Even though Mayoral control of the NYC public schools was based on the promise of greater accountability, there is less accountability than before, with the Dept. of Education violating both state and city laws and shutting out the voices of parents and other community members from decision-making.
We need enhanced checks and balances, to ensure that educational policies are responsive to students' needs, are based on accurate and transparent information, and serve to improve student outcomes. We endorse the Parent Commission's proposals on school governance, including the following:
--Provide a majority of elected parent leaders on the Board of Education and make education policy subject to state and city law;
---Create three new oversight offices answerable to the public: an Independent Accountability Office, an Inspector General, and an Ombudsperson to resolve parental complaints;
---Restore the role of Superintendents and school districts, and give authority to Community Education Councils to approve all school sitings, openings, and closings;
-- Strengthen parent input, by reinstating the power of School Leadership Teams and creating an Independent Parent Organization with a dedicated source of funding;
--Ensure that the school system meets the needs of every student with special needs;
--Convene a Commission to create a constitution to define the mission, core principles, and goals of NYC schools.
We urge the Governor and the NY State Legislature to adopt the proposals of the Parent Commission, with the expectation that these reforms will lead to fundamental improvements in the quality of the education our children receive.
Parent Commission on School Governance and Mayoral Control, in which every public school parent in NYC was invited to participate. Our core members include parent leaders and advocates from throughout the five boroughs. Check out our full set of recommendations at www.parentcommission.org
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