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Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

 

You should know that in 2002, when I was elected to the New York City Council, I was one of the first Councilmembers to work to support Mayoral Control of New York City’s public school system under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

After years of seeing our public school education system fail our children, especially our Black and Hispanic children, I have decided that this Mayoral Control should not be allowed to continue.

You should also know that Assemblyman Charles Barron, a Democrat from Brooklyn, made one of his most passionate speeches during the Assembly Session on May 17, 2016. His speech was followed by a round of applause from his colleagues.

Charles Barron pleaded for the Assembly to stop giving total control to Mayor de Blasio for a school system of 1.1 million children and a $24 billion dollar budget.  He said that Mayor de Blasio wants to be held accountable, but Charles Barron says the Mayor is already accountable, insisting that the reason Mayor de Blasio really wants the control is for the billions of dollars in contracts.

“Contracts … contracts,” repeated Charles Barron,  “people are making millions of dollars off of a failing school system.” He detailed how “test taking companies get multi-billion dollar contracts to make these tests” that do nothing for our children and their families except to cause stress.

Charles Barron reminded everyone of one excuse being used to push this legislation through: “Bloomberg had control so why not de Blasio?” He asked how we could give “one single man who is clueless about education” this kind of power, citing to Bloomberg’s choice of Cathy Black as an example of someone “so incompetent.”

It is important for you to know that while Charles Barron agreed that the Department of Education’s Chancellor Fariña is an educator, he qualified that fact by saying how “she is implementing the same policies as Bloomberg.”

You should know that Charles Barron stressed how our children are not being prepared for college: “If a Black child doesn’t get an education, their pipeline is going to be to prison,” and “the diplomas our children are receiving are not worth the paper and ink they are on.”

He continued by explaining how 78% of New York City public high school graduates, if they attend any of the New York City CUNY Colleges to continue their education, “need remediation because they were not properly educated.”

Another fact that Charles Barron presented to his colleagues is: “In New York City, the #1 city in the world, where we brag about democracy, parents have no control of the budget of what happens to their children.”

I completely agree with Charles Barron and his insistence that the Legislature only extend Mayoral Control for one year, and to include a Commission that would let experts review the current system and devise a way to let our children be properly educated so they could attend college or a trade school and compete in our global economy.

As my colleagues in the Senate, especially my Black and Hispanic colleagues, examine the merits of extending Mayoral Control of Schools in the New York City school district, I urge them to carefully consider what Charles Barron says, and to take his recommendations very seriously.

Our children cannot take 3 more years of failure.

I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.

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