Sunday, October 14, 2007

CPAC’s Influence On The Rise?

October 14, 2007 (GBN News): In an astonishing turnabout, the NY City Department of Education has finally begun utilizing suggestions from the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Committee (CPAC). By law, CPAC is supposed to advise the Chancellor on educational issues, but the committee’s input has long been ignored by Chancellor Joel Klein. As recently as last April, a turf conflict had even resulted in a number of CPAC members being held hostage by the DOE. But at last Thursday’s meeting, it became clear that things had changed dramatically.

At that meeting, during a discussion on the cell phone ban, a CPAC member asked Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott when the Administration was going to ban paper and pens, given that today’s disruptive text messaging is only a higher tech version of yesterday’s note passing. The Deputy Mayor, who has traditionally been dismissive of parent concerns and ideas, immediately embraced this suggestion. “I see you parents have finally come around to our way of thinking”, Mr. Walcott said. “You’re absolutely right. Children can use pens and paper to cheat, disrupt class, and even arrange gang fights. I’ll speak to the Chancellor about this tonight and I’m sure we can have a ban in place ASAP.”

It is unclear just how this ban will be enforced, since metal scanners are unable to detect paper and pens. How children will manage to take the many standardized tests and assessments that they are subjected to also remains to be seen. Still, this could prove to be one of the more radical changes of Joel Klein’s tenure as Chancellor, and will have a profound impact on the school environment.

In a related story, the DOE is expected to announce as soon as this week a long-awaited, exclusive no-bid $18,000,000 contract with GBN News to take over the Department’s Public Relations. It is unclear what will become of the 29 PR consultants already working for the DOE.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a follow on to that comment a member requested to confirm the reason for the ban and that it was the DOE does not want the staff to enforce cell phones from view or use in school. Dennis confirmed that and CONFIRMED the DOE would take responsibility for communications with parents in the event of a crisis. That was taken as skeptical as the technology of the telephone systems could not handle a significant influx of phone call and not enough staff is available to handle a large volume of calls in the event of a crisis. Quite an undertaking of responsibility so lets see if this passes muster during the next crisis. Given the requirement to call and notify a complete school's parents seems like more than the DOE can bargin for in responsibility. Smells like a lawsuit waiting for an event to happen...Hmmmm