed and the rift between the rich and poor in this country, we can put things everywhere that can accomplish the same thing without all this controversy, and if we act quickly, we can do it on our terms, and not "King John" DeStefano's terms.
I understand that we have a dilemma because we don't want to see our homeless occupiers left behind. To remedy this, we can help Sara Ferah with the Existence Group's plans to reoccupy in an alternate location, which I am also 100% willing to help with.
It should be noted that I'm not giving up on ONH. I intend to continue the fight, but I just can't bring myself to say that we're fighting the right people anymore. The police aren't the enemy and the city is not the enemy. The 1% are, and the banks and corporations that control this country and drive it into the ground are. My message to fellow Occupy activists? Let's regroup and get serious, like we were back in October. The American Spring is here, and we've got an awful lot of work to do.