Full Episode: January 5, 2016

In the second of a two-part interview, outgoing New York Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch explains why she’s stepping down in March. Plus, we look back at journalist Geraldo Rivera’s 1972 landmark investigation of Staten Island’s Willowbrook State School, an institution for the developmentally disabled. His exposé forever changed the face of mental health.

TRANSCRIPT

TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS QWES ', SHE IS QUITE POSSIBLY THE MOST POWERFUL PERSON I EDUCATION IN THE STATE OF NE YORK, AND AFTER 20 YEARS SHE'S STEPPING DOWN.

CHANCELLOR MERRILL TISCH IS BACK TO DISCUSS HER LEGACY AND WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR EDUCATION 44 YEARS AGO GERALDO RIVER BECAME A HOUSEHOLD NAME, ARMED WITH A STOLEN KEY, A CAMERA AN AN INSIDE TIP HE ENTERED STATE ISLAND'S WILLOWBROOK SCHOOL FO THE DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED AND EXPOSED A STORY SO SHOCKING THAT FOREVER CHANGED THE FACE O MENTAL HEALTH.

ALL OF THAT AND MORE AS 'METRO FOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WIT RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENA FLANNIGAN FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY --

> KWRT WE AIRED PART ONE OF MY INTERVIEW WITH OUTGOING NEW YORK BOARD REGENTS CHANCELLOR MERRILL TISCH AND SHE JOINS ME AGAIN NOW TO CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION ABOUT THE KEY EDUCATION ISSUES AFFECTING NEW YORK STATE O ACCOMPLISHMENTS DURING HER LON TENURE ON THE BOARD OF REGENTS AND WE GO FROM HERE.

CHANCELLOR, TISCH, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US

THANK YOU

I ALSO WANT TO THANK YOU AN YOUR HUSBAND JAMES TISCH FOR BEING BIG SUPPORTERS OF TH STATION AND OF THIS PROGRAM.

IT'S A PLEASURE TRULY A PLEASURE

CHANCELLOR, YESTERDAY W FOCUSED ON THE HOT BUTTON ISSUES COMMON CORE, MOSTLY.

LET'S BROADEN IT UP, THE PANORAMIC VIEW OF YOUR TENURE ON THE BOARD OF REGENTS HOW HAS THE STATE OF EDUCATION IN YOUR STATE CHANGED FROM WHA IT WAS IN 1996 WHEN YOU FIRS ENTERED THE BOARD TO NOW

WELL, YOU KNOW, THERE HAS BEEN ENORMOUS WORK DONE IN THE FIELD OF CAREER AND TECHNICA EDUCATION, IN THE FIELD OF PATHWAYS TO EDUCATION AND TH FIELD OF STANDARDS IN THE FIELD OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR TEACHERS, IN THE FIELD OF HIGHER EDUCATION AN WHAT IT MEANS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A CERTIFIED TEACHER AND WHA IT MEANS TO BE A TENURED TEACHER.

IT HAS BEEN AN EXTRAORDINARY 2 YEARS OF CHANGE AND THE PACE O CHANGE OVER THE LAST FIVE OR SIX YEARS HAS JUST BEEN MIND BLOWING, AND I THINK THE PUBLI IS VERY WELL TUNED IN TO WHAT' BEEN GOING ON IN EDUCATION AND IT IS AN ISSUE THAT IS CONSTANTLY POLLED.

I DON'T THINK TEN YEARS AG PEOPLE POLLED ON THE SUBJECT O EDUCATION.

THERE IS NOT AN ELECTED OFFICIAL NOW IN OUR STATE WHO DOES NO POLL ON WHAT THEIR CONSTITUENT FEEL ABOUT THE STATE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION.

SO I THINK THAT IS EXTRAORDINARY.

I ALSO THINK WHAT IS EXTRAORDINARY IS THE GROWTH AN FINANCIAL COMMITMENT FROM TH STATE TO PUBLIC EDUCATION THAT HAS BEEN MONUMENTAL.

