Wow. Folks here are pretty blown away by what just happened. After the council members finished grilling James Liebman (this took about 3 hours), Education Committee Chair Robert Jackson announced that the parents from Time Out From Testing were set up in the City Hall rotunda to present their petitions to Liebman.
But as they waited, Liebman left out of the Council Chambers' side door. The parents — and the many reporters and photographers — scurried to meet him downstairs, on the other side of the building. But security officers and DOE aides pushed the parents back at every turn; it looked like only Time Out From Testing leader Jane Hirschmann made it through the gates to the doors of Tweed, where she too was turned back.
Liebman said many interesting things at the hearing, for sure, many of which could help make parents feel more comfortable with the progress reports and Liebman's accountability program in general. But I can't remember much of what he said. All I can think about is watching him try desperately to avoid involved parents who care very much about what's happening in their children's and their city's schools, just because he disagrees with them.
Time Out from Testing members tell me they collected about 7,00o petitions from schools in every borough and with every possible grade. Now those petitions are sitting in boxes in the hall.