Public Education

Effective public education, in elementary, middle and high school, is essential to preparing our children for success. The schools of the 39th Council District have some of the city's best teachers, principals and parent leaders, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they are supported in the crucial work that they do.

A Night of Conversation between District 39 Parents and Teachers and DOE's Shael Polakow-Suransky

About 200 community residents, parents, and teachers joined us on March 14th for a community conversation on public school instruction, assessment, and accountability with Shael Polakow-Suransky, the Chief Academic Officer and Senior Deputy Chancellor at the NYC Department of Education. While we did not answer every question, and we certainly did not reach a consensus, it was a thought-provoking evening, and I wanted to share some of what was discussed with those of you who were not able to make it. Read more »

Save the date: 4th annual PTA 5K run in Prospect Park on Sat., 4/30!

Start of 2010 PTA 5KSave the date of Saturday April 30th for the fourth annual PTA 5K run in Prospect Park. Last year’s run was the best one so far, with over 500 parents, teachers and students from 17 different Brooklyn public schools taking part. Their efforts raised over $6500 for the participating schools and we hope to build on that success this year. Read more »

Upcoming Community Discussion with Schools Deputy Chancellor Shael Polakow-Suransky

On Monday, March 14th I am hosting a Community Conversation on Public School Instruction and Assessment with Shael Polakow-Suransky, the Chief Academic Officer and Senior Deputy Chancellor at the NYC Department of Education.

This event will be a dialogue about teaching, learning, assessment, and accountability in New York City's public schools, including: Read more »

Naked lunchroom! PS 107 left without its cook in city budget cut

The Brooklyn Paper

Parents at Park Slope's PS 107 are fired up over a city decision to transfer their beloved lunch lady because the lunchroom serves slightly less than the minimum daily requirement of school meals.

The Department of Education has transferred Lucy Torres — who has worked at the school for 17 years — because her school is about 50 PB&Js short of the required 300 lunches.

"It seems like a stingy and heartless decision to make her transfer only one year before retirement," said Rachel Goodman, an aide to Councilman Brad Lander (D−Park Slope).

Read more »

Reporting back to you (one year in)

As a deep believer in democratic accountability, I know it is essential to report back to the community that I serve.

One year into my tenure in the City Council, I’m pleased to share an annual report on some of what we accomplished in 2010, and a little of what we’re hoping to do in the year to come.

You can view the report here – it is broken down by issue, and by the various neighborhoods in the district. Read more »

In the Press: NYC Council Progressive Caucus Responds to Bloomberg's State of the City Address

Huffington Post

The tragic shooting in Arizona earlier this month has caused us all to reflect on the plague of gun violence in our society, and the need for greater civility in our political discourse. We laud the Mayor for his longstanding leadership and tireless efforts to get illegal guns off of our streets, and to reduce gun violence.

But we are disappointed that Mayor Bloomberg spoke about the need to "face reality" in his State of the City Speech today without outlining a real plan of action to address the economic realities facing most New Yorkers at a time when our city remains in a severe economic crisis. Read more »

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Honoring Dr. King's Legacy

MLK Day always serves as an inspiration -- not only in the deeds and words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, but also of those working to further his legacy -- and as a reminder of how far we have to go to achieve racial and economic justice in our society. Read more »

Schools are open, let us know about your streets!

NYC public schools are open this morning.  Field-trips are cancelled, and some after-school programs may be affected.  On first reports, it looks like the streets are in pretty good shape.  I've never seen or heard so many plows as last night!  Looks like after how badly the last storm was handled, Mayor Bloomberg made extra-sure there were no problems this time. Read more »