Why Aren’t Parents Rioting in the Streets?

PREPARATION: Education Budget Cuts Protest

Image by infomatique via Flickr

This is the question an educator asked me yesterday.  A private school educator in New York City.  We were among over 200 people invited to Barry Diller’s IAC headquarters in Chelsea to have lunch and listen to the presentation for a brand new private school in Manhattan called Avenues The World Schools.  I wasn’t invited to this lunch as an NYC blogger, I was invited as the Co-President of the Parents’ Association of my daughters’ NYC public school and went there with my Co-President.  To be honest, it’s hard to explain this sort of event to people who have never been to a NYC media and money filled event.  This was not red carpet, this was not celebrity – this was the kind of thing that reminds you where the real power lies in this world.  Money.  Bankers, publishers and mostly bankers.  I haven’t been to something like this in more than 10 years – since I worked for a billionaire family here in NYC.  It made me sad.

That sounds weird right?  Here I was at an event where some of the top educators in NYC were pitching their new school.  I happened to be sitting at the table with the new head of their lower school and their head of the entire school.  These are serious people who have spent their life in education – in private, uber-privileged education.  Joel Klein, our ex-Chancellor was there and all I could think was he’s got some nerve.  You see, part of this school’s pitch was to show the incredible growing demographic of children under 5 in the city and the dynamic increase in the number of families staying in the city rather than leaving when school-age hits.  The irony to watching these men use these numbers to sell their school hit my co-president and me in the face.  For the last 4 years public school parents have been trying desperately for the Department of Education (DOE) to recognize this fact but they staunchly denied it.  As schools have become overcrowded and people are now waitlisted for their PUBLIC school the DOE has shrugged and said you can always take your 5 year old on the subway to another school.  Those numbers this school was using to show the need for more seats in Manhattan?  Those were our numbers – the ones we culled independently of the DOE – the ones that they finally admitted were true after years of arguing.  And there was Joel Klein smiling away in the front as these numbers flashed on the screen.

So after they show us the 30% increase in school age child growth what do you think their answer is?  Let’s create a school where the tuition will be $50,000 for kindergarten (yes you read that right.)  A for-profit school costing 100s of millions of dollars.  I won’t go into the curriculum goals or the giant presentation of what the building will look like when it’s completely renovated, etc.  The whole thing just left me sick.  And sad.  I keep coming back to the fact that it made me sad.  When I saw that educator I spoke about in the beginning I knew she’d have a good perspective on the school.  She herself had been involved in the creation of a new private school in Manhattan a few years back – and she still heads a large private preschool group.  We talked about how all schools have these goals and lofty ambitions but at the end of the day any new school is going to take whomever can write a check.  What I wasn’t prepared for her to say was “I don’t understand why parents aren’t rioting in the streets.”  And she meant it.  And she was right.

The same day I went to this event to see the future school which will educate the most privileged children in NYC who already have every advantage imaginable Governor Cuomo announced the steepest cuts to education EVER in New York State.  Most of it cutting the city’s education aid.  I sat in a room full of people eating petit fours and drinking wine who all earnestly talked about the dire state of education and how our children are falling behind in the world – so they were building a school that would service those for whom none of this was true.  And at the same time I thought about the teacher lay offs, crumbling buildings, slashed arts programs and lack of basic supplies that were about to become even more entrenched realities.  The NYC public school system has 1.2 million children in it.  That means there are at least 1.8 million parents I’m thinking who should storm Bloomberg’s office and Cuomo’s office and the White House and demand better.

But here’s the one thing that got me most of all.  In that beautifully windowed room, with gorgeous centerpieces and ladies in Armani and men who have been running the world forever there was a lot of passion about education.  There really was.  That is what made me sad.  Imagine if these resources and talents – and money – were being put towards public education.  Not for charter schools, not for tiny little programs – but a serious discussion about what it’s going to take to change our school system.   And I’m not going to talk here about unions – I know.  Trust me I know.  I used to joke about imagining a city where private school was not an option – how quickly the schools would change if those with the most power to change them had to be part of the system.  Now I’m not joking.  The inequality is so gross and glaring and this event just focused that to such a sharp degree that I almost feel like it’s hopeless.  Think I’m exaggerating?  Look at Egypt this week – now read this article in Think Progress about the greater income inequality in the US.  Then ask yourself – WHY aren’t parents rioting in the streets?

This post was republished, with permission, in the Washington Post. They made me sound a little nicer.  Thanks.

