Does The New York City Dept. Of Ed Have Any Clue What They’re Doing In Parent Engagement?

Two months after completely bungling elections for Parent Councils (and that election was a “do-over” because they had completely bungled it the first time), they have announced spending $2 million dollars for a survey to parents.

I have voiced my concerns about the use of surveys in previous posts. I am amazed, though, the the survey is not even to ask parents about what they think should be done in schools. It’s about “what parents want to know and how they want to receive information.”

The comments following the newspaper article very articulately express a clear critique of the plan. Here’s one:

In other words, there’s no money for classroom supplies and we’re going to lose several thousand teachers through attrition. Yet money is found for pet projects like this one. If the DOE wants to know what parents are thinking, ask the schools and staff (e.g. parent coordinators) who are on the front lines every day dealing with them. That wouldn’t cost a dime. Secondly, parents and the communities they come from know that their voices are not heard. At the PEP meetings to close schools, parents were ignored by the thousands. The community school boards have been stripped of all power. The real stakeholders are the private corporations who “support” the schools and eat up money with no-bid contracts.

What are they thinking in the DOE offices?

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