For Immediate Release
April 30, 2012
Mona Davids, NYC Parents Union, (917) 340-8987
New York City Parents Union Statement on Governor Cuomo's newly formed New York State Education Reform Commission
Governor Cuomo announced the formation of his New New York Education Reform Commission. We are appalled that Governor Cuomo has now formed a so-called "education commission" that fails to include even one parent, parent representative, or school board member representative from anywhere in this great state of New York.
This omission is no mere oversight -- it is a hostile act from a Governor who has crowned himself the "students' lobbyist" and who acts as if he knows more than public school parents about what is best for our children. Not only were no parents or parent representatives included, no parents were consulted regarding the make-up of the Commission.
How ironic it is that a specific responsibility of this new Commission is to "examine state and local policies to increase parent and family engagement ..." Empty is this press release rhetoric: "Parents and families need to be fully engaged in preparing our children for success in school and thereafter." According to "King Cuomo," parents need to be fully engaged -- just not in education governance. At a time when corporate interests are profiting from the education system and political leaders are demonizing educators, parent voices are an inconvenience -- we need to be seen at rallies holding signs for candidates, but not heard on education policy.
King Cuomo is playing a cruel joke on the parents and children of New York State. This Commission is a political maneuver, a "fake handoff" and not a meaningful step towards real solutions. The membership includes some of the same names that we see over and over again on Commissions like this one. Shame on the members for participating in this farce and for failing to demand parent participation. It is clear to parents that the special interests do not want parents -- the real stakeholders -- to have any role or voice in the education of our children.
The New York City Parents Union cannot support the creation of this Commission as it is presently constituted.