Debating the Parent Commission Position on Mayoral Control

    We are always for a healthy debate. And here is one on the approach to the mayoral control issue. My opinion is way too much time is spent on lobbying and addressing politicians. Scott Stinger so praised for his role in appointing Patrick Sullivan to the PEP was at the PS 57 press conference we were locked out of yesterday. I didn't see him demanding some of us be let in. His presence condoned the phony Learn NY manipulation of young people who were told what signs to hold and what to chant and ordered not to talk to any of us.

    I love these points in the letter below:

    We don't believe that letting the politicians direct our battle is the most effective way to make change, particularly if for over a year we have been the voice 100% against mayoral control.

    Being a critical mass on the outside pushing for what really needs to change can be much more effective even if you don't win the first time around.

    See Protesting BloomWeinKlein: GEM/ICE/NYCORE Show Some Muscle and Tweakers Take a Hit: Time Out From Testing Pulls Out of Parent Commission

    Leonie Haimson responds to TOFT


    The statement released from Time out from Testing regarding the Parent Commission is untrue.

    We remain committed to the end of Mayoral control and the creation a new system of partnership between the Mayor, parents and other elected officials, with sufficient checks and balances, and mechanisms for enhanced shared decision-making at the school, district and citywide levels.

    That is why the Parent Commission, along with other activist parents and teachers, helped organize a successful protest rally today in East Harlem, at the Mayor's press conference, where we made our position clear.


    A response to Leonie


    We are sorry to differ with Leonie; however, up in Albany the Parent Commission is not discussing the composition of the Board of Education (also called the Panel on Education Policy) where the real power shift needs to take place.

    The Parent Commission is not insisting that Sampson change in his bill support for the Mayor retaining control of the majority of seats and thereby votes of the Board. As long as the Mayor keeps control, the stakeholders, we the parents, will not have a REAL voice.

    Maybe the Parent Commission believes that they are against Mayoral Control but they are not actively fighting against it up in Albany. That is not to say that they have given up. However, their focus is on getting an Independent Parent Organization with funding and a Constitution Committee.

    Many may believe that you ask for what you think you can get in a compromise. We believe that fighting for this while giving the Mayor control over real decisions will not affect positive change for our children. There were different coalitions created around mayoral control--for mayoral control, for some changes to be made within mayoral control and then the PC against mayoral control.

    Sitting at the table up in Albany and making compromises with politicians often ends up with them directing the battle. It's so easy to think that sitting with those considered powerful means you will have an impact, but we believe that needs to be carefully evaluated to see if your goals are being furthered or hampered.

    Case in point, the Parent Commission decided to write a statement thanking the sponsors of our bill (Huntley and Sampson) for trying to incorporate some of our demands into the new Sampson bill but letting them know that the Parent Commission fundamentally did not agree with the revised Sampson bill because it did little to change the mayor's control of the Board. The politicians asked that the PC not put out this statement and so they did not. We don't believe that letting the politicians direct our battle is the most effective way to make change, particularly if for over a year we have been the voice 100% against mayoral control.

    Being a critical mass on the outside pushing for what really needs to change can be much more effective even if you don't win the first time around.

    After considerable thought and deliberation, Time Out From Testing believes that our organization has to continue fighting for an end to mayoral control. Partnership in our view, does mean a drastic change in the power structure of the PEP/Board.

    We would encourage all of you to call and fax Senator Sampson now and tell him that you want to see a true partnership on the Board where the Mayor will not have the majority of the appointments or votes.
    Senator Sampson Phone #: 518-455-2788 Fax #: 518-426-6806

    If you are not already on our mailing list and would like to get updates, please go to www.timeoutfromtesting.org and give us your email address.

    Jane Hirschmann and Don Freeman for Time Out From Testing


    In the meantime

    End of Mayoral Control Celebration

    Teachers, Principals, Guidance Counselors, paraprofessionals, secretaries, parents, families and community members will be gathering to celebrate the end of Bloomberg and Klein’s control of the New York City Schools beginning at 4:30 P.M. Tuesday June 30, 2009 in the park on the east side of 52 Chambers Street in Manhattan. At the stroke of midnight, June 30, we will serve eviction papers on Joel Klein to remove himself and his cronies from 52 Chambers Street, The “Boss Tweed Courthouse” immediately.

    For more information of this celebration, call Nicola DeMarco at 917-374-5220 or 718-884-2069 or email at nickdmarco@hotmail.com

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Debating the Parent Commission Position on Mayoral Control


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