In what is likely to be the
area’s largest education-related rally in months, about 600 parents are
expected to gather today in Lower Manhattan to
demand an overhaul of the city’s public middle schools.
Officials including the
president of the teachers union, Randi Weingarten, and the chairman of the City
Council’s education committee, Robert Jackson, are scheduled to join a march to
the Department of Education headquarters from St. Paul’s
Chapel nearby in Lower Manhattan.
The event is timed with the
release a new report disputing Mayor Bloomberg’s claims that racial and
economic achievement gaps have closed under his watch.
"In a crucial part of the
school system the middle grades the gap is not closing," the report,
from a group of parents across the city, the Coalition for Educational Justice,* says.
Mr. Bloomberg zeroed in on
the middle-school years in his State of the City address last week, vowing to
raise standards for exiting eighth grade and to implement recommendations from
a task force on middle school led by the council speaker, Christine Quinn.
Parent leaders at the Coalition for Educational Justice yesterday said Mr.
Bloomberg’s mention was not satisfactory. "There didn’t seem to be a
concrete plan, which is a little surprising," a Brooklyn
parent, Zakiyah Ansari, said. "We really thought there would be some more
recommendations being drawn from those that the task force wrote."
In the report, the parents
push for three initiatives they said are drawn from months of research and
visits to successful schools.
the Road New York is
a founding and active member of this coalition