On Wednesday June 13  at the Paterson School Board meeting, parents will once again come out to voice their dissatisfaction with  the school transformation plan.  At last week’s school board workshop, School 15 and New Roberto Clemente parents joined the discussion. They want more information about the details of the plan. They want to be consulted in any changes that affect their children. With their presentations,  every school affected by the plan [ 6, 21, 28, 15, EWK and NRC] has approached the board for more information. Each school community asked why they were not directly contacted and consulted about the proposed changes.

It’s not hard to understand why they weren’t directly consulted.  Any change of this sort tends to be unpopular. The politically cagey action is to keep the details quiet until it’s too late for the public to engage in discussion.

The politically smart action is to engage the parents. No one in Paterson can be satisfied with our children’s performance. No one is. So there is nothing to lose by an honest conversation about the proposed changes.  In the course of the last three weeks, parents and students have made important points about the schools. Schools 21 and NRC have more resources than their proposed partner schools. What is the plan to equalize the access to computers and science labs? How will three progams share the space at School 28? What resources will be added to School 28 to support a Gifted and Talented magnet?

Paterson parents have stood up and said, “Ask me, engage me.” They deserve to be answered fully and with respect.

With Justice for ALL,