February 29, 2012


By Profesor Martin Danenberg "El Quijote del GED"

Charles Barron gave a wonderful talk and performance at the Black History Month event in M.S. 219. I really liked it. It made me think, perhaps more than others in the audience thought about it. Or maybe I just know too much about the people and their needs. The City of New York has put extra money into GED and guess what. There have been fewer diplomas and there may be fewer diplomas as I write this new article.

Has Councilman Charles Barron built human capacity in education through the GED in his district, capacity that helps people get jobs where the GED is a requirement? Remember this powerful recession or depression that has afflicted us? President Obama would be shaking right now because the stimulus did not work fast, but the opposition is giving him a breather and yes perhaps a second chance.

Councilman Barron spoke about building more housing than any other councilman and he explained the process. This is something he could teach to all councilman who represent districts with great housing needs, but the numbers of GED diplomas went down in New York State and those diplomas are needed for better paying jobs. Did Barron succeed or did he fail? Did he fail those people in the district as he provided others with homes that sometimes appear to be a luxury compared with other residences? As he supports one area he neglects another area. That is precisely what Speakers Quinn and Silver do as they control their respective jurisdictions, Chuckie. But it is true that when there is a change in the majority in power there can be a big change for the people, but not as long as people in power like Silver, Quinn, and Barron do make the right decisions. They all share the blame. Ask Councilman Robert Jackson and he will tell you. We are all to blame and it doesn't matter if it Black History month or not. It is something that happens all year long.

Here I am fighting, like a revolutionary (REVOLUTIONARY), to help people coming out of jail and Black elected officials may not even understand the impact. Here I am trying to bring new GED testing centers to Newark and Paterson. Here I am trying to do the same for Bed-Stuy, the Bronx, and many other areas. Where are the Black officials? I have looked all over and I do not see them. I want to thank Assemblyman Eric Stevenson for bringing me back into the Bronx yesterday. Eric was there when I took my campaign into the housing in the Bronx and he was there at City Hall when I did the Save the GED Rally. My great GED friend, City Councilman Robert Jackson, came outside and spoke for eight minutes. You can see that I have two great friends in New York government and there is still no unity. Just two people? The very least I would love to do for Assembyman Stevenson is help people coming out of jail with the GED, do a district wide educational conference to empower the parents with new ideas so their schools will not close and more students will succeed, and help gang members transform their lives.

Charles Barron spoke about re-electing President Obama, having a minority (he says majority) as speaker of the City Council of New York, and having unity among the Black, Hispanic, and Asian members. Here we go Chuckie from Lillian Wald! White Hyperbole permits me to say that I should slap the face of the first mmmmmmm Black elected official that I see tomorrow after I complete this article. Would it be Wright or Wrong to do that? No error intended there. There is no elected official named Wong and I could have easily misspelled that name. Chuckie here we go with some main points.

Since I began my GED campaign around 2001 in New York City, the minority elected officials have held back their own people back. Have you, your wife, and the other elected officials had GED flyers in your offices to distribute? What have you done about the GED since you were in office? I wrote to Mayor Bloomberg back in 2008 about restoring GED programs to the projects in your district and other districts. The Young Men's Initiative could have been accomplished years ago if you and others had listened and acted. Even when the mayor had his anti-poverty initiative with the Robin Hood Foundation, I knew it was lacking. I was in close touch with the Robin Hood Foundation back in those days and what happened. Nothing! I knew what the Robin Hood initiative needed back then when I saw the posters on the New York subway as I went to an event in the city.

Housing is badly needed and the cost is always negotiable and you know that. Housing divides people in a district as soon as it goes up, just like charter schools. Chuckie is involved in education in his community. Would he please tell me what happened when Robert Zweig under Cami Anderson allegedly "forced" special education students to sign a waiver to be released from additional services? This was reported by Donna W. Hill and here is some information from her article.
New York Attorney Comments on Special Ed Rights Waivers
• Jul 15, 2010
• Donna W. Hill

Jo Anne Simon, President of the Dyslexia Associati - Courtesy of Jo Anne Simon
Dyslexia Association of NYC President Jo Anne Simon discusses special ed rights. NYC requires special ed waivers for GED Plus.
When Jo Anne Simon learned that Christine Faltz Grassman was fighting the practice of forcing NYC students to sign special education rights waivers, she wasn't surprised. Suite 101 obtained a copy of the NYC Department of Education's (DOE's) waiver of special education services, a requirement for participation in the GED Plus program, and shared it with Simon.
Grassman (40, Long Island) has a J.D. from Hofstra School of Law. A licensed attorney, she teaches at the Jamaica Learning Center, part of the GED Plus program. Her students are among the city's most at risk youth. Many have documented learning disabilities.