ALSO, I WOULD SAY THE WORK THAT'S BEEN DONE IN HIGHER EDUCATION THAT THE CIT UNIVERSITY AND THE STATE UNIVERSITY, THESE HAVE BEE TRANSFORMATIVE, BUT WE STILL FIND OURSELVES WITH TH PERENNIAL PROBLEMS HOW DO WE EDUCATE CHILDREN I POVERTY?

HOW DO WE DEAL WITH STUDENTS WHO HAVE LEARNING DISABILITIES HOW DO WE EDUCATE CHILDREN WHERE ENGLISH IS NOT THEIR FIRST LANGUAGE VERY COMPLICATED

YOUR REFERENCE TO POLITICIANS POLLING ABOUT THE EDUCATIO ISSUE BEGS THE QUESTION THAT W KIND OF TOUCHED ON YESTERDAY ABOUT THE ROLE OF POLITICS I EDUCATION IN THIS STATE.

HOW MUCH -- HOW OFTEN AR DECISIONS MADE BASED O POLITICAL CALCULOUS RATHER THA WHAT IS NECESSARY AND IS NEEDE BY THE CHILDREN OF THIS STATE?

I BELIEVE ANYONE WOULD BE NAIVE TO BELIEVE THAT POLITICS DOES NOT PLAY A ROLE IN EVER MAJOR PUBLIC POLICY ISSUE.

THE QUESTION IS CAN YOU BE A EFFECTIVE LEADER THAT LOOK BEYOND THE POLITICS AND HELP YOU CREATE AN EFFECTIVE, PUBLI POLICY I THINK THAT IS THE CHALLENG GOING FORWARD.

THERE IS SO MUCH BAD FEELING ABOUT SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS IN THE EDUCATION ARENA RIGHT NOW.

HOW COULD YOU NOT BE DROWNED OUT BY POLITICS, AND I THINK THAT' THE CHALLENGE.

THAT IS REALLY THE ULTIMAT CHALLENGE.

YOU KNOW, THE GOVERNOR -- GOVERNOR CUOMO HAS CALLED TH NEW YORK PUBLIC SCHOOL A MONOPOLY AND ONE THAT WON' RESPOND TO ITS CUSTOMERS, TH PARENTS AND CHILDREN IS HE RIGHT?

HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT

I DON'T RESPOND TO THAT CERTAINLY PEOPLE HAV CHARACTERIZED PUBLIC SCHOOLS I MANY DIFFERENT WAYS.

I BELIEVE THE PROMISE OF PUBLI EDUCATION IS A VERY IMPORTAN PART OF OUR NATIONAL DEMOCRACY IT IS THE BEDROCK OF OUR COUNTRY.

IT IS HOW WE BRING IMMIGRANT IN IT IS HOW WE NURTURE OUR YOUNG AND IT IS HOW WE BRING FAMILIE IN TO BECOMING GREAT CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY SO WE DO NOT HAVE, I THINK, TH OPPORTUNITY TO FAIL.

SO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO MAK EXCUSES ABOUT WHY PUBLIC EDUCATION CAN'T SUCCEED I HAVE TO REJECT OUT OF HAND.

IT MUST SUCCEED SO BE IT POLITICS, BE IT PEOPLE RUNNING SCARED AND BE IT PEOPLE WORRIE ABOUT ALL OF THE OTHER STUFF, WOULD SAY TO THEM AT THE END O THE DAY YOU ARE GOING TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR HOW YOUR SCHOOLS FUNCTION, AND EITHER THE FUNCTION WELL AND GRADUATE STUDENTS OR THEY DO NOT, AND I WE CONTINUE TO LET CHILDREN OF COLOR AND LET DISABLED STUDENT AND LET STUDENTS WHO STRUGGL WITH ENGLISH, IF WE CONTINUE T KEEP THEM OUT OF THE PROMISE O PUBLIC EDUCATION THEN WE WIL ONLY HAVE OURSELVES TO BLAME IT WOULD BE TRAGIC FOR THI COUNTRY.

