This morning, thousands of district and charter school parents joined together to tell leaders #DontStealPossible. Together, they called on Mayor de Blasio, Schools Commissioner Fariña, and other officials across the City and the State to deliver on the promise of a quality education and great teachers for all students, regardless of the school they attend or the neighborhood they live in.
Read the transcript below from Au Hogan, a district school parent and grandparent and StudentsFirstNY chapter member from Jamaica, Queens and follow @StudentsFirstNY on Twitter and Instagram to see photos from this morning's rally.
Good morning. My name is Au Hogan and I am a traditional public school parent and grandparent from Jamaica Queens. My children, grandchildren and I all went through the New York City public school system.
I joined StudentsFirstNY as a parent member and am here today because I want change!
You’ve heard today from others that our public education system is in crisis. (I am in total agreement with the other speakers) You’ve heard the numbers, but let me put a face and a name to those numbers.
My grandson Dre’s future is being stolen. Let me say that again, my grandson Dre’s future is being stolen. The NYC public school system is stealing Dre’s future. Every year his “possible” seems more and more like IMPOSSIBLE.
Dre’s a good kid with a loving family that values learning. He’s not an outlier. He’s your regular, mainstream kid who this system should have no problem educating.
Dre wakes up each morning and goes to his district public school and day after day he gets 100s on his classroom work. But when it comes time to take the tests – you know, the ones that really tell you whether a kid is ready for the next grade – he gets zeros.
He goes to summer school each year, a box gets checked, and he keeps on getting promoted to the next grade – even though he knows, I know, we all know, he’s not prepared to be there.
As parents, we all send our children to school in good faith, believing that they will do right by our children. That schools will open the doors to “possible.”
Kids like Dre all across this city are being denied their “possible.”
I am here today in solidarity with the parents throughout the city to say to our elected leaders – don’t steal possible. Don’t steal Dre’s possible. Every child should have access to a school where reaching their full potential, truly is possible.