NEW YORK CITY PARENTS UNION STATEMENT ON THE RELEASE OF THE NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION’S SCHOOL CLOSINGS LIST
New York, NY– Today, the New York City Department of Education (“DOE”) released the first of its annual list of schools to be closed or phased out for “poor performance.” The New York City Parents Union is not surprised by the DOE’s actions. The DOE has made this exercise an annual event – one where parent and community voices are ignored because of “Mayoral Control” (formally known as the New York City School Governance Law.)
Mayoral Control gives Mayor Bloomberg and his successors full power over the public school system and thoroughly disenfranchises parents and communities. We are saddened to hear about these school closures but we will take action. The New York City Parents Union will seek to formally empower parents and communities by proposing changes to Mayoral Control that would become effective in 2014, when the next Mayor takes office and attempts to modify the New York City School Governance Law to suit his or her vision of control over our schools.
The New York City Parents Union will not perpetuate the the futility of attending Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) meetings where the Mayor has a “rubberstamping super majority” of the members. Mayor Bloomberg controls eight of thirteen PEP members — eight individuals who have never in the 10 years of Mayoral Control heard the voices of parents and communities and therefore have never voted for the best interests of our children.
In Mayor Bloomberg’s final year of office, the New York City Parents Union will aggressively lobby state legislators to give parents and communities policy power. We understand that, amongst other oppressive practices, the PEP’s composition must be significantly changed. Otherwise, we will continue to have our schools closed and the voices of our communities will continue to be ignored.