More developments in grassroots ed activism.
Here's what Ann Kjellberg sent around two days ago regarding a new Political Action Committee parents have been setting up "to work for the changes we demand in our schools":
Parents learned from the school governance battle in Albany last spring, and the struggle in the City Council for an education capital plan that would address pervasive school overcrowding, that we need elected representatives who take their responsibilities to our kids seriously and act on them when it counts. We call for real action to end overcrowding, ensure parent input, give our children real opportunity and protect their civil rights. We will build parent power through the ballot box.They're endorsing these candidates in the Sept. 15th primaries:
— For reelection to the City Council, we endorse the six members who voted against the inadequate school capital plan that strands our children in overcrowded schools: in alphabetical order, Charles Barron, Alan Gerson, Robert Jackson, Ken Mitchell, Diane Reyna, and Al Vann;
— For City Council, we endorse Mark Weprin, who as a state Assemblymember voted against the Silver/Padavan legislation that continued the current system of mayoral control, with no checks and balances;
— For City Comptroller, we endorse John Liu, who as Councilmember voted against the school capital plan and demanded enhanced accountability from the DOE as a member of the Council's Education Committee;
— For Public Advocate, we endorse Norman Siegel, for his pro bono work representing the interests of public school parents in the cell phone and Randall's Island lawsuits.
And this is their founding Mission Statement:
NYC Kids PAC will advocate for better schools by supporting candidates for electoral office who have demonstrated a commitment to improving our city’s public schools, particularly in their actual legislative record and policy initiatives in office.
We will endorse candidates who support the following policies:
— Strengthening neighborhood schools;
— Reducing class size and overcrowding;
— Consulting the community when creating and placing new schools;
— Opposing the privatization of public education;
— Reducing test preparation and standardized testing;
— Restoring instruction in science, physical education, music, and art;
— Guaranteeing the civil rights of all students and providing them with an equal opportunity to succeed regardless of race, religion, economic circumstances, neighborhood, English-language proficiency, and special needs;
— Institutionalizing the parent voice in decision-making at the school, district, and citywide levels;
— Ensuring full transparency and accountability in directing resources to these goals.
Implementing these policies will revitalize New York City public schools and equip our children with the tools they need to succeed.
Contact: Ann Kjellberg (917) 250-4665, firstname.lastname@example.org
It sounds as if they're thinking along the same lines as GEM and all the other ed activist groups in NYC. We hope they'll keep us informed on their activities at email@example.com.
More on the new PAC at Gotham Schools.