Educational Justice

As a candidate for public office, I take a hard stance against the privatization of public K-12 education. I support neither charter schools nor high stakes testing. This means I believe in our teachers. I believe that every child in Brooklyn is born with the right to a world-class education regardless of parental income and zip code.

Fund Public Schools

 

  • Decrease the student-teacher ratio in schools by hiring more educators
  • Increase the number of counselors, nurses, librarians and social workers working in our public schools.
  • Get the State to Pay its $2 Billion Share
    • While Albany has a lot to say about how inadequately our pubic schools are performing, I have a lot to say about inadequately  Albany is funding our public schools. In 2006, a Supreme Court decision found the state of New York in violation of its Constitutional obligation to fairly and adequately fund the education of its children. Shockingly, the case found our state’s public school system among the most racially segregated in the nation. While Governor Cuomo seems to think he can solve these problems by subjecting schools to still further testing, we need to stand firm in our resolve that  these problems stem directly from the state’s inability to fund public education. If elected, I will put considerable pressure on the state to pay New York City public schools the nearly $2 billion owed to their budgets.

 Fight Charter Schools

 

Charter schools are not the answer to our city’s education crisis. As a candidate for public office, I find it regrettable that any of our city’s leaders would approve of the diversion of public schools funds into private hands guised as giving parents “choice.” But if elected, on this matter I am firm: I am going to be fighting back against the influence of charter school lobbyists seeking to undermine the integrity of our school system. It is hard not to see how the charter school solution to this manufactured crisis masks a new era of privatized segregation and class deprivation targeting our most vulnerable families.

Desegregate Our Schools

 

  • Advocate for the inclusion of curricula on ethnic studies at high and elementary school levels
  • Provide sensitivity training for faculty and staff members.

End high-stakes testing

 

  • Move away from high-stakes testing, especially for admittance to specialized middle and high schools
  • Consult with teachers, parents, administrators and the community on how best to evaluate performance

Local control over schools

 

  • Mayoral over Gubernatorial
  • Elected School Board over Mayoral
  • Lifelong and longtime New York City residents will remember the days of elected school boards. Before the state legislature imposed Mayoral Control in 2002, communities elected their school boards and the borough presidents and the Mayor appointed the Board of Education. Advocates for Mayoral Control often cite corruption as the downfall of the elected school board in New York City. True, the years since 2002 have seen some marked improvements in graduation rates and access to early childhood programs. However, our communities’ public schools now face a new predator in the form of charter schools, and the Mayor is hardly an opponent of the proliferation of substandard charters in our lowest-income neighborhoods. In order to effectively fight for the funding and improvement of our public schools, we need elected representation on the most local level. School boards can oppose new charters and refuse to allow them shared space in our public schools. School boards can advocate for 3k For All in their districts. And, for the sake of our citywide democracy, school boards will create elected, democratically accountable positions that are more localized than City Council. Of course, the reinstatement of the school board represents a challenge to New Yorkers: we must vote in local elections with the same fervor that we usually reserve for the national stage. We must recognize corruption when and where it occurs, and use our votes and voices to fight against it. The solution to corruption is to diffuse power, not to consolidate it. We must be models of civic engagement, for the sake of our children and the future of our public schools

 

  • Extend STEM into Elementary School Curriculum

  • Speed Safety Cameras in School Zones