SO WHAT ARE YOUR -- WHAT DO YOU FEEL ARE YOUR BIGGES ACCOMPLISHMENTS ON YOUR 20 YEARS ON THE BOARD WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF I AM MOST PROUD OF OUR MOVE TO STANDARDS.

I BELIEVE IN HIGH STANDARDS.

I BELIEVE IN STANDARDS THAT AR ALIGNED WITH 21st CENTUR COMPETENCIES I BELIEVE EVERY CHILD THAT GRADUATES IN NEW YORK STATE OR ANY PLACE IN THIS COUNTR DESERVES A CHOICE.

DO I WANT TO ADOPT A CAREE RIGHT AWAY OR DO I WANT TO GO ON TO A HIGHER EDUCATION?

TO THE EXTENT THAT WE STAYED WITH OUR OWN STANDARDS, WE WER DIMINISHING THE CHOICES THAT OUR STUDENTS WERE GOING TO HAVE.

WE WERE DIMINISHING TH COMPETENCIES THAT OUR KIDS ARE GOING TO HAVE AS ADULTS AND THAT IS SOMETHING THEY FEEL VER PROUD OF

DESPITE THE CONTROVERSIES AND THE PUSHBACK

I THINK ANYTHING WORTHWHILE WILL BE CONTROVERSIAL.

ANYTHING WORTHWHILE IS NOT PERFECT AND IT'S AT ITS INITIA INCEPTION AND YOU HAVE TO KEEP PLUGGING AWAY, BUT YOU CANNO BACK AWAY.

YOU CAN'T RELENT AND YOU CANNO BE LESS URGENT YOU CANNOT ACCEPT COMPLACENCY, THAT WOULD BE TRAGIC

SO WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGES DISAPPOINTMENTS?

MY BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS, I THINK WERE OVER OUR INABILITY TO EARLY ON GET MORE TRACTION FOR CAREER AND TECHNICAL PATHWAYS TO EDUCATION.

IT'S JUST IN THE LAST TWO OR THREE YEARS THAT WE'RE STARTIN TO SEE A ROBUST DEVELOPMENT OF CAREER PATHWAYS TO STUDENTS.

IN OTHER WORDS, THERE IS A PROGRAM IN NEW YORK CITY CALLE THE PTECH PROGRAM WHICH IS A COMBINED EFFORT BETWEEN IBM AN THE HIGH SCHOOL ASKS COLLEGES IN NEW YORK WHERE KIDS COME INTO HIGH SCHOOL AND AFTER SIX YEAR THEY GRADUATE WITH A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA, A TWO-YEAR COLLEG DEGREE AND A CERTIFICATION TO GO HOLD A JOB AT IBM.

WE WOULD BE LOOKING AT THAT IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS

THESE ARE EXTRAORDINARY PROGRAMS SO, YOU KNOW, I WOULD LIKE T SEE THAT TAKE ROOT AND M GREATEST, GREATEST DISAPPOINTMENT IS THAT WE WERE UNABLE TO CONVINCE PARENTS I THE SUBURBS TO HELP US IN OU EFFORTS TO MOVE THE STANDARD MOVEMENT BEYOND THE RHETORIC AND THE POLITICS AND TO ME THAT, YOU KNOW, IT WAS DISAPPOINTING, BU I'M OPTIMISTIC

I HAVE TO ASK YOU CHANCELLOR HAVE YOU EVER HAD BOUTS OF DISILLUSIONMENT?

HAVE YOU EVER DESPAIRED ABOU HOW DIFFICULT IT ALL SEEMS

NO.

NOT REALLY IT'S HARD AND WORTHWHILE PEOPLE PAY ATTENTION TO A LOT OF THE RHETORIC THAT'S DONE I PUBLIC SPACE THAT I CAN TELL YOU IN MY ROLE IN LEADERSHIP POSITION I HAVE HAD EFFECTIV RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE TEACHER UNION.

I'VE HAD EFFECTIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS.

