Question: What happens when you make education policy decisions based on politics rather than children?
Answer: You end up with schools catering to special interests and not children.
Rosa Torres, the only Luis Muñoz Marin School parent on the school’s turnaround committee, told the Board of Education at Monday’s community engagement meeting that she felt ignored, as if she was a “seat filler” to the rest of the committee, which was mostly made up of teachers and administrators.
According to Torres’ account, right before the turnaround plan was submitted, certain members took over and decided on changes to the plan that she didn’t believe served the interests of students.
As the sole parent of a Marin student on the committee, she felt that many of her suggestions were cast aside.
How is this possible? Why was Torres the only parent on a committee that decides the fate of Marin School?
Technically she wasn’t the only parent on the committee. But she was the only Marin parent on the committee.
When the Commissioner’s Network legislation was passed, the state was forced to give concessions to the unions, which allowed them to appoint three members to a school’s turnaround committee, one more than the Board of Education.
The Board of Education selects a parent and administrator for the committee, while the union picks two teachers and a parent.
In Marin’s case, the union picked a parent who also happens to be a teacher — a parent whose child doesn’t even attend Marin.
Can you see the problem here?
The union, making sure they had control over Marin’s turnaround process, appointed another teacher, when in fact they should have appointed another Marin school parent.
Marin is very unique. Out of the 900 students who attend the school, about a third are English-language learners. That’s why it was vitally important that the school’s turnaround plan included parent and community input.
Instead of looking out for the best interest of the school, the unions were looking out for their own interests.
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