I also have a problem with people telling parents HOW they should be involved.  Check out this post about Thomas Friedman’s misguided op-ed for more.

46 thoughts on “Why Aren’t Parents Rioting in the Streets?

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  5. Indeed the homeschoolers are giving their kids a STELLAR education and I wish all parents would just take their kids out of the schools and homeschool. No kids, NO MONEY – the Public Education system needs a lesson in this, they count head (take attendance) with amazing discipline, because each head means money. As far as the elite they will always have private schools, it’s nothing new, they’re just flaunting it now because they can.

  6. Rebecca,
    This is a crazy thought, but sometimes I think these problems and gaps will exist no matter what we do. Humans are humans, and humanity will cause parents to do what they can for their children. Money will go into their children’s schools no matter what kind of school it is. Public, Private, you name it! I wonder if this is made worse, however by the fact that our schools ARE public. Public education, regulated by the government is so concerned with the big picture that the individual is lost, no matter what. I’d like to see answers to your very eloquent questions as well, but I’m at a loss as to how they can be answered, and the system can be fixed. I still do think, however, that government involvement and the “one size fits all” mentality that HAS to come from that, is half of the problem.
    Thanks for such a great post!
    Liz Sacks

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  8. This is a fantastic post–I read it earlier in the week and I’ve been thinking about it since.

    Of course you’re right. If these parents with their resources banded together and demanded better public school education, who knows what would happen.

    I don’t think we’ll ever know. Because the instinct to take care of our own children is too great. And I know very few people who can afford a private school tuition who will opt for a public school education. At least in NYC.

  9. We are fodder for the machine.
    They only want to educate their own, and throw in some token economically disadvantaged. Bloomberg and Klein failed in such a huge way, ignoring demographics for so long, something that should have been the cornerstone of their jobs. That’s the joke. And it’s on us.

    Thanks for your great article!
    http://www.gaynycdad.com

  10. I find it alarming that in a country that prides itself on being the voice of democracy for the rest of world, its citizens are largely silent and inactive in the face of teacher abuse (bullying), a financial crisis that has reeked havoc on many, many lives and a high employment rate that has left many a family literally out in the cold.

    An online riot is a nice idea but masses of people in the streets might be better. I say might because lots of folks were on the streets protesting the Iraq invasion but the government for the people, of the people and by the people, ignored “the people” and invaded any how.

    Why aren’t we, the millions of educators and parents in this country not on the streets? Fear and intimidation have rendered us immobile. These are the same demotivators that have supposedly kept Egyptians silent for all these years. But somehow, they, who supposedly do not possess all of the democratic tools that we have at our disposal, found the courage and will to act.

    What about us?

  11. I think that Mayor Blumberg should appoint a new education liason — a mother of public school students. The fact that he was considering starting a new private school, shows that he is well intentioned — just severely misguided. I nominate Rebecca Levey, and hope that the mayor acts post-haste.

    Meryl (Rebecca Levey’s mother-in-law).

  12. Rebecca – as a mother of young children, I struggle with education issues as well. I live in Canada and wonder why we can’t do better for our children. We claim on paper than our children are precious and our future, but the money, politicians, and governments tell a vastly different story. Private schools are less common where I live, but budget cuts are common. Then, new playgrounds and structures pop up in the ‘rich’ neighbourhoods becasue a parent wrote a cheque or someone knew someone. No music, art or literacy supports in the school, but new grass. Absurd.

    Maybe we could start an online riot…

    Thank you for taking the time to write this. Many people need to read it.
    Jodi

  13. I could not even finish reading your post because it started making my blood boil. One day you will see in the news being dragged of to jail for assaulting Joe Klein for his crap running the DOE and now this. Seriously, he let parents at PS 41 spend the night for two years just so they could get their kids enrolled in public school. What effing amazes me is that there are tons of people who want to send their kids to public school but cant because of overcrowding but luckily for them they can afford to go private.

    I hope Joe Klein burns in hell and hopes he drags bloomberg with him.

    http://www.nycsinglemom.com

  14. I’ve now read this for the third time and have sent everyone I know here to read it too. As a former public school educator, I have a million things to say about all of it but there’s not room here. I will just leave you with the fact that this is brilliantly written and also painfully sad.
    I’m proud to know you and your kids are so lucky to have such a champion in you. I believe if there is a riot, you will lead the charge.

  15. As I am not a parent nor am I an educator in NYC, this is all news to me. It’s not the way we do business here in Illinois, though I probably don’t have to mention that our state is also out of monies for education. The disparities and inequities in our educational systems are very much the same.

