Executive Director: Education—
On Monday, February 14th, Reverend Sharpton, National Action Network Chairman Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson and I met with the leadership of several New York City churches and President of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), Michael Mulgrew, to discuss the state of New York City public schools and how we can work together in addressing the needs of children and parents. At the meeting, clergy members expressed their concerns about the growing number of schools under review for closure and the imminent threat of teacher layoffs proposed by New York City. Overall the National Action Network and the participants of this meeting are concerned about how the current education climate affects all children.
The meeting inspired me to dedicate this week’s ED news to urging all parents with children in urban public schools to continue asking questions, as well as fervently seek answers to address the long-term future of our children’s education. As parents, we must ask questions about the viability of the schools our children are attending and how well educators are prepared to teach in large classrooms.
Policymakers have responded to the budget deficit and the education crisis by threatening to layoff teachers and close down schools, breaking some schools in to smaller units that can hardly accommodate the diverse learning needs of our youth. Ultimately, children are forced to make due with minimal educational resources, which later translates into ill preparedness in meeting state regents requirements, and in the long run, difficulty as adults competing in the global market. We strongly believe that closing schools leads to over- crowded jails.
As parents we must collectively participate in fortifying the education process for all children. Even if you are not a parent or your child attends private school, public education is a community priority.
Be part of the process and part of the solution:
o Stay informed of any policy changes affecting your local school district.
o Form relationships with administrators, teachers and other parents within your child’s school and determine together the needs of both your child and the school.
o Participate in the activities of your local school board
o Attend all Parent Teacher Association meetings
o Above all, communicate with your child about their education
The National Action Network will continue grassroots efforts on a national level to address matters of education and equality.
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