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Towards  a  Human  Rights  People’s  Board  of  Education  

Legislative  Proposal  •  Spring  2012  
Overall  Vision  –  a  new  system  of  public  education  that  consists  of  a  transparent  and  democratic  
bottom-­‐up  governance  structure  that  includes  a  policy  frame  based  on  human  rights.  

Local  Chapter  of  the  Federation  of  United  Parents  (FUP)  
•  Every  school  shall  have  a  chapter  of  the  Federation  of  United  Parents  (individual  parents  as  well  as   Parent  Associations  who  will  work  together  to  manage  the  schools  and  the  parent  academy)  with  local   access  to  training  in  leadership  and  educational  policies  and  practices  conducted  by  a  citywide  parent   academy.  Training  within  this  academy  will  enable  the  parents  to  learn  accredited  skills  so  as  to   effectively  participate  with  the  school’s  teachers  and  administrators  as  informed  and  knowledgeable   partners  in  all  decision  making  processes.    A  school’s  FUP  chapter  will     Accept  all  of  the  school’s  parents  as  members  of  the  FUP  (note-­‐  teachers  in  that  school  who   have  children  in  the  same  school  are  eligible  as  parents  in  that  school),     create  its  own  bylaws,     elect  by  a  democratic  process  its  own  officers  from  the  school’s  body  of  parents,     actively  reach  out  and  respond  to  all  parental  concerns,     be  the  advocate  for  the  school’s  parents;  and,   Bylaws  should  include  training  and  certification  that  participants  are  knowledgeable  about   Human  Rights  Principles,  School  Policies  and  NYS  Educational  Policies  and  Education  Standards.   Run  and  designed  by  parents  for  parents  with  trainers  reflecting  the  diversity  of  the  community.   At  least  1%  of  the  citywide  educational  budget  goes  directly  to  the  Federation  of  United  Parents   from  the  State  Department  of  Education.   Organization  must  be  audited  by  the  City  and  State  Comptroller.   elect  from  the  FUB    membership  parents  who  have  been  accredited  by  the  parent  academy  to   serve  on  the  School  Decision  Making  Body  (SDMB);  and,   Appoint  a  qualified  parent  member  to  serve  on  the  Neighborhood  Education  Council  (NEC).   Alumni  parents  can  participate  up  to  three  years  after  their  children  graduate  from  the  school.     Alumni  parents  cannot  be  officers.    

School  Decision  Making  Body  (SDMB)  that:  
-­‐   Shall  create  its  own  bylaws  and  shall  be  composed  of  the  Principal,  Staff  members,  a  member   1  


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from  the  community  and  elected  parent  members  of  the  school  FUB  chapter.  The  membership   of   the   SDMB   shall   have   between   8-­‐16   members,   of   which   the   FUB   members   will   form   the   majority   group.   The   parent   members   of   the   SDMB   shall   be   reimbursed   monetarily   for   any   expense  incurred  while  serving  on  the  SDMB;  and,   shall   be   responsible   for   developing   a   Comprehensive   Education   Plan   (CPE)   that   fulfills   the   educational  and  human  rights  goals,  annual  space  assessment,  Principal  and  Assistant  Principal   selection  and  annual  Principal  and  Assistant  Principal  evaluation,   Student  representatives  are  grade  appropriate,   Decisions  are  made  by  consensus.    

Recruitment  and  Vetting  Committee  of  the  People’s  Board  
-­‐ -­‐ -­‐ -­‐ Vet  candidates  for  administration  (includes  principals  and  superintendents).   The  committee  includes  members  of  the  Federation  of  United  Parents.   The  final  selection  and  firing  of  the  assistant  principals  and  principals  would  be  determined  by   the  school.   The  Community  Education  Council  will  make  the  final  selection  and  firing  of  the  superintendent.  

The  Federation  of  United  Students  
-­‐ -­‐ -­‐ -­‐ -­‐ -­‐ Mandate  that  every  school  must  develop  a  Student  Government  Association  with  High  School   Juniors,  seniors  and  adult  students  being  eligible  for  Citywide  Office.   Student  Governments  would  create  bylaws  with  the  assistance  of  an  executive  director.   Training  and  Certification  for  Citywide  Office  provided.   Will  be  audited  by  the  City/State  Comptroller.   At  least  1%  of  the  citywide  educational  budget  must  be  allocated  to  the  Federation  of  United   Students  from  the  State  Department  of  Education   (Since  the  focus  is  from  K-­‐16,  or  kindergarten  through  college,  adult  students  could  be  added   to  the  Student  Advocacy  Body.  Legislative  committee  would  discuss  and  decide  on,  at  a  future   date.  