    In all systems there is a hidden curriculum, but you’ve shed light on an important point here and that is that there are powerful people in charge of an entire city. They are picking and choosing, they are drawing the lines very clearly for everyone, and they are noshing on expensive drinks and food while they do it.

    Are there not more private institutions coming into NYC to create charter schools to compete with these private ones? (I mean, as much as one can. Because $50k for kindergarten? What a gas.)

  16. Beautifully done Becca, and I’m learning so much from comments too. As a NYC public school parent I’m terrified of all of this. Not everyone has the option to walk away from the system and homeschool, or bite the private tuition bullet. Some of us need to stay and fight.

  17. Check out http://parentrevolution.org/

    I don’t know much about them but came across their site while looking for effective strategies to apply in my California district. Looks like maybe some parents are rioting, and it’s working at least a little.

    I’ve been attending district meetings for a few months now and am just beginning to understand how decisions are made, and by whom. Part of the problem here, and maybe elsewhere, is that as parents we are kind of all over the place. We are not unified, and therefore we do not have a voice. We have different ideas about what should change, different priorities, we are overwhelmed by the problems and lack knowledge about how the system works. And to be honest, many of us are exhausted just trying to get through the day with young children in our life. :)

    All generalities of course, but what this amounts to is all of the decisions here are made between the teachers union and our district. Parents are completely left out of the equation. And it’s really our own fault.

  18. The answer to your question, Rebecca, is, “We are.”

    On Monday (1/31/11), two dozen protesters were arrested when they formed a human chain across Chambers St. in front of Tweed Hall where the Department of Education is located.

    On Tuesday, my husband was one of 350 people out of 3,000 attendees who signed up to speak in protest of the “phase-out” of about 12 NYC public schools. My husband’s turn to speak for 2 minutes came around midnight.

    Around 1:00 am, the puppet Panel for Education Policy (PEP) raised their hands to approve the “phase-outs” of a dozen public schools they have never set foot in.

    Parents, community members and elected representatives have spent hours working to show their strong opposition to these phase-outs by sending emails to officials, making phone calls, talking to the media, and attending proposal reviews.

    Question 2: How to make NYC public education better?

    To begin, the answer is quite simple — de-centralize. The NYC public schools are badly in need of a correction to Bloomberg’s hard-driven, decade of centralization.

    When I first came into the NYC public school system as a parent in 1999, I could take a 20 minute walk to the district office and pick up whatever forms I needed and have all of my questions courteously answered by a real, live (!) person.

    Bloomberg disbanded school districts in 2003 and grabbed all of the power. Now his department alone decides on the allocation of money, hiring and firing principals, data systems to track children, curriculum standards, enrollment numbers, admissions at every grade level, etc., etc.

    I can only hold my breath and hope that the data in my childrens’ files is correct. Otherwise, trying to fix even a simple clerical error can mean hours of headache and frustration from an educational department that has taken restricted access and loss of service to a new level.

    If you go to the website of your district’s Community Educational Committee or of the PEP, you will find out about phase-outs and co-locations.

    Attend one of the meetings or send an email to the Mayor, the Chancellor and the PEP panel. They keep count of every email and phone call. They do love data.

    I encourage everyone. Show the DOE that there is a person behind the number, and, next time, you might be the one signing up to speak.

  19. Ugh. I totally agree. I wrote a post recently called Educated (Or Not) in America — and I’m taking hell on my local paper’s website for supporting a school levy in my community — they think, apparently, that my public school is too rich and should just suck up losing teachers in the face of a growing student base. This is why we’re falling behind. This is what’s wrong.

    http://www.blogher.com/educated-or-not-america

    Great job of highlighting what people don’t seem to realize.

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  21. Bravo for a great analysis of the current, poor situation. The deterioration of NYC public schools has a long history that began before Klein and Bloomberg were in the picture. They aren’t responsible for initiating its demise – but many feel that they have helped accelerate the process.

    When I worked for New York Cares 15 years ago, the majority of our New York Cares Day improvement projects took place at NYC public schools. We sent teams of volunteers to the schools to do things like paint playground games or rusty fences, refurbish libraries, plant flowers, etc. All schools were invited to participate. I and my fellow project managers visited over 100 schools to plan the projects.

    Some schools only wanted beautification projects – they were mostly intact and doing ‘extra’ for their schools. But some were in dire need of assistance, more than we could provide in one day.

