Convene an independent commission to draft a Constitution, defining the mission, core principles, goals, and policy framework for New York City public education, whose members will be chosen in a fully transparent manner, to reflect the diversity of all our communities and to give all stakeholders (parents, students, teachers, administrators, community members) not only a seat at the table but equal power in the process.
Base all state and city education laws and regulations on this Constitution once approved.
Convene a Constitution Commission
You can read and print out a short summary of all our proposals here:
While we propose that our governance recommendations should be adopted into law by the New York State Legislature in June 2009, the Parent Commission believes that for significant improvement to occur in educational outcomes, more than governance must be addressed.
Through a variety of governance structures and chancellors over the last 40 years, little has changed for the majority of students, who are primarily low-income children of color. To that end, the Commission seeks an explicit and legally binding statement of what education is intended to accomplish, to be embodied in a Constitution for the New York City Public School System that would codify in law a shared mission with core principles, primary goals, and a policy framework that must be respected and upheld by whomever is governing the system. Only in this way can our public servants be held to account for the money, resources, programs and staff needed to provide educational excellence for all.
The Parent Commission has drafted a Sample Preamble to illustrate how principles and goals developed by consensus could provide the vision and mandates necessary to provide all our city's children with a truly comprehensive, public, and democratic education. For example, some mandates might involve resources for facilities and support staff, while others might involve educational philosophy regarding the use of multiple forms of assessment; the necessity of valuing diversity of ethnicity, race, and class; as well as the educational importance of racial and economic integration of schools. Additional mandates might address the interrelationship of schools with their communities, such as offering universal preschool; partnering on comprehensive health care, recreational sites, and adult education.