Parent-activists, seeking control over education, are taking over school boards

“While many of the groups identified by The Post clearly espouse conservative goals, the parent push for greater control over the classroom is attracting people of all political persuasions. Strong movements have sprung up in bastions of liberalism such as New York City, where a parent group dissatisfied with attempts to reform gifted tracking programs placed more than 60 candidates onto school boards this past fall,…”

And in New York City, a parent advocacy group called PLACE NYC, which formed in 2019 to advocate for advanced academics, identified and supported 94 candidates for 16 community education councils across the city, said PLACE NYC co-founder Yiatin Chu. (Community education councils are akin to county school boards in other states.) The election saw a record number of parents campaign for council positions, according to New York government data reported by Chalkbeat — up from about 1,000 in 2019 to 1,785 candidates in 2021….

“I think the parents that were motivated to run for office … felt that their point of view about what they wanted to see in education was not being elevated,” Chu said, pointing especially to arguments about the city’s gifted and talented programs. “We believe in a merit-based admissions system and that accelerated programs should be expanded, not canceled.”

Ultimately, 64 PLACE NYC-supported candidates won seats on their councils, Chu said — and were the top vote-getters in 14 of the 16 contested council races. Deborah Alexander, one of those who won, also attributed her victory in part to a widespread sentiment among parents that they’d been excluded from important educational decisions. For example, she said, New York City public schools decided against offering a broad remote-learning option this academic year, leaving many parents who preferred virtual feeling angry and ignored.”

Read the full article on The Washington Post: