Councilman Kevin Conwell, Parent Activist Call Cleveland Schools CEO Peter Raskind Racist On School Closings

Submitted by JournalistKathy... on Tue, 04/05/2011 - 13:17.

Cleveland Ward 9 Councilman Kevin Conwell
Plain Dealer Newspaper photo of Cleveland Schools CEO Peter Raskind
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson

By Kathy Wray Coleman, Editor of the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News Blog. Com and Cleveland Urban News.Com(

www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)

A Cleveland City Councilman and Cleveland schools parent activist are calling schools CEO Peter Raskind racist and anti-student for asking the Cleveland School Board to close seven schools, all on the majority Black East Side of the largely Black city.

 
And Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, who controls the city schools and appoints his own school board pursuant to state law, should be ashamed of himself for letting an arrogant outsider who is White and male with no superintendent's license or other certification in education dictate what is best for the predominantly Black school children, activists and other community leaders say.

Raskind, they say, is ignoring and disrespecting Black leaders, Cleveland teachers, the religious community, and most of all, Black parents and others city residents that pay taxes and fund school levies.

"He [Raskind] did not consult the African-American leadership in this community, which is a disrespect of the Black community," said Cleveland Ward 9 Councilman Kevin Conwell, one of 9 Black councilmen out of 19, all nine of whom represent constituents in either Wards 1 or 2 or one of Wards 4-10, all on the East Side of the Cuyahoga River where Blacks predominate in the major metropolitan city."He [Raskind] is dishonest and insensitive and  I will be pushing for a council resolution to support our request that the school board hold off until meetings can be held in each of the seven communities where the schools are, Black leaders, parents, teachers and other community stakeholders are consulted to participate in the process, and they go back to the drawing board and stop targeting only schools in the Black community."

The Cleveland School Board is expected to support Raskind's proposal and will vote tonight on the school closings issue and his recommendation to layoff 835 employees, including 650 of the district's 3600 teachers. Raskind says it is necessary to help defray a $47.5 million schools deficit brought partly because of declining enrollment.

 
 Schools slated for closing are the K-8 schools Captain Arthur Roth, Emile B.DeSauze, Giddings, Union and Woodland Hills, the K-3 Early Childhood Center at Charles Orr, and Genesis School at Margaret Ireland, an alternative school for grades 7-11
 
Ask what the mayor had to say, Conwell said that in two meetings, one as late as a press conference in the past three days, Mayor Jackson, who is Black and lives in Cleveland's East Side Ward 5, simply ignored him.

"When I asked him on two occasions about the slated school closings only on the East Side, both times he just looked and said nothing," said Conwell.

The mayor could not be reached for comment.

A former banker who retired in 2008 as Chief Operating Officer for Nation City Bank when it was sold to PNC, Raskind was hired by the mayor's appointed school board as interim CEO in mid January and assumed the realm in Feb. after the surprised retirement of schools CEO Dr. Eugene Sanders, who is Black. Last year Sanders unleashed a multi-million dollar schools transformation plan and recommended school closings and employee layoffs. In turn, the school board closed 15 buildings or schools, 14 on Cleveland's predominantly Black East Side and some 90 assistant principals and principals, mainly Black women, were let go along with other employees, including several teachers.

Black parents are angry over what they say is Raskind's arrogant disregard of the Black community and its neighborhood schools, with one parent saying district officials renegotiated last year's collective bargaining agreement with teachers in bad faith by calling back 80 percent of the 650 laid off teachers, only to slate them for layoffs again this year.  

"It is racially motivated and targets Black schools, and how can they now layoff hundreds of the same teachers the school board brought back last year when they just renegotiated the collective bargaining agreement?," said Donna Brown, a Cleveland schools parent activist. "They negotiated the teachers contract in bad faith and they have no respect for Black parents or Cleveland school children."

Upon his hiring by the mayor's appointed school board Raskind agreed to work for one dollar, a dollar that Conwell says was not worth giving, if community relations is part of the job assessment criteria and Raskind, with no educational credentials and obviously no respect for community input, is seemingly too incompetent for the job.

"They keep saying that the interim CEO is only working for a dollar," said Conwell. "But a lot of harm can be done to the Black community and the school district while he works for a dollar."

--
Posted By Journalist Kathy Wray Coleman to

THE KATHY WRAY COLEMAN ONLINE NEWS BLOG.COM at 4/04/2011 09:00:00 PM


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Rascist CMSD policy

Nice picture . We ralled

Nice picture . We ralled with that labor group.

Stay distracted and miss the bus!

MASTER PLANS, 2020 VISION OF CLEVELAND, CDBG FUNDING, DEMOLITIONS, POPULATION DISPARITIES,....... there is more to this picture than even the councilman is eluding to... LOOK AT THE MAPS, PLANS, AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT & ongoing DEVELOPMENT issues in all those communities....do layovers of the maps...check out the Empowerment Zone grids and where the funding is being deprived and allocated to... SEE MORE THAN MEETS THE EYES about this issue.... see the big picture...

