Families & the Community

New York City Parents Seek Action to Improve Failing Schools

By Karla Scoon Reid — January 16, 2015 1 min read
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The parent of a New York City public school student wrote a petition that has more than 75,000 signatures supporting her efforts to seek drastic changes in the city’s low-performing schools.

According to a press release, Ebony Burrowes and more than 20 parents were outside City Hall in New York Thursday asking local and state officials to address what they call an education crisis facing the city’s public school students. Burrowes’ 9-year-old son attends P.S. 360 where, according to the release, only 1 in 10 children are peforming on grade level in math and reading.

“I don’t know who came to the conclusion that our children can’t be great,” Burrowes says in an online video. “But, I for one, don’t believe that.”

The petition is part of the Families for Excellent Schools’ Don’t Steal Possible campaign. The city-based advocacy group and charter school proponent released a report in July, showing that at nearly a quarter of New York City public schools, 90 percent of the students are not reading or doing math at grade level. Those failing schools are mostly found in the city’s poor, minority neighborhoods, according to the report.

The petition drive is apparently part of a strategy to keep mounting pressure on Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Public Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña to act. In October, about 21,000 parents, teachers and other supporters held a rally in Foley Square in lower Manhattan demanding drastic education reforms to improve chronically underperforming schools.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the K-12 Parents and the Public blog.