Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Parent leaders demand NYC Mayor give parents a voice in choice of a new schools Chancellor

Jessamyn Lee,Co-Chair, Chancellor's Parent Advisory Council (credit S. Ochshorn)

For immediate release: January 23, 2018
For more information: Leonie Haimson, leoniehaimson@gmail.com; 917-435-9329

On Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, leaders of the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council (CPAC), representing all the PTAs and Parent Associations in NYC public schools, along with the leaders of the Education Council Consortium, representing the elected and appointed members of the Community and Citywide Education Councils, along with about 30 other parent leaders,  gathered on the steps of Tweed
Marco Batistella, CPAC co-chair (credit S. Ochshorn)
Courthouse, the NYC Department of Education headquarters.  As representatives of more than one million public school parents, they demanded that Mayor de Blasio implement a transparent selection process for a new Chancellor, and give parents a voice in this process, as
he promised to do when he first ran for Mayor, instead of the quiet, internal decision that he currently plans.  

If there is a public vetting that includes the input of parents and community members, the likelihood will be that the individual selected will work well with parents and be responsive to their concerns.  As the first step in devising  this process, they asked to meet with the Mayor as soon as possible.

Shino Tanikawa, Co-Chair ECC, President NYC Kids PAC (credit S.Ochshorn)
Jessamyn Lee, the Co-Chair of the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory said: “The Chancellor's Parent Advisory Council (CPAC) urges Mayor de Blasio to honor Chancellor Farina's commitment to parent engagement by including parents in the selection of the new Schools Chancellor. We are partners in the education of our children. The city trusts parents to participate as partners in the hiring of our school principals and local superintendents. The 1.1 million students in our school system are wholly disenfranchised, represented only by the voices and activism of their parents. For the Mayor to deny parents the opportunity to represent the interests of our children in this critical decision is to ignore the voices of our most vulnerable, underrepresented New Yorkers. CPAC insists that parents be included in the hiring of the Department of Education's new leader. “

NeQuan McLean, Co-chair, ECC (credit S. Ochshorn)

Shino Tanikawa, the Co-Chair of NYC Kids PAC and the co-President of the Education Council Consortium said, “I sincerely hope the Mayor considers an open and public selection process that includes parent leaders.  This is an opportunity to ensure that the next Chancellor has the qualities and qualifications necessary to run the nation's largest public school system and is someone who can truly collaborate with all stakeholders including parents.”

NeQuan McLean, the Co-Chair of the Education Council Consortium said: “The next chancellor will need to address the challenge of ‘separate is not equal’ in NYC’s highly segregated school system.  NYC students deserve a chancellor who will work to stop the well- documented harm done to the majority of students who attend our public schools. These students are children with disabilities, English Language Learners and children from economically disadvantaged communities. They are our most vulnerable students with the most to gain as educated and career-ready citizens. Our next chancellor needs to be a champion for these children and all children in our public school system.”

Pam Stewart,  CCHS (credit: S. Ochshorn)
Eduardo Hernandez, CEC 8 (credit S. Ochshorn)
Marco Batistella, CPAC Co-Char, Pam Stewart of the Citywide Council of High Schools, Eduardo Hernandez of the Community Education Council in District 8, Nancy Northrup of the Queens High School Presidents Council, and many other parent leaders explained why it was critical for parents to have a real voice in the selection process, to ensure that the next Chancellor will be successful in collaborating with parents for the benefit of  NYC children. 

For more information, see the CPAC letter here:  https://tinyurl.com/y8r5y7pu ; 


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