I'VE HAD EFFECTIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH SUPERINTENDENTS AND PARENTS GROUPS YES, PEOPLE GET ANGRY AND PEOPLE GET FRUSTRATED, BUT BEHIND THE SCENES THE AIR OF COLLABORATIO IS FAR GREATER THAN IT WOULD APPEAR IN PUBLIC SPACE

BUT WITH ALL OF THAT AND AL OF THE GOOD WORK OF THE PEOPLE YOU MENTIONED AND THE UNIONS AND THE TEACHERS, WE STILL HAD THI WIDE GAP, EDUCATION GAP IN THI STATE AND THERE ARE STILL KIDS STUCK IN FAILING SCHOOLS WHO, AS A RESULT, WILL NEVER BE ABLE T COMPETE WITH OTHER STUDENTS.

SOME OF THEIR PEERS WHO JUST HAPPENED TO LIVE IN DIFFEREN ZIP CODES OR HAVE DIFFEREN COLOR TO THEIR SKIN.

HOW DO YOU CHANGE THAT WILL THAT CHANGE

I THINK ONLY COMMUNITIES CA MAKE THAT CHANGE I HAVE OFTEN WONDERED WH COMMUNITIES ACCEPT FAILURE I SCHOOLS FOR DECADES.

YOU GO TO AREAS IN THE BRONX I NEW YORK CITY WHERE YOU SE PARENTS WALK THEIR KIDS INTO A SCHOOL BUILDING AND THAT PAREN WAS FAILED BY THE VERY SCHOO THAT THEY ARE NOW SENDING THEI CHILD TO AND YET THEY AR HESITANT TO SUPPORT CLOSING THAT SCHOOL I HAVE SEEN COMMUNITIES THAT FOR DECADES HAVE GOTTEN THE LEAS PREPARED TEACHERS, RIGHT THE COMMUNITIES NEED TO STAND UP AND SAY, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

WE NEED TO LOOK AT CATACLYSMIC CHANGE ON THE GROUND AND WE NEED TO EMBRACE IT AND UNLESS PARENTS AND COMMUNITIES ARE WILLING TO STAND UP AND SAY WE WILL NOT TOLERATE THIS WITH THE VER PURPOSEFUL VOICE, WE WIL CONTINUE TO SEE ISSUES THAT AR RELATED TO THE GAP, ISSUES THA ARE RELATED TO PERPETUAL SEGREGATION OF OUR SCHOO SYSTEM, AND ISSUES THAT AR RELATED TO A SCHOOL SYSTEM THA FUNDS KIDS IN SOME DISTRICTS A $37,000 AND IN SOME SCHOOL DISTRICTS AT $13,000 AND THAT' ULTIMATELY -- IT'S GOT TO BE A GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE

FINALLY, CHANCELLOR, YOU'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN EDUCATION ALL OF YOUR ADULT LIFE YOU HAVE MADE DEGREES IN EDUCATION.

YOU WERE FIRST GRADE TEACHER FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS AND OF COURSE, YOU BECAME AN EDUCATION LEADER WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?

ARE YOU GOING TO STAY INVOLVED IN EDUCATION POLICY?

WELL, I HOPE TO STAY INVOLVED IN EDUCATION POLICY, BUT AS FO MY NEXT OFFICIAL ROLE I WOUL SAY TO EVERYONE STAY TUNED I AM A GREAT BELIEVER IN PUBLI POLICY I AM A GREAT BELIEVER IN EFFECTUAING CHANGE, AND I'M GREAT BELIEVER THAT AS A COMMUNITY WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO BE BETTER

SOME PEOPLE ARE CALLING FOR YOU TO RUN FOR MAYOR IF NOMINATED WILL YOU RUN?

AND IF ELECTED, WILL YOU SERVE

YEAH, WELL -- FUNNY THING ABOUT THAT

BE WE'LL LEAVE IT AT THAT

CHANCELLOR TISCH, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US AND IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE

THANK YOU SO MUCH THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

> SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS OR CATCH PART ONE OF MY CONVERSATION WITH CHANCELLOR TISCH BY LOGGING ON TO OUR WEBSITE A METROFOCUS.ORG WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU

> IT WAS 43 YEARS AGO THIS M NEXT GUEST USING A STOLEN KE AND AN INSIDE TIP ENTERED TH WALLS OF THE WILLOWBROOK SCHOO FOR THE DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED ON STATEN ISLAND WHAT HE CAPTURED WAS A STORY S SHOCKING IT CHANGED THE FACE O MENTAL HEALTH AS WE KNOW IT.

