Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Harlem Renaisance Ed Pipeline, NAACP, CEC5 Call for Charter School Moratorium and Other Education Reforms

The counter revolution against charter school invasions keeps growing.  This comes from one of the epicenters - Harlem.

When? Thursday, May 24, 2018, 11 AM
Where? Abyssinian Baptist Church (132 W 138th St, New York, NY 10030)

Dr. Sanayi Beckles Canton, CEC5

The District 5 Community Education Council, NAACP, The Harlem Renaissance Education Pipeline and community at large call for a charter moratorium and an investment in public schools to promote equity and transparency in New York Public Schools
“School District 5 leads city and state call-to-action for equity and transparency in all public schools”

New York, N.Y. (May 24, 2018) — Today, community leaders and stakeholders will converge at Abyssinian Baptist Church (132 W 138th St, New York, NY 10030) at 11am to announce a call- to-action to end the structural and institutional disparities in New York public education.

The District 5 Community Education Council, NAACP, and The Harlem Renaissance Education Pipeline (HREP) will lead the charge to demand that all public schools, whether DOE schools or charters, in School District 5 and beyond, are held accountable to the same standards for equi- ty, respect, and fulfillment.

While charter schools are considered public schools and receive public tax dollars to operate, they are not subject to the same standards and expectations as DOE schools. “Charter schools, on their face, are no better or worse than DOE schools, but because of their model of governance, they are not accountable to students, parents, or the community in the same way that DOE schools are,” says Dr. Sanayi Beckles Canton, President of The District 5 Community Education Council.

In West and Central Harlem, a higher percentage of kindergarteners attended charter schools in 2016-17 than anywhere else in New York State. It is also one of the first communities to authorize charter schools in the United States. In this district that once chartered a national “charter school shift,” today, District 5 schools are being pitted against one another to struggle for students, resources, and co-location. The diversity of teaching and leadership staff, disciplinary practices, and services to children with higher needs also glaringly lacks equitability, which compounds the problem of transparency among public schools in the District.

As the Mayor and Chancellor of New York City push their newly adopted agenda “Equity and Excellence for All: Diversity in New York City Public Schools,” The District 5 Community Educa- tion Council, NAACP, and HREP, along with a collective of over 50 CBO’s and local businesses, are appealing for reform.

The group is proposing that New York City’s Mayor and Schools Chancellor, the New York State Education Department, and the New York State Legislature hold all schools in District 5 to the agenda of “Equity for All,” which includes:

1. Reimbursement of $12 million of Foundation Aid (CFE) owed to District 5.

2. No new authorizations of charter schools in Harlem.

3. Investment in institutional practices and spaces that give parents opportunities and re- sources to be involved in decisions affecting schools in our community.

4. Review and assessment of all current charter schools practices in our community.

5. Creation of an independent agency (i.e. Office of Charter Accountability and Transparency) where all New York State charter parents have a clear unbiased pathway to getting as- sistance with concerns or issues that arise in their children’s charter schools.

6. Changes in New York State charter-school hiring practices, in consultation with local public schools, to promote more diverse populations of teachers and leadership staff that reflect the demographics of the communities they serve, and an annual evaluation of the impacts of these changes.

7. Enforcement by NYSED of the charter law, which states that all charter schools are supposed to work in collaboration with local public schools on educational practices and family engagement.

8. Statewide ratings of charters on how well they follow charter law regarding sharing best practices with public schools—through professional development, resources in shared co- locations, and family and community engagement. These ratings should be considered as part of the evaluations to renew charters of existing schools.

9. Involvement of the local Community Education Council (CEC) in public hearings and data collection any time an existing New York City charter school is looking to expand within a district in order to understand the community impact that their school will have on local DOE schools.

This call-to-action is paramount as it represents a microcosm of the national public education debate. Education and business leaders are making investments in charter schools throughout the United States. If they don’t insist that all public schools are held accountable to the same standards of equity, transparent governance, and parent inclusion, Harlem and Community School District 5’s current position could be indicative of what’s to come nationally.

With a commitment from the Mayor, Chancellor, and the NYS and NYC Department of Education, the District 5 Community Education Council, NAACP, and HREP intends to alter the loom- ing history and trajectory of public school education in school District 5, and beyond.

The District 5 Community Education Council
Community Education Councils, created by the New York State Legislature, are the local bodies responsible for en- suring that public school parents and the public have input in educational decision-making at the community school district level. The District 5 Community Education Council supports 23 public elementary, middle and high schools in Central Harlem.
NAACP | New York State

The NAACP New York State Conference has been a vital programmatic component of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for 80 of the 108-year history of the oldest, most effective and most respected civil rights organization in the Nation. The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.

The Harlem Renaissance Education Pipeline (HREP)
The Harlem Renaissance Education Pipeline is a Cradle to Career Collective Impact Partnership made up of a cross- sector of organizations working together to improve outcomes for families and students in Central and West Harlem.


Dr. Sanayi Beckles Canton, CEC5 212-470-5852

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