....the petition has been signed by more than 58% of current families. More than 1,700 supporters have also signed, including educational experts, NY Senator Bill Perkins, former New York City Councilman and Education Committee Chair Robert Jackson, former NYC Councilman and Education Committee Chair Robert Jackson, education professor and activist Dr. William Ayers, and large numbers of former teachers, family members and students.... Parents of CPE1.I am at a Comfort Inn in Rocky Mount NC, an hour out of Raleigh. I didn't think I could do all the driving in one day so I cancelled my reservation at the Marriott for tonight but in actuality found the drive pretty easy - just me alone blasting the music and singing along - if my wife were with me we would have seen road rage.
But I wanted to get readers caught up on the fast moving CPE 1 story which I posted this morning:
#savecpe1 - Support Legendary Debbie Meier Founded Central Park East 1 in Battle to Remove Monika Garg, Abusive Principal
Things are heating up as the story is getting out. I have a lot more to write about this especially on how Garg pulled the race card as a way to divide parents, which unfortunately a few parents fell for. Attacking the school's diversity and claiming progressive education is not beneficial to children of color is just part of the attack - she should be fired for that alone as it is racist to say children of color are somehow not able to deal with a progressive education that the rich kids in private schools get.
- In March, Monika Garg, principal for nine months, interviewed several very young children as part of investigations of veteran teachers and staff. The parents of these children were not notified before or after these interviews. One parent discovered interviews had taken place when her child was found crying at night without explanation and subsequently revealed it. It is only through parents coming forward that other parents were able to know to ask and appropriately support their children. The school counselor was unaware of the interviews and thus unable to provide support. Principal Garg has failed to respond to several parents who have asked who was present during the interviews or for transcripts. Some of these investigations are based on charges that are two years old and involved interviewing 7-year old children about events that took place two years earlier. While parents understand that investigations are an unfortunate part of school life on occasion, they believe that the way these interviews were conducted and the subsequent lack of respect for parent concerns showed extremely poor judgment.
- Principal Garg has no experience in progressive education, no experience in early childhood education and minimal experience in elementary education. Central Park East 1 has a rich and well-documented history of progressive education and an approach based on individualized instruction and assessment. Principal Garg has consistently implied that the schools style of education is not suitable for “black children and poor children” as it is practiced at CPE1. This is contradicted by several quantitative and qualitative measures that have been well-documented and highlights of which are available on the website.
- Veteran teachers have described their working conditions as intolerable. Several have considered leaving. Since many members of the staff issued an open letter to the community detailing their concerns with the principal’s leadership, multiple investigations have been initiated against veteran teachers and several have had other disciplinary measures taken against them.