    The inequities between schools, between boroughs, was startling. Children in the poorest neighborhoods in Brooklyn and The Bronx suffered the most. School buildings were falling apart, desks, books and equipment were broken and outdated.

    And it was at the poorest schools where we had to be most careful about locking up the donated materials from Home Depot – not because they would be stolen by people in the neighborhood, the Principals told us – but by the maintenance staff of the schools.

    It was hard to believe these schools were governed by the same central body.

    The Principals were doing the best they could for their schools, and told us they learned to squeak loudly to get basic needs met. Many felt that the sheer enormity of the NYC school system was the primary cause of its many inefficiencies. They were not “seen” by the administrators and they couldn’t make themselves heard.

    It sounds like not much has changed in 15 years for the better.

    How does any chancellor, or mayor, sleep at night knowing that only SOME of their students are getting a good education, that only SOME of their students have adequate facilities, good teachers, and everything they need to learn?

    Why do we continue, in NYC, and NJ, and Akron, Ohio to tie public school funding to property values (taxes) when that sets up inequities from the start?

    I don’t have the answers but creating new schools for millionaires is not it.

  22. If you want to take issue with the budget cuts in the public schools, take it out directly with those in charge. These parents do notb owe their efforts at reformation or their childrens’ presence to the public schools and making public school attendance mandatory would inevitably create a huge class war and to imply that poor minority children need rich white children present in their classroom in order to learn is blatant racism.

    Personally I found the public schools very authoriatarian and the curriculum developers and educational policy makers were politically motivated and agenda driven. I did not enjoy my school years, as I have Asperger Syndrome and the public school misinformed my parents and me about my abilities. Although I was in a mainstream classroom, I was regularly pulled along with intellectually handicapped children for various therapies and remedial classes. I feel the teachers were quite condescending (they tried to make everything “creative” and offered a lot of positive reinforcement which I found very condescending.) Although they paid lip service to the idea that I was college bound, they did not provide intellectual stimulation. I always got the full blame for every fight or argument I ever got into with another student on the basis that I was Autistic and my first grade teacher physically abused me, and has subsequently received multiple awards and is a good friend of Michelle Rhee. My mother attempted to pull me out of the public school and place me in a jewish day school, which would provide me with a more challenging curriculum, as the public school required that I be placed in remedial classes, and the school psychologist called my mother an irresponsible parent, and threatened to call the school superintendent as the jewish day school would not provide my supposed “needs.” My mother was too scared to get into a lawsuit so she left it at that but needless to say, the public school did tremendous damage to my self esteem and ultimately my performance in school and later in life.

    When I was in middle school, the school required that I participate in extracurricular activities, which was not required of other students, as it was somehow essential to my social development and to attend social pragmatics therapy, which I found to be very basic and reduced to the lowest common denominator. I decided that I would prefer to get my High School diploma through a dual enrollment program with home study as well as a community college while still receiving a diploma from my school, but they informed (incorrectly) that they had ended the dual enrollment program. My guidance counselor was very condescending and suggested I take remedial classes and apply to LD schools with low admissions standards even though I had a solid B average and an SAT score of 1720 (equivalent to 1160 on the old SAT.)

    If public schools want rich parents to enroll their children, they have to provide incentives. I agree with raising the standard salaries for teachers as it would attract more talented (and less agenda driven) teachers And if they want poorer students to be more motivated they have to appeal to their interests. Offer more technical courses such as Business and Technology and less Shakespeare and Greek Tragedy which most school children do not appreciate regardless of their ethnic background and socioeconomic status as well as beefing up the math and science. And you must pick your battles and if that means letting some billionaire to send their Kindergartener to a school that costs 50 grand or letting some fundamentalist christian homeschool their children and trsch them that Evolution didn’t happen than so be it. The world isn’t perfect and focus your criticisms on the administration not private school parents.

    • Hi Janey –
      I hope I didn’t come off as criticizing private school parents. I myself went to both private and public schools in NYC growing up. I absolutely loved my private school and I have no problem with parents making that choice. Every parent has to do what is right for their child, whether it be homeschooling, private school, public school or a special needs school funded by the DOE. When I say that in my perfect Utopian vision everyone would send their child to a public school it is because I really think, particularly in this city, the concentration of wealth and power is dramatic and having those people have a vested interest in the public school system by having their own children attend those schools would surely be an eye-opener and affect more serious change. Trust me, as co-president of my school’s parents association we focus all of our energy on the administration – all the time. We fight charter school co-locations that make no sense, we fought to have a new public elementary school put in our zone to alleviate overcrowding, we marched on city hall to protest budget cuts and most of all we are tireless fundraisers and supporters of our school so we can have “extras” like art, music, chess and gym as well as substitute teachers and paper for the copy machine. I would never make this about parents against parents. We are all in this together private, public, homeschooling I don’t care – we are all parents, we are all taxpayers and we should all demand better.

