I am the mother of four kids, including two who are currently in NYC public schools. My son, Barkhem, is 10 years old, but has not yet received the quality education he deserves.
In the middle of fourth grade, Barkhem was forced to switch teachers at a school in Brownsville because his ineffective teacher didn’t know how to structure a classroom. After coming home with failing test scores in the fall, I decided to contact Barkhem’s teacher to see how I could help focus Barkhem on his schoolwork. The teacher agreed that it would be okay for me to visit the classroom and observe. The environment of the classroom was completely out of control. As I sat next to my son towards the back of the class, I noticed students were completely distracted from their work, jumping out of their seats and talking to one another. I couldn’t even hear the teacher’s voice or follow the lesson plan. Eventually, I requested that Barkhem be transferred to a new teacher. While the new teacher had a more positive influence on Barkhem, he was so far behind that he just barely passed the state exams at the end of the year.
I have been following Wright v New York, and I support the case because as a mother of four kids, I’m counting on great teachers to be a partner in my effort to prepare my children for the future. I wish we didn’t have to fight in a courtroom for smart policies to improve teacher quality and remove ineffective educators. But since too many of our political leaders and the teachers union have blocked real reform for so long, legal action is our only option. I hope this case will address the flaws in our current system, both for my children, and for kids across the city and the state.
By Lisa, a public school parent in Brownsville
The Wright v New York parent plaintiffs represent a struggle that families across New York experience in the fight for educational justice. This post is a part of a series that highlights parents who are speaking up for underserved students in New York schools. It’s time for education leaders to #hearourvoice.