Posts tagged "parent power"
April 23, 2013
Regina Dowdell stepped up to the microphone and made an honest admission to the room full of fellow parents.
“I personally didn’t know exactly what the mayor did,” said Dowdell, whose daughter attends Girls Preparatory Bronx Charter School. “I think that’s an important focus today.” (more…)
April 18, 2013
A confrontation between Bedford-Stuyvesant educators and StudentsFirstNY organizers on Wednesday highlighted the group’s struggle to organize parents in low-performing schools. (more…)
June 25, 2012
It’s a good thing parents at Park Slope’s P.S. 10 picked last Tuesday to surprise their children with a schoolyard flash mob — today’s stormy weather would have dampened the crowd’s enthusiasm.
The routine was choreographed by Kristi Spessard, a parent who also heads an experimental dance troupe. According to Lauren Elvers Collins, a P.S. 10 parent who posted on the blog Park Slope Stoop about the experience, the parents spent months rehearsing their routine and even roped school administrators into donning boas and participating.
And while the performance didn’t have any overt political messages, a more subtle one might have been expressed. Responding to a commenter on Gothamist who asked, “Who has time to do this?” a commenter named crocodile eyes wrote, “People who want to teach their kids that life is not all about standardized testing & quantitative statistics!” According to the school’s website, P.S. 10 families were among those who traveled to Pearson’s headquarters earlier this month to protest against the test-maker.
February 28, 2012
When the Bloomberg Administration threatened to shut down a school in Assemblyman Keith Wright’s district this year, Wright vowed to create legislation to repeal mayoral control of the schools.
The city didn’t go through with the closure, but Wright is making good on his word — at least to a degree — by introducing a bill that would chip away at one of the mayor’s most controversial powers: the ability to install schools inside other schools’ buildings.
The bill would require elected parent councils known as Community Education Councils to approve any co-location proposal before it may go into effect.
Co-location proposals often generate heated debate within districts, particularly when the city is proposing to move a charter school into a district building. The CECs regularly play a vocal role in opposing charter school co-locations within their district schools, but they have no power to stop them or any other co-location.
Instead, the Panel for Educational Policy, which has never rejected a city proposal, must approve co-locations.
Parents, politicians, advocacy groups and representatives of at least three CECs rallied infront of Department of Education headquarters this morning to show their support for Wright’s bill, saying they hope it will pass because the CECs already must vote on zone lines within their districts.
Co-locations were the only subject of today’s rally; but according to Noah Gotbaum, a member of CEC for District 3, the CECs are hoping the co-location bill will be the first step toward legislation restricting the city’s ability to close schools, and eventually leading to the outright end of mayoral control. (more…)
May 2, 2011
After being criticized by parents for bungling the roll-out of parent council elections, the Department of Education is taking heat again for making parents jump through hoops to vote.
For the first time, the website where parents go to vote for candidates in their district is password protected. Although the city sent passwords home in elementary and middle school students’ backpacks, some parents who have children in high school said they never got the information. Without it, they can’t cast their votes in the Community Education Council elections and, if they’re running for a seat on the council, they can’t see who their opponents are.
A Department of Education official said the department’s Office of Family Information and Action decided to put the list of candidates’ names and profiles behind a password for privacy reasons.
President of the Community Education Council in District 1, Lisa Donlan, said she and other parents have not been able to log-on. Although she is running for office Donlan, whose son is in high school, said she can’t access the list of 12 candidates running in her district. (more…)
November 9, 2009
Burned by Albany funding cuts, charter school advocates are turning to a political base that they’ve long left untapped: parents.
In mid-October, a dozen charter school administrators gathered in a conference room at the Times Square Marriott for a seminar on the role of parents in charter school advocacy. Kenneth Peterson, a director of strategic partnerships at the New York State Charter School Association told the group that the charter school movement has a secret problem: it has almost no grassroots parent advocacy.
New York State’s political climate had changed, Peterson explained. Last year, legislators froze the amount of money that charter schools receive for each student they teach, effectively cutting their budgets. A fragile majority of charter school supporters in the State Senate made it imperative for charter school advocates to win over individual senators, rather than relying on friendships with a few party leaders.
“Crisis has a way of galvanizing folks around the need to act,” said Jeff Maclin, vice president for school advocacy at the New York City Charter School Center. “I think the ‘freeze’ in education funds to public charter schools this year was a wake up call to schools to make sure something like this does not happen again.” (more…)