Neighborhood  Council  
-­‐ -­‐ -­‐ -­‐ Each  school  would  elect  a  parent,  teacher  and  a  high  school  student   The  Council  will  meet  quarterly   Primarily  for  the  articulation  of  the  curriculum  and  the  social  emotional  health  of  public  school   students  and  their  families  within  the  neighborhood   Every  neighborhood  will  have  a  K-­‐16  school  program  based  on  Human  Rights  principles  within   the  neighborhood  school  council  that  would  articulate  a  rigorous,  coherent  and  cohesive   curriculum.  

Community  Education  Councils  
-­‐ There  should  be  59  Community  Education  Councils  that  is  co-­‐terminus  with  the  Community   Planning  board  so  that  schools  can  communicate  with  the  community  services  councils  to   2    


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provide  integrated  services  including  wellness,  nutrition,  recreation,  transportation  and  housing   support  so  that  the  child  would  come  to  school  ready  to  learn.   Elected  in  each  school  by  NYC  resident  parents/guardians  of  students  in  the  public  school   system;  elect  8  parents  per  Community  Education  Council  (at  least  one  parent  is  ELL  and  one   parent  a  special  needs  parent)  and  students  (1  male  and  1  female).   Three  community  representatives  are  elected  during  the  regular  elections.  Candidates  must  not   have  any  relations/conflict  of  interest  with  the  DOE/BOE  or  the  UFT.   The  parents  and  the  community  representative  will  select  3  experts  based  on  need  to  be  of   assistance  to  the  council,  but  the  experts  will  be  non-­‐voting  members  of  the  council.   Parent  and  community  candidates  will  be  required  to  obtain  100  signatures  from  the  community   to  be  placed  on  the  ballot  (note:  validating  entity  to  be  determined).   The  Community  Education  Councils  will  select  the  Citywide  Board  of  Education  

Central  Board  of  Education  
-­‐ Bronx  with  12  districts  will  elect  during  the  school  board  election  4  individuals  to  represent  the   Bronx,  Brooklyn  with  18  districts  will  elect  6  individuals,  Queens  with  14  districts  will  elect  5   individuals,  Manhattan  with  12  districts  will  elect  4  individuals  and  Staten  Island  with  3  districts   will  elect  1  individual  to  the  board  resulting  in  20  parent  board  members  and  1  special  needs   parent  and  1  ELL  parent  and  1  adult  education  member.    In  addition  there  will  be  5  students  on   the  board,  one  from  each  borough.   The  28  board  members  will  select  5  experts,  based  on  the  board’s  needs.  These  experts  will  be   non-­‐voting  members  of  the  board.   Board  members  can  be  elected  to  two,  two  year  terms.   Candidates  must  be  vetted  by  the  election  committee.   Candidates  will  be  required  to  obtain  150  signatures  from  the  committee  to  be  placed  on  the   ballot   Make  sure  all  the  districts  are  in  compliance  with  Human  Rights  Principles.   Must  hold  hearings  in  the  selection  process  of  the  commission;  and  provide  the  public  with  all   candidates’  qualifications  for  the  commission  position  (note:  roles  and  responsibilities  of  PBE  to   be  determined).   Will  intervene  if  the  schools  are  not  making  adequate  progress  Human  Rights  Standards.  Will   instruct  the  superintendent  to  develop  a  corrective  action  plan  grounded  in  Human  Rights   Principles  and  State  Education  Standards.   Board  should  monitor  schools  to  ensure  that  the  Human  Rights  Standards  are  met.  

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-­‐ -­‐ Critical  friend  and  advisor  to  the  decision  making  body  of  the  school   Work  with  the  SLT  and  neighborhood  council  to  bring  resources  from  BOCES  and  other  sources   to  assist  with  staff  development  and  other  needs  

-­‐  Must  be  an  educator.  No  waiver  must  be  granted   3    


-­‐  The  central  board  will  be  responsible  for  the  hiring  and  firing  of  the  Commissioner   -­‐    Function  is  to  monitor  schools  to  ensure  they  move  toward  Human  Rights  Goals  and  State                  Educational  Standards.   Hire  the  Fiscal  Commissioner  and  Curriculum  &  Pedagogy  Commissioner    

Fiscal  Commissioner  
                 -­‐      NOTE  Function  will  be  developed  by  the  CPE  Legislative  Committee  at  a  future  meeting  

Curriculum  &  Pedagogy  Commissioner  
-­‐ -­‐ -­‐ -­‐ Must  have  an  extensive  education  background.   Function  will  be  further  developed  by  the  CPE  Legislative  Committee.   Must  be  inclusive  and  meet  the  needs  of  all  students  

Responsibility  includes  ensuring  that  City  Agencies  support  neighborhood  schools.  

