The mere sight of Schools Chancellor Cathie Black at a hearing by the Panel for Educational Policy brought boos from the crowd.**
The majority of the people inside the auditorium were parents, students, and UFT supporters. They were so angry that Panel for Educational Policy voted Tuesday to close 10 schools and will vote again Thursday night on closing another 13.
After the elected officials and UFT president spoke, some students used their speaking time to chant.
Though the moderator tried to maintain control, there was an organized chaos as more than a thousand people followed the students' lead and walked out. After a short rally outside, those students left on buses they said were provided by the UFT.
Before the meeting started, Deputy Mayor for Education Dennis Walcott said debate was an important part of the process, but would stand firm.
"We understand this is an emotional issue, we have a responsibility to make sure there are high quality schools for all students," Walcott said.
After the walk-out, the debate inside took on a much quieter tone as many of the people who stayed behind spoke up in support of underperforming schools to close.
**Which included members of Make the Road New York (MRNY).
Since the November NYC elections, MRNY members have been hard at work setting the agenda for our next mayor, City Council and citywide elected officials.
We kicked off "Talking Transition" with a low-wage worker forum and our attorneys have been staffing a Single Stop clinic around the clock at the Transition tent.
Recently, our youth joined the Transitions conversation to bring education and police reform issues into the spotlight for the new elected officials. 17-year-old youth leader Cheyanne Smith was also profiled in the New York Times for her leadership to make NYC schools more respectful, safe, and dignified places for learning.