Mayor de Blasio:
We are the parents of public school students in underserved neighborhoods. You claim to be fighting to end inequality for kids like ours, but unfortunately for our children, change isn’t coming fast enough and progress hasn’t reached our communities. We have worked with StudentsFirstNY to file Freedom of Information requests but your Department of Education has ignored us, in some cases for as long as 20 months. Your failure to deliver basic information to parents is unacceptable and disrespectful.
We come from neighborhoods like Bedford-Stuyvesant, where Nicole Thomas sends her three children to P.S. 256. Nicole is concerned about the quality of teachers at her school, especially after one of the teachers was accused of misconduct. Nicole wants to know why the Department of Education has refused to answer questions about the 3020a process. She’s wondering why the DOE would want to cover up this information, especially if they are supposed to put the well-being of students first.
Jean Holybrice, a father from Fort Greene, had to pull his children out of P.S. 67. Jean was constantly worried that his kids were stuck with teachers who used to be in the Absent Teacher Reserve – teachers that no principal wanted to hire. It got so bad at the school that Jean had to transfer them elsewhere. Jean is still concerned about the quality of schools in Fort Greene and that’s why he wants information about the ATR – a request that was made nearly two years ago.
Devon Winston from the Bronx wants to know why it’s taking the Department of Education so long to answer questions about how teachers are evaluated. His son attends P.S. 46 and Mr. Winston is concerned that the school doesn’t address the needs of kids in his son’s second grade class. It’s frustrating for him to have to tutor his son to make sure he stays on track.
We are just three of the parents who are demanding answers from your DOE. We know you run the schools, so it shouldn’t be difficult for you to make sure they provide the information we deserve.
We urge you to heed our concerns and send us the information we’ve requested.
Nicole Thomas, Public School Parent, Brooklyn, NY
Jean Holybrice, Public School Parent. Brooklyn, NY
Devon Winston, Public School Parent. Bronx, NY