Thousands rallied outside and inside Brooklyn Technical HS on February 9 in protest of the annual Panel for Education Policy (PEP) as they voted to close 18 NYC public schools and truncate another five. PEP is a panel of thirteen members in which eight are appointed by NYC Mayor Bloomberg and serve at his pleasure. Needless to say Mayor Bloomberg is leading the call to close NYC “failing” schools and has Mayoral Control of NYC Schools.
Sponsors of the protest included the United Federation of Teachers union, District Council 37, Occupy Wall Street movement, parent associations, and student organizations. Many elected officials came out in solidarity including NYC Councilman Charles Barron who coined the slogan “Shut Down Tweed!” The headquarters of the Department of Education are located in the “Tweed Building” behind City Hall.