-­‐ There  will  be  community  based  suppliers  provide  goods  and  services  to  the  schools.  (To  be   developed  further)  

Transitions  Commission   -­‐ -­‐ -­‐ -­‐
Charged  to  develop  practical  ways  for  a  new  system  to  put  in  place  Human  Rights  based  system   of  public  education.   Given  18  months  to  develop  the  system.   Should  have  a  budget   Selection  criteria  of  the  Commission  


The  commission  will  be  selected  by  “Educational  Leaders”  and  will  be  comprised  of   parents,  students,  teachers,  school  administrators  and  community  leaders  who  reflect   the  racial,  economic  and  linguistic  demographics  of  New  York  City  and  its   representatives  communities  who  will  be  assisted  by  qualified  independent  researchers  

-­‐ To  be  determined  

Inspector  General  
-­‐ To  be  determined  


Quality  Control    
-­‐ There  are  checks  and  balances  to  ensure  good  government  including:   a) an  independent  research  organization  to  study  and  evaluate  the  movement   towards  the  Human  Rights  goals  of  education;   b)  independent  financial  audits  to  provide  user-­‐friendly,  transparent  information  and   to  promote  accountability  for  the  use  of  public  funds;      An  independent  education  ombudsperson  to  resolve  conflicts  not  handled  at  lower  levels,  to   monitor  the  whole  system  and  to  provide  timely  remedies  when  rights  are  violated.  Full   deliberative  democracy  is  an  essential  part  of  the  education  system    

Election  Committee   -­‐ One  person  from  each  community  district.   -­‐ Committee  must  meet  in  a  public  place  with  public  invited  to  observe.     Other     Human  Rights  Principles  
Individual  Rights:     Every  individual  child  must  have  equal  access  to  a  quality  education  adapted  to  meet  his  or  her  particular   needs.     Aims  of  Education:   The  aims  of  education  must  be  directed  toward  the  full  development  of  each  child’s  personality  and   potential,  preparing  all  children  to  participate  in  society  and  to  do  work  that  is  rewarding  and  adequately   remunerative,  and  to  continue  learning  throughout  life.     Dignity:     Schools  must  respect  the  inherent  human  dignity  of  every  child  creating  an  environment  of   mutual  respect  and  tolerance  in  the  classroom,  preventing  practices  and  disciplinary  policies  that  cause   harm  or  humiliation  to  children,  and  promoting  self-­‐confidence  and  self-­‐expression.     Equity:     There  must  be  equitable  distribution  of  resources  in  education  across  communities  according  to  need,  so   communities  with  the  highest  need  receive  the  greatest  resources.     Non-­‐Discrimination:     The  government  must  ensure  that  the  human  right  to  education  “will  be  exercised  without   discrimination  of  any  kind  as  to  race,  color,  sex,  language,  religion,  political  or  other  opinion,  national  or   social  origin,  property,  birth  or  other  status.”  This  obligation  includes  respectful  treatment  and   accommodation  of  the  cultural  heritages  of  school  children  and  their  families.     Participation:     Students,  parents  and  communities  have  the  right  to  participate  meaningfully  in  decisions  that  affect  their  


schools  and  the  right  to  education.     The  Right  to  Development:     Human  beings  are  the  central  subject  of  development:  economic  and  social  systems  should  be  in  service  of   the  right  of  individuals  and  communities  to  develop  themselves  by  means  of  education,  work,  and  other   vehicles  for  advancement.  The  lack  of  development  on  the  part  of  individuals  and  communities  does  not   justify  abridgement  of  their  rights.     The  Right  to  Decent  Work:     Teachers  and  others  employed  by  the  school  system  have  the  right  to  see  their  labor  rights   respected  by  public  school  systems  and  charter  school  operators,  including  the  rights  to  free   association  and  collective  bargaining,  fair  and  adequate  remuneration,  dignity,  adequate  rest  and   recreation,  and  favorable  working  conditions.