Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, March 24, 2011

NYCDOE Attempts To Rig Parent Council Elections

I don't think there's any other way to read this story:

The same Education Department unit that improperly organized staff for political lobbying is under fire for dropping the ball on parent council elections.

Parents have just two weeks to nominate themselves to run for the parent councils citywide, but there is no mention of the elections on the official Education Department website.

"If the name is the Office of Family Information and Advocacy, where's the information?" said Mary Silver, a member of a Manhattan parent council that represents parts of downtown and the upper East Side.

"You can't believe parents matter and then make this an invisible process."

Silver said she tried to get an application for upcoming elections, but was bounced between offices and voice mails.

The office that oversees the elections came under fire last week for instructing Education Department employees to involve parents in lobbying to change seniority rules for teachers.

Community Education Councils hold monthly meetings and advise on policy matters but have been stripped of much of the authority that rested with the local school boards they replaced in 2003.

Christopher Spinelli, head of the council that covers Ditmas Park to Mill Basin in Brooklyn, asked in February for information, but was never told another website,, was set up for the elections.

"I don't think it bodes well that someone in the know is searching and can't find it," said the three-term council president. "I don't know if it's intentional, but they're making it very difficult."

Education Department officials agreed to post election information on their website Thursday.

Democracy, schmocracy.

We're only telling the "happy" parents about the elections who don't, you know, complain about stuff.

That's one way to stop the complaining, eh?

More and more, New York City resembles Stalinist Russia.

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