At the March 20th Brooklyn Assembly School Governance Task Force Meeting Pastor David Brawley of the St Paul Community Baptist Church and East Brooklyn Congregations (EBC) strongly supported mayoral control,
SAMPSON: We’re not trying to prevent the mayor from having control of the Department of Education because, as anyone else, if I was mayor of the city of New York, and I’m responsible for educating 1.1 million children, I, too, would want to have control over that.
REPORTER: Sampson says he and his colleagues want … more training for parents, to get them involved in their child’s education, and more accountability. Mayor Bloomberg brushed aside those suggestions.
BLOOMBERG: I have no idea what he’s talking about. I think that’s the nicest way to phrase it …. I want the teachers and the principals to run the schools, not the parents.
Parent advocacy requires a definition: do we mean a Center that will listen to parents and serve as a conduit to the Department of Education to resolve/reply to individual parent issues, or an organization independent of the Department that trains parents to be advocates for their schools and their children?
The Annenberg Institute for School Reform has long experience in training parents as advocates and leaders. In a 2008 Study, Annenberg makes a firm case that parent activism and school improvement are inexorably linked.
Norm Fruchter in, “Urban Schools, Public Will: Making Education Work For All Our Children,” sees parents as equal stakeholders, sitting at the table with principals and teachers, as partners in creating schools that work for all children.
The National Coalition for Parent Involvement in Education (NCPIE) serves as a national clearing house and supports the efforts of parent advocacy around the nation.
State Education Departments support federally funded Parent Information Resource Centers (PIRC) around the nation, and there are sites around New York State and within New York City.
Will the Bloomberg/Klein views of school and school district leadership accept that a key component is the real involvement of parents, perhaps a conservative mayor who was the Secty of Education to a conservative governor paraphrasing Joel Klein’s favorite school thinker will resonate,
In 2005, Richard Riordan, the former Los Angeles mayor who was Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first secretary of education, evoked Professor Ouchi’s work when he wrote, “If you made a list of people’s silver bullets for public education — smaller classes, better pay for teachers, more phonics, longer school years, no social promotions — the concept of changing governance structure would be near the bottom of the list. None of the favorite silver bullets is going to work, though, unless principals are empowered and can in turn empower teachers and parents.”