  23. But they are protesting… the closing of their schools! 3,000 protested today (2/2/11) in Fort Greene, hundreds at Brooklyn Tech, I’ve been to City Hall three times this school year (I’m both a NYC public school teacher and a mother) and we were protesting Cathy Black, school closings, charter schools and budget cuts. We have more protests planned but honestly parents don’t know the details. And this information needs to be disseminated in Spanish and Mandarin. We are protesting and everytime we do our numbers multiply. Tunisia and Egypt are great examples and we just have to keep at it until our protesting is more visible.

  24. Thank you Rebecca for an insightful and frighteningly accurate description of all that Mayor Bloomberg and Joel Klein have done for and to our schools over the past eight years. It sounds like Mr. Klein was doing what he does best (what I’ve witnessed him doing at town hall meetings and Panel for Educational Policy meetings) using data to support his self-serving agenda–in this case, to privatize education. Whether it’s lying about how he has helped close the achievement gap, or as you described, using the number of 5 year olds to justify more PRIVATE schools instead of public schools, he has made data manipulation the hallmark of his educational career. As a proud public school teacher I have and will continue to work alongside parents and community members to advocate for our children and our schools.

  25. And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Parents should be rioting in the streets.

    Except that we shouldn’t call it rioting. When President Mubarak calls crowds of people in Alexandria and Cairo “Rioters”, we should take his label with a heaping tablespoon of salt. Likewise when the Communist Party calls people on the Berlin Wall and in Tianamen Square “anti-revolutionary dissidents” or “anti-state activists”, they are naming something in the hopes that it will be seen as illegitimate.

    But the correct terminology here is “hue and cry.” This is the ancient medieval legal formula for rousing your neighbors at midnight when the neighborhood is in danger from thieves, bandits, outlaws, villains or fire.

    Every parent in America should be raising the hue and cry against this educational villainy. Because it’s not rioting when it’s midnight and there are thugs robbing the neighborhood.

    • Wow. I love it. I feel like my next blog should be called Hue and Cry. There is so much momentum for change – and yet no one seemingly ready to demand it. That is the real challenge – figuring out how to channel this energy into something positive and get meaningful education reform.

  26. Thanks for this; many of us have been pointing out for years that enrollment was increasing rapidly in NYC though Joel Klein would just shake his head and say Manhattan parents had “choices”; meaning I suppose send your kids to private schools or move out of the city. Now Eva Moskowitz is recruiting to this very population shut out of their neighborhood schools because of overcrowding. DOE couldn’t have done more to undermine our public schools if they’d tried, between overcrowding, sharply rising class sizes, budget cuts, and co-locations, squeezing kids even further out of their classroom space. And now guys like Chris Whittle and Klein himself are out to make a buck out of the crisis that his negligence has caused. Disgusting! Parents should riot indeed.

  27. This was one of the perceptive and cogent posts I have yet read on the internet. Period. I found your comment about the loss of the talents of those passionate parents particularly crushing and true!

    Bravo.

    Jim Forde :-)
    @notmaster – twitter

  28. Before the “riot” begins, what exactly would be the goal?

    1. To protest budget cuts to education in NY? (Problem with that: the money just isn’t there to make all schools like this private one you’re describing.)

    2. To prevent schools like this from being built and force everyone into the public schools? (That will not end well.)

    3. To extend the income tax surcharge on New Yorkers making more than 200K per year, thereby reducing the size of the cuts needed in this year’s K-12 budget? (This makes the most sense to me.)

    4. Something else??

    • I like option 3 myself. Though I would raise it to more than 200K. I would have a surcharge on those making over 500K, and something else above 1 million. And I’m not against a Wall Street bonus surcharge. They can bail out our schools for a change.

      I would never force everyone into the public schools. Aside from the fact that that would never happen I have nothing against private schools. I attended both public and private schools in NYC growing up and loved them both. Though certainly did not love my public high school. I think parents have to do what is right for their own child first and foremost. I just wish the money and muscle at those private schools could find its way to the offices that matter and force change in public schools instead of vanity charter schools. But, it’s hard to really care – or even to really understand – the public schools if you don’t have a personal stake in them. And what’s more personal than your child?

