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"We are all, now, education voters," Learn NY tells parents

Learn NY, the group lobbying the legislature to renew mayoral control, today sent out a second message to parent e-mail lists. The message addresses concerns from parents who’ve been wondering why they should support mayoral control if they don’t support the mayor’s education policies.

Answers Learn NY, in the e-mail (reprinted in full below the jump):

These are fair discussions, but I would like to state that I am not here to champion or defend specific policy decisions that the mayor has made. But the fact that parents are holding the mayor directly accountable for the changes in our schools highlights the key issue for those advocating for the renewal of the law– for the first time, we have a line of responsibility: the schools are accountable to the mayor, and the mayor is accountable to us.

We are all, now, education voters. Just as much as our next mayor is responsible for keeping the streets safe and providing city social services, the mayor’s job description now includes education and there is a clear obligation to insure that our schools improve.

Learn NY’s first message to parents (and parent bloggers) was introductory. The full e-mail is after the jump.

Dear New York City Parents,

I hope you all have had a wonderful beginning to the New Year. Since I posted about the issue of Mayoral Control here last month, parents from across the city have written to Learn NY, asking questions, sharing their stories and getting involved.

As the state legislature gets to work, I was eager to come back again, hoping to share some additional information and address some of the questions we have received.Many of the comments that we received were about Mayor Bloomberg’s impact on the school system. These are fair discussions, but I would like to state that I am not here to champion or defend specific policy decisions that the mayor has made. But the fact that parents are holding the mayor directly accountable for the changes in our schools highlights the key issue for those advocating for the renewal of the law– for the first time, we have a line of responsibility: the schools are accountable to the mayor, and the mayor is accountable to us.

We are all, now, education voters. Just as much as our next mayor is responsible for keeping the streets safe and providing city social services, the mayor’s job description now includes education and there is a clear obligation to insure that our schools improve.With the law coming up for renewal, now is the time for discussion and improvements, particularly when it comes to increasing transparency and ensuring more parental engagement.

That is why parents from across the city are getting involved with Learn NY. By coming together to share our stories, our experiences, and our ideas for the future, we will ensure that parent voices are well-represented as state legislators debate renewing mayoral control this spring.

To that end, the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Education wants to hear from you about the Governance of the New York City School System, and they are holding hearings all over the city to give you that opportunity. The first of the hearings is taking place this Thursday at 10 A.M in Kew Gardens. Please click here for more details.

Already, concerned parents in your community have signed up to attend the hearings. Click here to join them and to make sure that your voice is heard.

Additionally on the site, you will find resources specifically for parents like links to school progress reports, grade-by-grade guides and a parent’s bill of rights, as well as other ways for you to get involved.

I look forward to working with you all. Please email me if you have any questions.

Robin Warren

Learn NY

Better Schools, Brighter Futures

PS- Many of you have asked about funding of Learn NY. Many educational and community leaders have expressed their support of Mayoral Control in order to preserve the level of accountability now in the NYC school system; however, this non-profit is not being funded by the Mayor, and neither the Mayor nor other City Hall officials have a formal role.

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