From:   Michael Friedman <>
Sent time:   Thursday, October 06, 2011 11:24:37 AM

October 5, 2011


Dear Sisters and Brothers:


The FMPR Support Committee - New York is making a call for you to join

us to make your voices heard in support of free public quality

education in Puerto Rico and New York. Join us to protest against the

privatization of public schools with charter schools on Monday,

October 17, 2011, at 5pm, in a picket at Mayor Bloomberg’s New York

City Department of Education.


In Puerto Rico, protests have been called by the Teachers’ Union of

Puerto Rico (FMPR) to denounce the education summit convened there by

U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, from October 17 -18, 2011.

This “Education Summit” is the latest attempt to increase support for

the devastating federal policies of No Child Left Behind (e.g.

fraudulent punitive testing, teacher firings, school closings,

privatized charters) and to counter the historic resistance to charter

schools in this island-nation that has been a colony of the U.S. since

1898 (post Spanish-American War).


On October 17th we will denounce the undemocratic and dictatorial

federal, state and city policies that relentlessly continue to destroy

public schools here and in Puerto Rico through charter schools and the

contracting-out to private companies.


Through teacher strikes, school stoppages, educational and militant

organizing campaigns over the past decades, The Teachers’ Union of

Puerto Rico (FMPR) has succeeded in blocking charters, school

closings, teacher layoffs, and threats to member health, pensions and

wage benefits.


Today, the anti-union, anti-worker administration of Governor Luis

Fortuño has continued and escalated policies that are aimed at

dismantling public schools and further undermining the right to a free

public quality education. Virtually every day, the FMPR and its

leadership with the active support of parents, students and community,

shut down schools on the island in order to seek redress to these

intolerable conditions. This year it will continue its standardized

testing boycott and continue to organize against the fraudulent use of

student test scores to evaluate teacher performance.


Because of it’s unrelenting campaigns to promote quality public

education and to stop privatization, at the local and national level,

the FMPR has been the target of intense government repression

including police brutality, the illegal denial of union dues

check-off, the revocation (for life) of their leaders’ teaching

licenses and the denial of their legal union right to leaves of

absence without pay. Despite these hardships, the FMPR remains

steadfast in this struggle to defend the right to public education.

This important struggle needs our support.


Our solidarity with the struggle for quality public education in

Puerto Rico is essential at this critical juncture when Wall Street

corporations (represented by Mr. Duncan & the Obama administration)

continue to lay the groundwork to impose and establish charter

schools. To do so, the government-corporate forces have increased

their attempts to destroy the frontline of defense of the public

schools, the FMPR, and to weaken all resistance.


A free quality public school education is a universal right that was

won by working families and unions both in Puerto Rico and the U.S.

The fight to defend public schools and to stop privatization through

charter schools is a common fight in both countries. Therefore our

efforts at stopping the destruction of public schools in favor of

prívate charter schools and corporate profits, will be strengthened by

standing together. We should stand united!




· No to charter privatization. Yes to quality public education.

No to cutbacks and layoffs.


· Down with the Duncan/Obama/Bush No Child Left Behind, the Race

to the Bottom for our Children.


· No to Fraudulent Testing & Punitive Teacher Evaluation.

Respect for Teacher Tenure, Seniority and Job Protections.


· Stop School Closings and top-down dictates (turnaround,

transformation, restart) that only erode education.


· Reduce Class Size by providing jobs to all excessed teachers.






Monday, October 17 - 5:00 PM


NYC Department of Education (near City Hall)


52 Chambers Street (Between Centre & Broadway)


(Trains #4, 5, 6 to Brooklyn Bridge)

   FMPR Support Committee - New York


Spread the word.


Angel Gonzalez