BILLIONS in development is going to lots of things...but NOT CERTAIN NEIGHBORHOODS! 

 

 

Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"

Stay distracted and miss the bus!

MASTER PLANS, 2020 VISION OF CLEVELAND, CDBG FUNDING, DEMOLITIONS, POPULATION DISPARITIES,....... there is more to this picture than even the councilman is eluding to... LOOK AT THE MAPS, PLANS, AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT & ongoing DEVELOPMENT issues in all those communities....do layovers of the maps...check out the Empowerment Zone grids and where the funding is being deprived and allocated to... SEE MORE THAN MEETS THE EYES about this issue.... see the big picture...

BILLIONS in development is going to lots of things...but NOT CERTAIN NEIGHBORHOODS! 

 

 

Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"

West side schools closed....

What ever happened to Milford, Orchard, Gilbert, Sackett Elementary, Memphis School, etc.... all west side schools that were hit long before the East Side Schools.......???? 

Always Appreciative, "ANGELnWard14"

Whites moved out of those

Whites moved out of those neighborhoods.  The schools were mere shells.....buildings.  Was it racist to close them?  Of course not.  They were a drain on resources.  "Racism" is such an easy slander to make.  Has been for a long time.

Blight Flight... it's the pollution

Capable people have been fleeing the pollution of Cleveland for over a Century now - while folks try to come up with all sorts of explanations for everything, the answers are all in the pollution. People who could left - people who stayed were destroyed. The city was destroyed.

Blacks leave the first chance they get too... I've talked to many of the next generations of the families in my neighborhood... they are off making money elsewhere and couldn't give a damn about here.

They look down in pity.

Disrupt IT

They fled crime and failing

They fled crime and failing schools...now its drugs and gangs added to the soup...pollution is way down the list.  Please, see the vital human dimension.  Any responsible mother or father knows he must see "first things first".

Wrong - get a history lesson

Wrong - get a history lesson - those who could afford have been leaving Cleveland since the turn of the last century to escape the POLLUTION.

Look at the development history of Euclid Avenue - the suburbs - the rich have been fleeing the core and going further and further since they put up their first smokestacks... and not just in Cleveland. The middle class followed the rich.

THE SUBURBS WERE IN FACT PROMOTED AND ADVERTISED TO PEOPLE TO ESCAPE THE POLLUTION OF THE CITY.

Of course, back in the day, suburbs like Shaker kept the blacks out - Pepper Pike kept out the blacks and jews - and so it was.

When my parents moved to their current home in Shaker, in 1963, the other white neighbors approached them about throwing money into a pool to buy another house on the block that was going up for sale - the owner offered to sell it to a group of the white neighbors AT A DISCOUNT so they could keep blacks out - that was the mindset and behavior of Cleveland leaders in Shaker still here in the 1960s.

My parents did not throw in to keep blacks out, but I could probably get a list of the families who did. Flat out racists... surely some of the most powerful people of the time, as that was a powerful neighborhood... especially in 1963. Still is today.

The poorest have been left behind in polluted garbage... black and white.

Disrupt IT

It seems many who left became slumlords, as well

It seems many who left became slumlords, as well - kept their properties and rented them to those too poor to leave the pollution. Those outside property owners made sure Cleveland had a weak government and did not inspect the property here, so they did not have to maintain anything well. With loose housing and building enforcement, and excessive polluting, those white suburban owned rental properties lead poisoned and toxified 100,000s of inner-city children over the years, making them mentally incompetent, ruining the schools, filling the prisons, and leaving our community, population and property stock pretty much devastated.

Now nearly everything has all been churned a few times, is broken down beyond repair, and much of it is in the landbank.

So much for nostalgia.

This year, Jackson announces they will inspect every property in Cleveland. Little late.

Disrupt IT

I live in East Cleveland - 95% black - 0% gangs

I live in East Cleveland - 95% black - 0% gangs in my neighborhood - great people - old-time family community - low local crime - highest population density in Ohio - best public transportation - highest lead poisoning rate... why have schools? - high trans-boundary pollution and BullShit from Cleveland borders - horrible mobile and source point pollution because of THE WHITE MAN so we are all excessively sick and dying.

I'm white - my family is rich and lives in Shaker and has since the 1950s... the oldest remaining residents in their neighborhood - we know the real history here.

Disrupt IT

You live in East Cleveland?

You live in East Cleveland?

Civil War today

I wish Kevin Conwell would have joined the lawsuit against Eugene Sanders and the CMSD board, when they originally closed 16 schools on the east side of Cleveland, including East High.

If Raskind is a RACIST, then Sanders IS an even bigger RACIST....

These contractors chose the Civil War Monument on Public Square for a reason.