LET'S TAKE A LOOK.

THE DOCTOR HAD WARNED ME THAT IT WOULD BE BAD.

IT WAS HORRIBLE.

THERE WAS ONE ATTENDANT FO PERHAPS 50 SEVERELY AN PROFOUNDLY RETARTEDED CHILDREN CHILDREN LYING ON THE FLOO NAKED AND SMEARED WITH THEIR OWN FEESIES AND THEY WERE MAKING A PITIFUL SOUND AND A MOURNFUL WAIL THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME TO FORGET THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE AN WHAT IT SOUNDED LIKE AND WHA CAN I TELL YOU OF THE WAY IT SMELLED.

IT SMELLED OF FILTH AND IT SMELLED OF DISEASE AND I SMELLED OF DEATH

AND WE CAME WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE ADMINISTRATIO THROUGH THE BACK DOOR.

FOR THESE PEOPLE IT'S JUST ONE HOUR AFTER ANOTHER OF LOOKING AT THE FLOOR.

EVERY CHILD CAN BE TRAINED, YO KNOW THERE'S NO EFFORT.

WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THESE KID ARE CAPABLE OF DOING HOW IS IT LIVING ON THE WARD THAT YOU LIVE?

DISGRACE.

IT'S A DISGRACE

YEAH.

WE ASK FOR CHANGE WE DEMAND CHANGE WHAT YOU SEE HERE JUST DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.

AND WITH ME NOW IS GERALD RIVERA

WELCOME

YOU KNOW, I SEE THAT AND IT CHOKES ME UP TO THIS DAY IT'S ALMOST LIKE AN AUTOMATI RESPONSE YOU JUST -- IT JUST EVOKES, AN I HADN'T SEEN IT IN A WHILE.

IT JUST EVOKES THAT ORIGINAL SENSATION, THAT -- THAT FEELIN THAT I HAD WHEN I -- WHEN WALKED IN THERE WITH NO -- I HAD NO CONNECTION AT ALL TO TH POPULATION WE USED TO DEFINE A MENTALLY RETARDED AND NO DEVELOPMENTALLY DISABLED AND SEEING IT WAS A TRAUMATIC SHOC AND IT WAS LIKE I HEAR DESCRIBED -- I'M SORRY I HEAR DESCRIBED HOW G.I.s REACTED WHEN THEY SAW TH CONCENTRATION CAMPS WHEN THE WERE LIBERATED AND EVEN THOS WHO INTELLECTUALLY KNEW WHAT THEY WERE GETTING INTO AND YOU KNOW, IT'S A FORM OF POS TRAUMATIC STRESS ALMOST.

AND I WAS WITH BERNARD LAST FRIDAY

BERNARD WAS THE YOUNG MAN WITH THE MUSTACHE THAT YOU WER TALKING TO

HE WAS 21 YEARS OLD ON THAT DAY SO WE COULD SPRING HIM, WE COULD GET HIM OUT AND HE COULD SIGN HIMSELF OUT AT THE AGE OF 21 BECAUSE TECHNICALLY IT WAS STATE SCHOOL, THEY CALLED IT SO WE GOT HIM OUT AND BERNAR WAS A CLASSIC EXAMPLE.

HE'S A GUY WITH CEREBRAL PALSY AND OTHER DISABILITIES, BUT HE WAS NOT A LOW I.Q.

IN OTHER WORDS, HIS I.Q. WAS NORMAL AND WITHIN THE NORMAL RANGE.

HE WAS MISDIAGNOSED.

IN THOSE DAYS THEY PUT EVERYBODY IN THE INSTITUTION CEREBRAL PALSY, 3 YEARS OL LIVING ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE, SINGLE PARENT, PUERTO RICAN MO AND THE DOCTORS YOU CAN'T HANDLE THIS KID TAKE HIM, WE'LL PUT HIM IN THESE INSTITUTIONS AND WILLOWBROOK O STATEN ISLAND IN NEW YORK CITY IT WARRANT LIKE IN BELARUS O ASIA SOME PLACE.

