Thursday, March 8, 2007

Chancellor Flees Staten Island Parent Meeting

According to press and eyewitness accounts, Chancellor Klein apparently "bolted" from a meeting with angry Staten Island parents. Here's the story in the Staten Island Advance.

A parent on the scene sent this report:
The Advance got the tone right but I want to add that parents (and teachers) at the forum were great—respectful and thoughtful but very angry.

Among the most salient points addressed were: 1) Class size, especially in Middle Schools continues to be insanely high; 2) Special Ed problems abound, including students who are getting exams not appropriate to their IEPs; 3) There are significant concerns about the implications of the new funding proposal both with respect to schools with senior teachers being penalized and funding being tied directly to students; 4) There are too many assessments, tests, and exams. Both teachers and students told Klein that needs to focus more on teaching and learning and less on constantly gathering data and information.

In an update to an earlier story, NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson added his voice to chorus of those criticizing the Mayor's record on education. Quoted in this NY Post article, Thompson suggests the State's graduation is the accurate one. See our post on this issue from earlier this week.

Update: Borough President Molinaro sent a letter to the SI Advance criticizing the conduct of those at the meeting. Parents responded with a slew of letters. Here's an excerpt from one:
Mr. Molinaro says he is ashamed by what took place. I am ashamed that I did not see Mr. Molinaro present at such an important forum. I am ashamed that Chancellor Joel Klein dodged, evaded, and dismissed the pressing questions and concerns of teachers and parents. …What occurred at this forum was an outcry from the people who are not being heard or served by these politicians.
If anyone has a link to BP Molinaro's letter, please send it in.

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