En EspaƱol Know Your Rights
Source: New York Post
Subject: Education Justice
Type: Media Coverage

Schools Get Mixed Report Card at Hearing

It ain’t broke, but it
needs some fixin’.

That was the general
consensus at the first in a series of state Assembly public hearings yesterday
in Queens on whether to maintain mayoral
control of the city’s school system.

The state law that gave
Mayor Bloomberg control of the public schools in 2002 expires in June – but
even critics of the law didn’t argue for a return to the old days.

"We can’t let the law
expire and go back to the way it was," said Assembly member Mark Weprin,
who has been a frequent critic of Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.

About 200 parents and
advocates at the hearing called for a host of improvements, particularly to
address a lack of parent engagement and transparency under mayoral control.

They called for greater
independence for the Panel for Education Policy – which was derided repeatedly
as a rubber stamp for the mayor – the creation of an independent body to review
DOE statistics, and for elected parent groups to have a greater say in big
decisions.

"We cannot continue
to have a system that alienates parents and educators by imposing reforms
without any consultation," said
Ana Maria Archila, of the **Campaign for
Better Schools
.

Education officials acknowledged
they were working to improve parent engagement.

**MRNY is an active member of the Campaign for Better
Schools.