IT WAS NEW YORK CITY AND THE PUT HIM IN THERE AT THE AGE OF 3.

SO THIS IS 18 YEARS LATER WHEN WE FOUND HIM, BUT HE'S WORKE FOR THE CITY I JUST WANT TO MAKE THIS ONE POINT, RAFI.

HE'S STILL WORKING FOR THE STATE OF NEW YORK.

HE'S A PATIENT ADVOCATE SO HE' HAD A LONG CAREER.

HE'S NOW 66 YEARS OLD, AND HE' ABOUT TO RETIRE, BUT HE IS EXACTLY WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT IN TERMS OF POTENTIAL UNREALIZED FOR THAT POPULATION.

WHAT -- WHAT WAS WILLOWBROO SUPPOSED TO BE WHAT DID IT SELL ITSELF AS WHAT SERVICES DID IT PRETEND T PROVIDE?

GREAT QUESTION.

REMEMBER THAT IT WAS STYLED STATE SCHOOL SO THE IDEA WAS THERE'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOR ABLE-BODIED CHILDREN AND THE STATE SCHOOLS FOR TH DISABLED, BUT WHAT HAPPENED OVER TIME AND SOME OF THIS HAS TO D WITH THE UNION STRUCTURE AND THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE UNIO AND THE STATE GOVERNMENT, BU OVER TIME IT BECAME LIKE A CATCH BASIN.

IN OTHER WORDS, YOU SAW IN THA VIDEO WHICH AGAIN I HADN'T SEE IN A LONG TIME YOU SAW KIDS WITH DOWN SYNDROME.

YOU SAW KIDS THAT WERE OBVIOUSLY PROFOUNDLY RETARDED WAS THE WA WE WOULD DESCRIBE TH POPULATION AND YOU SAW IT WITH THE LESS SEVERE, BUT STILL SIGNIFICAN DISABILITIES SO EVERYBODY WA PUT TOGETHER AND THERE WAS N REMEDIATION.

IT WAS CALLEDED A SCHOOL, BU THERE WAS NO EDUCATION O REMEDIATION OR VOCATIONA TRAINING THERE WAS NONE OF THAT

I WAS READING ABOUT WILLOWBROOK, AND I FOUND THI WHICH SURPRISED ME THAT AS FAR BACK AS 1965 ROBERT KENNEDY HA BEEN, YOU KNOW, SPEAKING AGAINST WILLOWBROOK ABOUT THE CONDITIONS IN WILLOWBROOK HOW DID IT LAST SO LONG?

HOW COULD IT GO SO LONG AS I WAS?

GREAT QUESTION.

THEY HAD A SCHEME AND TH SCHEME, RIGHT TO PRIVACY IN OTHER WORDS, KENNEDY GOES I 1965, ROBERT F. KENNEDY, SENATOR GOES IN 1965 HE SEES IT, CALLS IT A SNAKE PIT, BUT THERE'S NO PICTURES WHY ARE THERE NO PICTURES?

BECAUSE IT'S THE RIGHT T PRIVACY OF THE RESIDENTS INMATES, STUDENTS OR WHATEVE YOU WANT TO STYLIZE.

SO THE OUTRAGE IN HIS VOICE AN HIM BEING MOVED, ROBERT KENNED BEING MOVED IT CAME AND IT WEN BECAUSE THERE'S NO NIGHTMARE HAUNTING IMAGE -

THAT WHAT YOU SHOWED.

IT'S UNDENIABLE AND SUDDENLY, THERE'S NO SHT SIDE TO THE STORY.

WITH KENNEDY COMES, HE'S EMOTIONAL AND THE DIRECTOR COMES ON AND SAYS, WELL, WE'RE, YO KNOW, I DISAGREE WITH TH SENATOR.

WE'RE DOING THIS OR THAT AND THEN IT'S TWO SIDES TO THE STORY.