      • Rebecca,
        I think it’s an issue of scale. We already have “money and muscle” that attempt to “force change in public schools”: they’re called charter schools. I am not defending charter schools, but asking how rich people pouring me into public schools would be any different than them pouring money into charter schools. Just giving tons of money to Bloomberg and Cathie Black obviously isn’t going to effect the change that’s needed to improve the public school system; it will just result in tons of wasted money and a perpetuation of the current, broken system. On the other hand, giving money to specific schools, pilot programs, and teachers might be more successful but will lead to the same inequities and varying levels of success that we see with NYC charter schools.

        You know as well as anyone else that putting the children of the wealthy in public schools won’t really help. Parents will take an active interest and pour tons of money into their child’s public school, which will turn it into a de facto private school (albeit with open admissions and no tuition), but will do nothing for the system as a whole. Don’t forget that much of the country already operates under a system where the locally wealthy send their children to public schools, and the public school systems in wealthy, suburban, Scarsdalean school districts are much better than those in poor school districts. It doesn’t matter that they’re both public; it matters that one educates the children of relatively comfortable families.

        I agree with you that a lot of wealthy and influential people are willing to pour tons of money and attention into the issues of education, and it would be great if you could find a way to direct that money and attention into improving public education in New York. The problem is that the issues plaguing New York City public education are almost intractable, and no one has found a successful way to solve them. Instead, you have a variety of different programs implemented by different individuals and groups on different scales that have met with varying levels of success. We have a moral obligation to solve this, but we don’t know how!

  29. Please do. Please please please do. Parents get what we tolerate and we need to stop tolerating this garbage.

  30. I WISH the parents would riot. Teachers and education historians will NOT be able to win this fight alone. I just don’t think people understand what’s really at stake here. I teach with some wonderful people, we have fantastic families that send their children to our schools, and we also have LOW-income students that fall further and further behind and it’s NOT because of poor teaching. How else can you explain that affluent schools ALWAYS do well on standardized tests, mixed schools get mixed results, and low-income schools typically don’t do well. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

    • I couldn’t agree more. I was just explaining to another parent that to me this is all about equality and basic civil rights. There is something really, really wrong with priorities in a nation that allows this kind of chasm between schools and school districts. For so many parts of this country budgets are determined by property taxes. That’s ludicrous. And anyone who has looked at NYC school budgets where this is not the case can also tell you that money is part of the equation – but it’s also about how that money gets spent. In terms of the correlation between income levels at schools and performance most studies point to parental support and education levels as well the access to outside resources. Plus, better informed parents are louder and more informed and they tend to get things done at their schools because they know how to. But, no matter what all of our schools are being short changed and no amount of racing to the top is going to help.

  31. I’m just getting up to speed on all of this. With a new(ish) baby I’m unfamiliar with the system and politics.

    It appears we have a lot to look forward to. Sheesh.

    I commend you for taking the time to write about this. There are sayings in every language that effectively translate to, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease/the crying baby gets the milk.” And those with means not only have the ability to squawk loudest but are most likely to do so.

    Clearly from your description, those involved in the new private school mean well, they’re just looking out for their own best interests and in my opinion (as an outsider), parents of public school children need to learn/take the time/BE MOBILIZED to do the same.

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  33. What a shame! Same cuts going on down here (Charlotte NC) a 100million dollars out of next years budget, it makes my stomach hurt.

  34. Thank you for writing such an eye opening and important piece on the state of public education. We should be rioting in the streets! Something definitely needs to be done. This is our future.

  35. Wonderful post. I can’t even imagine what this might be like in large cities. We chose to homeschool due to issues like these. I’ll be glad to help riot, though.

    • Well I think homeschoolers should lead the charge! I am glad people have the choice, when they do. As someone who has relied heavily on homeschool resources to supplement my daughters at home I am really grateful for all of the work that’s gone into developing this network. As tax payers and citizens the truth is we shouldn’t have to homeschool because our schools are failing. That is unacceptable. So now we all have to figure out how we can “riot” and get the change we need without having to actually riot.
      I’m open to all suggestions!

  36. You hit it out of the park on this one. I think NYC public school parents are so demoralized by what the Bloomberg administration has done and continues to do….I for one have been surprised that with the recession and attacks on pubic education have not led to civil unrest.
    Thanks for writing this…definitely going to share this with our PTA.

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