Read more at Suite101: New York Attorney Comments on Special Ed Rights Waivers | Suite101.com http://donna-w-hill.suite101.com/new-york-attorney-comments-on-special-ed-rights-waivers-a261946#ixzz1naHz3KAJ
I spoke with Jo Anne Simon the other day and she did not recall that GED Plus had backed away from its decision to require waivers.
Was Charles Barron there fighting for the people? Have special education services been restored? Please let me know because I am trying to find out. Two-thirds of youth in prison are special education students and Robert Zweig was at the conference where it was told to a large audience. He was applauded strongly when Cami Anderson introduced him, but even I did not know that this "forced" waiver policy had been initiated as I sat there listening, watching, and learning. So there is your pipeline to prison. Stop and Frisk. Stop and Shop. Stop and Get Your GED before you get stopped and frisked. I wish someone would explain to me if the Department of Education helped the prison system grow with its decision. By the way, does Michelle Alexander mention the GED in her book on the New Jim Crow? In addition to learning about the special education-pipeline to prison problem and its magnitude, I was told by a New York City principal last week that youth who get incarcerated are designated as special education. Those youth returning from prison need special services and they cannot get these services if they are required to sign a waiver. Efforts to cut down are recidivism in reentry programs are harmed by the kind of policy designed in 2010 by GED Plus and its administration.
I would say that New York should not build casinos because we are all competing for the consumer's dollar and we need more educated people, not people who are broke or going broke because of gambling debts, even if it creates jobs. Black companies are presently creating that situation as they build homes in Queens. We do not need THAT kind of job creation. Double the number of elite high schools instead. Propel minority youth into new colleges or new college seats. You were the chairman of higher education? Don't ask for the chair back or get your own chair. Cher Charlie!

There is no unity about to come. We are all competing with each other. In Puerto Rico, we have been taught, that Puerto Ricans do not like the ideas of New York Ricans. Dominicans in Puerto Rico tell me that they are discriminated against by Puerto Ricans. I am trying to help Newark, New Jersey and it has been told to me that people are calling me mmmmmmm. Carpetbagger. Black hyperbole hurts and it hurts often. After I wrote this and rest of this article, I learned about the divisions taking place between Assemblyman Wright and Bronx County Democratic Chairman Carl Heastie and also the divisions between African Americans and Hispanics in Paterson. I guess Charles Barron really wants to bring people together, but whom do you trust. Maybe some people take thinking Black so far that it creates divisions. Barron may not be able to do something about it in Paterson, but the Bronx is his turf since Brooklyn is part of the city. Maybe he can step in there the way Solomon of Israel did to do wise things for people. With all the talk that I hear about God among the elected officials, you would think someone could bring about a great settlement that Hispanics and Africans could live with for all time. Now that would be real unity! And if a deal comes down because Hispanics and African-Americans can come to terms, shouldn't that deal be totally transparent? I can quickly recall the deal made by Democrats and Republicans that took federal troops out of the South and restored power to the Democrats who quickly ended progress for the African-American.

I feel that the White House could have helped the people a lot and not much has changed since George Bush left office. The GED has been a national disaster. Even youth who come of prison are not getting their GED in the numbers that would make a difference. Stop and Frisk is important, but look at the failures of all these years and go way beyond Stop and Frisk now. Educate people now!

Here are Councilman Barron's accomplishments from his website page. He came to the council during the last good GED year for New York State, things were much better before 2001.
In 2001, Barron was elected to the New York City Council. He serves as Chair of the Higher Education Committee and is a member of the committees on Land Use, Consumer Affairs, Women s Issues, Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses. In this role, he has sponsored and cosponsored significant pieces of legislation that have impacted the quality of life of all New Yorkers. In the winter and spring of 2003, Barron delivered $280,000 to senior citizen programs in his district. He also played an integral role in getting the Meals on Wheels program restored to the city budget for seniors in his district. Barron, in collaboration with the New York City Housing Authority, secured $12.5 million for an East New York Recreation Center. In addition, he fought to obtain $1.2 million for the renovation of Linden/George Gershwin Park in his district. As chair of the Higher Education Committee, Barron spearheaded the restoration of over $10 million for students at City University of New York colleges. Additionally, he was successful in maintaining the Peter Vallone Scholarship awards for CUNY students.
This is "El Quijote del GED" again telling people that the main problem over all these years is that New York State has been last in the graduation of African-American youth and just a small percentage of those youth have passed the GED. The Assembly is responsible for the horrible numbers of the last decade. I have asked Mayor Michael Bloomberg to put $1 million into GED testing for New York City. Will Charles Barron help me to help the people?

Martin N. Danenberg
7 Blazer Drive
Islandia, New York 11749

Profesor Martin Danenberg February 29, 2012 10:10 PM