Community Education Task Force Slate for Educational Change
We in the Community Education Task Force in Rochester, New York have been struggling around several crucial issues that touch many other locations. We were part of a successful effort against the attempt to bring about mayoral control in the Rochester City School District (at least temporarily, as we know the issue will be back). We were part of a collective effort to push out a Broad-trained Superintendent, Jean-Claude Brizard, and have since continued the struggle against corporate-driven privatization reforms in favor of grassroots community-driven decision making and empowerment. We held a large community-wide education summit in which we engaged parents, students, teachers, and concerned community members on how to best focus and redirect reform efforts. Following the Summit we have continued active initiatives centered around our guiding principles.
Our organizing work in education led us to a crucial junction point. Would we continue to organize a movement as a grassroots organization or would we attempt to enter into electoral positions in order to more effectively realize our guiding principles through our elected school board? Trick question, as we chose both (surprise!). As part of an on-going effort to organize, mobilize and enact meaningful progressive reform (real reform!) in our district we decided to run a campaign for school board consisting of a slate of three of the founding parents of the Community Education Task Force. The CETF’s Slate for Educational Change includes Howard Eagle, Mary Adams and Wallace Smith.
Howard Eagle is a retired teacher of 23 years in the Rochester City School District. He is a parent of two students in the Rochester City School District and an active community organizer and founding member of the Community Education Task Force.
Mary Adams is a parent of three children in the Rochester City School District. She has been a research nurse for fifteen years and has lived in Southwest Rochester for eighteen years. She also is a founding member of the Community Education Task Force and active community organizer.
Wallace Smith is a Rochester City School District parent and grandparent. He was the last president of the historic civil rights organization FIGHT (Freedom Independence God Honor Today) co-founder of Freedom School in Rochester, and co-founder for Rochester’s branch of Alliance for Quality Education. Mr. Smith is also a founding member of the Community Education Task Force and an active community activist in Rochester.
As allied Denver School Board member Andrea Merida stated on Daily Kos on behalf of the CETF Slate: “It’s time to make our stand against the privatization of our public schools.”
Sadly, effective campaigns require resources and cost money so anything you can part with in order to help support this grassroots campaign would be much appreciated. Head over to http://www.communityeducationslate.com/aboutus.htm and click on “contribute” to show your support. The struggle continues…..