YOU SEE THE PICTURE AND IT'S ONLY ONE SIZE.

AND WHAT WAS ACTUALLY GOING ON IN THERE WAS IT JUST GROSS NEGLIGENCE O WAS IT ACTUAL, PHYSICAL AN SEXUAL ABUSE AND ALL OF TH ABUSE HAPPENED FOR SURE, BUT THE BIGGEST ABUSE WAS THE -- WAS THE CONCEPT THAT YOU COULD MAS PRODUCE CARE OF THE DISABLED I THE WAY YOU MADE FORD MOTO CARS AN ASSEMBLY LINE AND YOU KEE THEM ALL THERE AND YOU LINE THEM UP AND NOW YOU FEED THEM AND THEY FED THEM THIS SLOP AND TH KIDS WOULD OPEN THEIR MOUTH AN THROW A BIG LUMP OF OATMEAL AN MOST WERE DYING OF PNEUMONIA BECAUSE OF THE WAY THEY WERE BEING FED.

THAT WAS THE SCHEME.

THE SCHEME WAS IT WAS BASICALL A HOLDING PEN, A KENNEL FO THESE -- FOR HUMANITY DISGUISE AS A SCHOOL.

DID ANYBODY GO TO JAIL AS A RESULT OF YOUR REPORT?

NOBODY WENT TO JAIL, BU SOMETHING MUCH MORE SIGNIFICAN HAPPENED WHAT HAPPENED WAS THAT THE MYT THAT THIS STATE WAS DOING TH BEST IT COULD, THIS STATE, EVERY STATE, EVERY CIVILIZED NATIO WAS DOING THE BEST THEY COUL WITH THIS POPULATION WITH THES INSTITUTIONS THAT MYTH WAS EXPOSED, AND IT BEGAN A MOVEMENT WHERE THERE WAS NO LONGE PLAUSIBLE DENIABLITY THAT WE WERE DOING THE BEST WE COULD I A DIFFICULT SITUATION.

NOW EVERYONE KNEW THAT THE INSTITUTION WAS NO WAY TO CARE FOR THIS POPULATION.

IT ABSOLUTELY BEGAN THE END OF THE INSTITUTIONAL ERA THAT HAD EXISTED SINCE BEDLAM AND THE UNITED KINGDOM

SO THAT'S WHAT ENDED.

WHAT BEGAN AS A RESULT OF THIS REPORT

IT IS RARE THAT THERE IS HAPPY ENDING TO THESE STORIES.

IT'S ALSO RARE THAT TELEVISION NEWS IS ENGAGED IN THE PROCESS OF POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE.

SO EASY TO DO AN EXPOSE COMPLAIN ABOUT SOMETHING, MOVE ON, NEXT STORY AND ANOTHER EXPOSE, HERE'S A FIRE AND HERE'S A TERRIBLE THING, NEXT.

IN THIS CASE, WE KNEW WHAT THE SOLUTION WAS THE SOLUTION WAS SMALL COMMUNITY-BASED RESIDENCES WHERE THIS POPULATION, RATHER THAN BEING STUFFED IN THESE WARDS SCORES OF THEM, PEOPLE COULD LIVE THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX IN A RESIDENCE, IN A HOME, A REAL HOME, A HOUSE HOME WIT BASICALLY ONE TO ONE ATTENTION COULD BE REALIZED.

WHERE THEY COULD LEARN TO SEW OR WORK AT FAST FOOD OR YOU KNOW, DO WHATEVER IT IS THAT THEY WERE ABLE TO DO THEY GOT TRAINING.

THEY GOT REMEDIATION AND MUC MORE, MUCH BETTER PHYSICAL CAR AND IT REALLY HAD CHANGED TH WORLD AND THE INSTITUTIONS BEGAN CLOSING AND THE BLUE STATE FIRST AND IT SWEPT THE NATIO AND IT SWEPT THE CIVILIZED WORLD.

