How many times must we be inundated with the actions of political power brokers who we, the people – the majority – elect to office and then retreat into silence or the trivial preoccupation of competing with and degrading those who don’t agree with us. And while we are intensifying divisions, the power brokers are uniting based on their common purpose. Strangely enough, we don’t demand that politicians follow the laws, instead, we tend to accept their word and actions as law and too often we seek alliance with them driven by “What’s in it for me?”
This current debacle over Chancellor Klein’s replacement allows us parents, family and community members to find “What’s in this for me?” I’ll share with you what I found. First, I questioned this growing habit of the mayor requesting waivers and I recalled the DOE-Vendor coup that negatively affected minority and women vendors because they didn’t make enough money to reach the mayor’s criteria. They were replaced by big businesses. The contribution they made to the students wasn’t a part of the equation – money was.
Councilman Charles Barron appeared on Gil Noble’s Like It Is and eloquently cited evidence that the Mayor values big business and I’ve learned that people may say anything but they always do their values. It also became clear parents that our children are prime consumers. But when the Councilman cited the written criteria for chancellor, the message really came through that we, parents, guardians and community had to wake up. What is this debate about Cathie Black’s qualifications? SHE DOESN’T FIT ANY OF THE CRITERIA. We must inform the mayor that if he thinks the criteria or stated laws are ineffective, he must convene public hearings to determine if changes are warranted. Or have we succumbed to a dictatorship in disguise. In short, these are our children and the mayor, the business folk will continue their values and we must declare and protect ours – ensuring the growth and development of our children. Remember, prisons are big business and their profit increases as our youth are incarcerated in the school-to-prison pipeline.
It’s time to connect the dots and put ourselves in this game that’s wreaking havoc on our young. What’s in it for you? Insuring that your child becomes his or her best and becoming a resource for you and community.
CPE, Class Size Matters were among parent and other groups holding press conferences, voicing their opposition to the waiver and delivering petitions with 13,000 signatures. Regardless of the outcome, “The struggle continues”. The system is broken and needs fixing. And like “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” the transformation of a broken school system begins with each of us. And since we weren’t told that we are capable of accomplishing our dreams, we gave our power over to others. It’s time to retrieve our power, it’s time to regain control of our children’s education.
I extend an invitation to parents, guardians, grandparents, educators, concerned adults to join me on Saturday, December 4th , 1pm -4pm for Home Works! Regaining Control of Your Child’s Education, a free workshop at CPE’s monthly event empowering parents in getting the best education for their child. The workshop is designed to create home as a learning lab, putting theory to practice while making home management a family affair. The evidence has been in for a long time that retention and problem-solving skills are increased by doing rather than lecture and other modes. The workshop provides aids in self-discovery, healing relationships and accessing resources.
To register: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 718-773-2252. Location: Restoration Plaza, 1368 Fulton St., 5th floor.