Saturday, March 31, 2007

School Oversight

The following is a copy of letter to editor in this week's Queens Chronicle. No matter what anyone says, Bloomberg is still blaming the teachers union for the ills of education.

Dear Editor:
This letter comes in response to recent criticism of two Assembly members, Cathy Nolan of Ridgewood and Ruben Diaz of the Bronx, because they, like others in Albany, want the best for the students of New York City. Let’s be clear, it’s not about the teachers union, it's about our kids. Just speak to the parents of primary school students who were given Metro Cards during the middle of winter and told good luck getting to school.

We know, as concerned and responsible parents, what our children need to achieve academically and obtain a balanced education, which, by the way, plays no part in “complete mayoral control.” Parental input is constantly provided and assumed to be wanted, but for the most part never utilized. The Department of Education is about to roll out a $15 billion dollar budget with revisions to school and pupil funding, while completely reorganizing the school system. All of this will occur without a formal public hearing effective July 1. Didn’t the DOE just reorganize a short three years ago? This is and should be a major concern for parents, and they should be up in arms to protect their priceless investment — their children — because a “mulligan” only exists in the game of golf.

Complete mayoral control just doesn’t work, and the school bus fiasco is just one prime example why. We can praise the efforts of our mayor and his administration to say good has come from the change six years ago, because we have a completely funded Five Year Capital Plan and new schools will be built. But the current test scores and citywide graduation results of the last few years do not reflect significant high school improvement, and most of our intermediate schools need improvement to prepare students for high school. Our mayor continually attempts to operate the DOE like one of his successful business ventures — only there aren’t any gains, and our children pay the price.

Dmytro Fedkowskyj,
vice president,
District Community Education Council 24,

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