The Grassroots Education Movement to Defend Public Education or GEM indicates on their blog that they are a newly formed coalition of NYC Group that "seek to educate, mobilize and organize educators, parents, students and our communities against the corporate and government policies which serve to underfund, undermine and privatize our public school system. GEM advocates, both within and outside the UFT, around issues dealing with the equality & quality of public educational services as well as the rights of school workers."
A recent entry on the site discusses Tony Avella as the “leading man” in the education movement.
Posted by JW, it reads:
"After Tony Avella's statements at the Working Families Party forum a couple of weeks ago, progressive educators seem to be backing his run for mayor.
"I AM ABSOLUTELY NOT A FAN OF CHARTER SCHOOLS."
You can't get much clearer than that.
Avella will first have to topple Bill Thompson in the Democratic primary, and that will take some doing. In the meantime, Thompson's been putting on some new coats. He certainly wasn't asking to fire Joel Klein before Avella said it at the WFP forum.
The Avella campaign is letting people know that their man was on NY1 bashing the rubber rooms, no-bid contracts, and the atmosphere of intimidation at the DoE. Video will be available online tomorrow.
They've also put a new page on Facebook: Educators for Avella.
Tony Avella is forging the correct agenda on education.
Bill Thompson is real "Old School" when it comes to teaching kids, and he's now just playing catch up."