A Glimmer of Hope?  Or (in)Equity and (in)Action?

At our meeting of June 7th, we hoped to see the Chancellor to provide answers to our ongoing questions regarding the inaction with regard to the segregated state of our D1 and city schools.  Instead, we were sent a representative from the Division of Family and Community Engagement: FACE, which has never had a role in SIPP (Socioeconomic Integration Pilot Program) grant conversations.  Members of the public and CEC again asked unanswered questions about when the DOE will commit to a plan to integrate D1’s Pre-K and K classes.  Do we now have the beginnings of an answer?

Last week, the Mayor and the Chancellor released their “Diversity in NYC Public Schools” plan, promised since August of 2016.  The Mayor’s “Diversity Plan” was met with, unfortunately and deservedly, a mostly negative response.  We look forward to providing a complete analysis in the days ahead.  In the Press Release accompanying the plan though, the DOE finally committed to making district-wide “fair and feasible” changes to the inequitable Kindergarten admission process and outcomes in District 1 in time for the 2018-2019 school year.  These changes would take place in next year’s admission cycle.

  • But no commitment to district-wide Pre-Kindergarten changes?
  • No indication of the specifics, if not “controlled choice,” for delivering equity to D1?
  • No commitment to a Family Resource Center to support an equitable process?
  • No commitment to community outreach, support, and transparency?
  • No indication of how the aims and goals of the Socioeconomic Integration Pilot Program (SIPP) proposal would be addressed?

These are not small details.  And, as to the proposal furnished by the Office of Student Enrollment back in April (at a closed-door SIPP grant working group meeting):

  • That DOE alternative is unlike “Controlled Choice” as demonstrated by expert planner Michael Alves;
  • That DOE alternative did not include Pre-K; and
  • That DOE alternative failed to deliver on the essential ask of the community: schools that serve fair and proportionate numbers of students, both the at-risk and the not at-risk.
Our Next Meeting – Thank You!

Media Links

Press Calls for Controlled Choice:

Reactions and More:

Surveys

Thank you parents and teachers for taking our survey! And thank you parent coordinators for emailing and handing it out, parent leaders for helping distribute, and school leaders. The (anonymous) survey results will help to inform our year-end report.  If you haven’t taken it, please complete it online or drop a hard copy off at your school’s main office before Friday June 16th! We will keep the online version open until Sunday June 18th. 

We are Hiring – CEC Administrative Assistant

  • Please apply and forward widely!  If you know of someone who has strong administrative skills, comes from an organizing background, and as a passion for education issues, please let them know about this opportunity.
  • The open listing will close at 3:00 p.m. on June 27th. 
  • Here is the position description on Idealist and the link to the DoE’s application website (application materials must be submitted through the DoE’s Career Opportunities website).  Email us at cec1@schools.nyc.gov with questions.
  • The position will support the work of the CEC with meetings and parent outreach; share information with parents, schools, and community members about CEC1 events and education policy issues; assist with CEC1 communication and reports, and more.

Mayoral Control

At our May calendar meeting, we passed a resolution on Mayoral Control of Schools. In District One, we have seen the negative effects that centralization has on local communities Since the inception of mayoral control and the removal of authority from local decision makers like the superintendents and elected bodies, many of our shared values have gone ignored to a common detriment, with the negative effects experienced most by the most at-risk.  And shifts in administrative governance under Chancellor Fariña have not done enough to empower parents, strengthen school communities, and improve schools. CEC 1 believes that Mayoral Control should not be renewed and at the very least the following improvements are essential:
  1. The Community School Districts should be restored to their lawful place in the governance structure, and district superintendents should have real power returned to them as intended by law.
  2. The District Leadership Team should hold final authorization on policy proposals handed down by DoE central. It is expected that Superintendents, through their collaboration with the District Leadership Team, shall be able to negotiate on behalf of the district community to derive policy solutions that fit our needs.
  3. The powers of District CECs should be expanded to allow for a meaningful vote regarding any significant changes in school utilization, including phase-outs, grade reconfigurations, re-sitings, closings/openings, and charter/public school co-locations. The PEP must provide an explanation as to why they are not following a decision by the CEC regarding any significant school changes.
  4. The Panel for Education Policy should be reformed so that the borough presidents each appoint one member (and they must have a child in a New York City Public School) and so that the Mayor not be allowed to appoint the majority of members to the PEP.  A reformed PEP would be comprised of Five Borough President Appointees, Four Mayoral Appointees, 1 Selection by the Citywide and Community District Education Councils (Citywide/CECs), 1 Public Advocate Appointee, and 1 Comptroller Appointee.
CEC Meeting
  • CEC Calendar Meeting, 6/21/17, 6:00pm, PS 20 (166 Essex St.)