HOW DID THIS REPORT, YO DOING THIS REPORT CHANGED YOUR LIFE OH, MY GOODNESS, AND IT WAS CHANGE I DON'T WANT TO GET AL EMOTIONAL AGAIN, BUT FOR A LON TIME, RAFI, FOR A LONG TIME, I LIVED WITH THE FEELING, A GUILTY FEELING THAT MY LIFE HAD CHANGED FAR MORE THAN THEIR LIVES THAN THE LIVES OF THE RESIDENTS O WILLOWBROOK.

BECAUSE IT MADE YOU

BECAUSE I BECAME A STAR I BECAME KIND OF A -- IT WAS A GO-GO ERA WHERE YOU KNOW, SUDDENLY BECAME THE GOLDEN BOY OF THE CITY AND OF THE UNDERPRIVILEGED AND IT REALL WAS -- I MEAN, YOU HAVE TO LIV UP TO IT AND YOU KNOW, THAT KIND OF FAME IS FLEETING, BUT IT WA DEFINITELY IT WAS A SHOCKINGLY PROFOUND DIFFERENCE IN M PERSONAL LIFE.

BUT YOU ALSO, YOU DIDN' ABANDON THE PEOPLE THAT YO COVERED IN WILLOWBROOK, RIGHT?

YOU TOOK ACTION.

TALK ABOUT THAT A LITTLE BIT NOW WE HAD THE IDEA OF THE SMALL, COMMUNITY-BASED RESIDENCES AND THE MOS PROGRESSIVE PEOPLE IN THE FIEL SAID TO DO IT AND NOW YOU HAVE TO MAKE MONEY TO FUND THES RESIDENCES SO THAT BECAME MY CAUSE, M CRUSADE TO FUND THESE HOMES AN THE ONE TO ONE TYPE HOMES WHER THE POPULATION COULD THRIVE, I A WAY.

FIRST, I WAS FRIENDS WITH JOHN LENNON AND YOKO.

JOHN'S 75th BIRTHDAY AND IMAGINE HE'S BEEN DEAD FOR 35 YEARS AN SUCH A SIN AND HE WAS A DEAR FRIEND AND THEY DID JOHN'S LAS CONCERT OF HIS LIFE WAS THE TW ONE ON 21 CONCERTS AT MADISO SQUARE GARDEN AND IT MAD HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS AND WE DID TELETHONS AND I DID WALL STREET BOXING MATCHES WHERE I WOULD FIGHT WHOEVER TH DESIGNATED CHAMPION WAS AND THAT WAS IN MADISON SQUARE GARDEN ALSO IT'S A CAUSE THAT I AM INTIMATELY INVOLVED IN I JUST DID 'CELEBRIT APPRENTICE' AND ALL OF THE MONEY I MADE WENT TO THIS CAUSE AN THE AGENCY IS LIFE'S WORK.

THERE ARE OTHERS LIFE'S WORK OF QUEENS, NEW YORK, NASSAU COUNTY-BASED ORGANIZATION OF PARENTS THEY OPENED MORE THAN 40 O THESE HOMES.

THERE ARE SCORES OF THEM IN NE YORK STATE AND NEW JERSEY AN CONNECTICUT AND ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.

I BELIEVE THAT IT IS THE GREATEST CONTRIBUTION THAT I MADE IN MY 45 YEARS OF PUBLI LIFE AND IT'S SOMETHING THAT I'LL GO TO THE GRAVE AND I'M ENGAGED NOW IN THE COLLEGE O STATEN ISLAND WHICH WAS BASED ON THE GROUNDS OF WILLOWBROOK AND THEY TELL ME THEY WANT TO NAME THE SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK AFTE ME, AND I WANT TO BE BURIE THERE ALSO, AND IT'S SOMETHING THAT WAS THE BEGINNING IN ON WAY AND LET IT END THAT WAY.

GERALDO, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪

SCHOOL DOESN'T STOP WHEN YO PUT THE TEXTBOOKS DOWN IT DOESN'T STOP WHEN YOU GET YOUR DIPLOMA IN COLLEGE AND GO OFF TO THE REAL WORLD.

KEEP EDUCATING YOURSELF.

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Funders

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