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Public School Parents’ Bill of Rights

This discussion is happening in New York City. Though, I think it is always interesting to think about the rights of children and the rights of parents who utilize our public schools.

from GothamSchools.org
A pitch to expand the city’s parents’ bill of rights (which exists)
by Elizabeth Green

While lawmakers in Albany battle over how much to limit the mayor’s control of the public schools, a City Council member from Brooklyn is zeroing in on another part of the city school system he wants revised: the parents’ “bill of rights” — which apparently exists! Bill De Blasio, who is running for public advocate this year, is using the bill of rights to illustrate his argument for a “bottom-up” rather than “top-down” approach to improving public schools…

The article quotes:

De Blasio’s Parents’ Bill of Rights

New York City Public School Parents are partners in education. Given the opportunity, they can be important allies to educators, and provide critical support to schools and students. It is in the interest of our public school system to include parents in conversations about education and important decisions that will affect families. We should treat parents, teachers, administrators and DOE representatives alike with the same mutual respect, and we should provide parents with the right resources and tools to perform their role effectively.

All New York City Public School Parents deserve a right to:

1) Free, quality zoned schools, regardless of race, income level, primary language, or neighborhood, that set students on a path to being college ready and career prepared.

2) Schools that grow with the community, respond to changing local needs, and have sufficient capacity for neighborhood students and their siblings.

3) A safe and respectful environment for children while they are in school, and while in transit to and from school.

4) Direct communication with children in times of distress or emergency, including a reasonable approach to cellular phones that addresses the concerns of parents and children.

5) Timely and accurate information about opportunities available to students, and any policy and programmatic changes that may affect families – parents should be the first to know, not the last.

6) Participate with other parents and community members in an effective body that has a defined role and provides meaningful input into school policies and programs before decisions are made, particularly decisions affecting their children, local schools and school siting.

7) Access to comprehensive and thoughtful information about the performance of children’s schools, as well as the ability to regularly provide evaluations of both schools and central administration.

8) Real and independent transparency, including access to academic data and budget information that, at a minimum, breaks down spending on classrooms, individual DOE initiatives and programs, and central operations.

9) An accessible, independent and enforceable grievance procedure.

10) Open lines of honest, respectful, two-way communication with local school representatives and Department of Education officials who have the capacity to solve problems within the DOE, as well as access to translation and interpretation services to enable all parents to communicate effectively.

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[Editor’s note from KW: The thing about cell phones freaks me out a little. Seems so technology/industry specific, like an ad for giving children cell phones. I do know that cell phones helped at Columbine and other frightful times. But, not sure I like students having them. Also, I would prefer that parents be encouraged and have a right to be inside the school with their children, rather than to have the sometimes false security that technology provides. Oh, well…]

One Response

  1. nice article..very informative..

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