We’ve uncovered quite a few surprises from Michelle Fine’s email release, from her vitriolic attacks on members in town, to her and Regina Tuma’s involvement with Assessmentgate, or even the collaboration with members on the Board of Education (That’s you, David Cummings)in plotting to undermine the district superintendent. All told, these records have been anything BUT boring. In fact, they’ve been highly revealing and have shone a light on the political special interests that have been sowing discord at the expense of our schools and our kids.
Yet at the last BOE meeting, Fine said:
“You could spend your summer reading thousands of emails of mine, but I would suggest that you don’t because most of them are boring. You’ll be highly disappointed if you are looking for evidence that I work for the MEA or that I’m making a fortune from corporations.”
No, she isn’t making a fortune – but yes, her grants are funded by the big banks and corporations she and her allies rail against. No, she doesn’t work “for” the MEA, but the emails did show that they collaborate closely in attacking the district.
More to the point though, Fine didn’t think they were boring either. In fact, she fought tooth and nail to stop their release – a fight that’s documented in some of the emails themselves. Here, for instance, is Fine complaining that the lawyers at her university are complying with the request, and asking the head of her union (whom she wrote a book with attacking school reform), the PSC, if he can get the union’s lawyers to get involved. She also notes that her corporate lawyer buddies are “outraged” – along with her friends from the ACLU (wonder who got them involved defending Assessementgate):
In another email, we see Fine mentioning that “many fine legal minds” were involved in the investigation, presumably trying to prohibit the request from going forward:
And here’s an email to the public records custodian at CUNY that contained a letter from several of Fine’s allies, demanding that the public records requests not be allowed:
Fine fought hard to keep the emails from being released for a reason: because they show – behind the scenes – the sort of craven, nasty attacks she’s been engaged in, and the poison and personal vitriol that underlie her political crusade.
They haven’t proven to be just interesting to us, either. Since we’ve been reporting on them over the past few weeks, we’ve been averaging several hundred views a day – people are clearly very interested in and shocked by these details. The Montclair Times has promised further reporting on these issues, and we hope that they deliver.