What Does @deBlasioNYC Mean for @NYCSchools

What Does @deBlasioNYC Mean for @NYCSchools

I do not have an answer to that question. All my research, that my educator exile has afforded me, has not given me anything concrete as to what’s to come. I know what I and most parents and educators of NYC want it to mean. They want change. They want to be heard and more importantly listened to. I hope, for the city’s sake, that we are.

I was on Team de Blasio from about March 2013. I did have my second favorite as John Liu, but it was Bill and his campaign that pulled me with a stronger polarity. In May 2013 I happened to be invited to Bill de Blasio’s 52nd birthday party at Cielo in the Meat Packing District. I attended. It was not a packed house, but energy was very high. I remember leaning against the bar in the back with a Pinot Grigio in my left hand as I listened to his speech and Tweeted with my right.

Bill de Blasio's Birthday Speech

Bill de Blasio’s Birthday Speech

As the night progressed I spoke to different members of his campaign and was introduced to Bill and his family. I spoke with his son Dante and wife Chirlane briefly. If I’m not mistaken, Dante’s favorite subject is Social Studies. I exchanged phone numbers and continued to follow and speak with the campaign during the following months.

In a phone conversation that took place the morning before the UFT was going to vote on an endorsement for mayoral candidate I had the following conversation:


Me: “Have you heard any chatter from the UFT”

BdB Campaign: “No, but we are not expecting good news this afternoon.”

Me: “Do not worry about it. Even if it is officially Thompson, know that most I have spoken to do not back Thompson especially because of the Meryl Tisch connection.” (I know we are supposed to be united, but it was true)

BdB Campaign: “Well we’ll see.”


I continued to keep in touch with several members of the campaign and send them news and chatter from the education front. Bill de Blasio was trailing in the polls when I left for Greece and I kind of shut off all emails and communication as far as education goes. I had to unwind and spend quality time with family. I returned to find him leading in the polls and was very happy to see that. I’m glad the UFT and Thompson conceded and we were all on Team de Blasio since the primary. I was pretty honored to also be followed on Twitter by both Bill and Chirlane.

But what now What does his win mean for the NYC Department of Education I have experienced a very high dose of dirt, corruption, incompetence and malpractice during my 23 month battle with the DOE. There are many attorneys who do not know what they are doing and they are wrongly advising principals who also do not know what they are doing…sometimes. Is Bill going to come in and clean up house Where does he get most of his education information from Hopefully not UFT President Michael Mulgrew who happens to be very disconnected with the parents and educators of NYC.

I do not care about my case. What I mean is I do not expect that my termination hearing is withdrawn. I have truth on my side (as well as gigabytes of evidence). As everyone has seen, I can handle my own. I have Day 6 of my termination hearing tomorrow and do not lose sleep or break a sweat over how it’s going. I’m more concerned about the 10 million residents of NYC. How will they be affected by new policies

There was new worried chatter that erupted when Bill de Blasio thanked Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently. This worries many educators and parents as Rahm Emanuel has closed many schools in Chicago and followed much of Bloomberg’s playbook. S

So again, we can hope for the best and we can hold everyone accountable. The best would be if we would all work together to improve this great city. This starts with the right education. Bill de Blasio can pull that off if he follows the words of his birthday speech.

Bad start is his new Progress Campaign is currently blocked by NYC DOE computers. www.transition2013.com

PS: Bill, I’m interested in taking David Weiner’s position as Deputy Chancellor ofDivision of Talent, Labor and Innovation in case you are looking for someone.


About Francesco Portelos

Parent and Educator fighting for the student and the teacher.
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  1. Francesco,….I, too, have hope but have learned since 2008 not to put too much hope in any one politician, especially a politician elected after a campaign where he didn’t need to explain very much what he intended to do or how he intended to do it. I expect that with so many contracts to negotiate and a $2 billion budget deficit to close we’ll never get what we deserve on the “economics” of a new contract. I expect that BDB will try to negotiate in good faith on things that don’t cost him anything, such as a clean sweep at Tweed, charging charter schools some form of rent when they co-locate and pushing back on HST and the new evaluation system–things that can give him progressive cred and that make teachers miserable every day. As to DOE governance and school administration, I’m sure he’ll leave all that to his Chancellor and there, too, we can only rely on hope.

  2. Recommended: “The Democratic victory in New York and the crisis of liberalism” http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/11/07/pers-n07.html

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