As Parents Protest, Chancellor and Panel Leave is the headline of a New York Times article today about how the Chancellor of Education in New York City and a city education panel walked out of a meeting rather than changing the agenda so public comment from parents could come before — rather than after- the rest of their scheduled agenda.
I obviously don’t know all the details of what occurred at the meeting. However, do know that during my nineteen year community organizing career I was regularly amazed that public bodies like city councils, planning commissions, and school boards would regularly refuse to change their meeting agendas so that the public could comment on items early so they could go home. Hundreds of people, many with kids, would often have to wait for many minutes or hours because of the petty arrogance of public officials who refused to deviate from their established routine.
One would think that this New York educational panel would want to do everything possible to encourage parent participation, not discourage it.
UPDATE: Here’s another piece on what happened. Be sure to look at comments.