(New York, NY) – Hundreds of public school parents joined education reform organization StudentsFirstNY and other advocates on the steps of City Hall today to urge new Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza to hit the reset button on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s failing education agenda. The parents want Carranza to deviate from the path laid out by former Chancellor Farina and Mayor de Blasio because it didn't produce results for their children. Taking Carranza at his word, the parents called on the Chancellor to “look under the hood,” saying they will support a bold new vision.
During his introductory press conference on March 5, Carranza said, “I kind of lift the hood and look under the hood and really understand why is it we are doing certain things, why is it that we’re not doing certain things, and I get my hands around that I think there’s going to be more robust conversations about perhaps maybe we take a little more divergent path or we stay on the course we’re on.”
“The Mayor always puts a rosy spin on what’s happening in schools but we’re here today to tell the new chancellor that things are much worse than de Blasio will acknowledge. We heard today from parents in public housing, in middle school deserts, from parents who are upset about the ATR pool and those who want more school choices. The bottom-line is: we want to see more of a focus on K-12,” said StudentsFirstNY Senior Organizer and public school parent DeWayne Murreld.
“UPK won’t mean much unless this Mayor does something to fix our K-12 problems. If Chancellor Carranza is a man of his word, he will really look under the hood and see Mayor de Blasio’s status quo is not good enough for parents,” said East New York grandparent Anyta Brown.
“I live in public housing, so I’m forced to send my grandson to a chronically struggling district school. I don’t have a choice. We have too many struggling schools and no plan from the City to create better options,” said Queens public school grandparent Au Hogan.
“I live in what’s called a middle school desert – a neighborhood with zero quality middle school options. This is a crisis and we need a Chancellor who will fight for kids to have real options at such a sensitive, critical time in their lives,” said Brooklyn public school parent Karen Spencer.
“We want to know what Chancellor Carranza is going to do about the Absent Teacher Reserve. We don’t want ineffective, incompetent teachers forced back into our children’s classrooms. Mayor de Blasio is hiding from accountability and we want this Chancellor to commit to telling parents the truth,” said Bronx Public School Parent Gloria Alfinez.
“The new Chancellor said he's for any school that works. He should show the city he means that and end City Hall’s war on charter schools and charter school parents. Families need options and many charters are indeed excellent options. That's why families are filing up waiting lists for them. Parents need more quality school choices for their children, and they need them now,” said NYCAN Executive Director Derrell Bradford
StudentsFirstNY is a grassroots education advocacy organization dedicated to improving public school options throughout New York State.