Struggling schools, segregated schools and diversity in schools, school tests and school choice, there has been much conversation in the news and public realm about the current state of education in New York City in 2019. The problem is that much of the conversation doesn’t make space for or include those most affected by the issues and decisions; the students.
The Trellis Reporters crew is a way to provide young students of color access to spaces to hear, learn and then share about issues affecting them.
One of the Trellis recently provided these reports in view of issues facing his high school in Brooklyn…
In view of this and with another of one the Trellis Crew attending one of schools on this CSI [Comprehensive and Support and Improvement] list, three of the crew attended an open forum on the state of education in New York that featured Alexandria Ocasio Cortez
I thought this meeting was about charter schools, but I was wrong, this was about public school. The meeting was about how public school is focusing on data and not the children. What was really shocking is that the parents and the speakers seemed to hate charter schools and some even said that there is no public charter school. But I came from public school to charter school and I can say that my charter school opened for people in need. There was an outbreak when there a conversation about there being no diversity in public schools. There were Chinese or Japanese parents that stood up with poster screaming you can change this. This whole meeting was well organized and I wish public schools the best. - Sincere Lesane
The battle for Children Education Funding
“Children deserve all the opportunity’s they can get because they have so much potential and they are the future! “
March 16, 2019 in a very partisan crowd flooded a packed out room filled with senators, and education officials,and the Objective at hand was to get equity for educational funding for all students. Intense was the word to describe a small Asian family in the back holding up signs saying “stop progressive Asian racism”
That struck a nerve in a woman across the room, who replies “it’s not all about you” and the woman holding the sign replies “it’s not about you either” and they both same at the same time “it’s about us” but as the young 17 year old boy I am, I think to myself, is it about them? No, it’s about their children, and that’s what matters
The fact that there was barely any standing space was amazing to see that people can all come together on a Saturday to discuss children’s education issues
“It’s not all about you” - says a white woman to a Asian woman expressing her feelings very loud way, and the Asian woman responds with “and it’s not all about you, “ then both of them unconsciously say to each other at the same time “it’s about us” No one seemed to like the idea of charter schools
“Are you ready to fight for our children?”
“No question is a dumb question “
With the environment in here, parent involvement is a big part of these parents lives. These parents care for there children and are willing to fight for what they believe! It was beautiful and heartfelt to see the community come together as a big family, and talk together about social problems and children’s equality in schools and funding
There was talk of working on a bill to get rid of policy’s from suspensions from Pre-K to 3rd grade
These parents have voiced their anger for their children being deprived of Programs that aren’t funded for them
Charter schools are draining funding for public schools, and that’s why it shouldn’t exist
I conclude this report with many new ideas, but with a new mindset on schools. All students should have equal opportunities and fundings. It helps the world blossom into a better place.
Khalil Baxter is a senior at City-As-School High School and a member of the Trellis Crew
On March 17th I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Public Education Town Hall in Jackson Heights, Queens with many well-recognized speakers. I was looking forward to this event for two major reasons: First, this would technically be my first event as a Trellis Crew reporter and second, I’ve attended public schools since the beginning of my education career. I saw this as an opportunity to to learn more about the system I am in because unfortunately I don’t know much about it.
During the town hall, I felt many things but the primary emotion was anger. In short, I learned that public schools have overcrowded classrooms and a lack of resources for multilingual students, causing large achievement gaps for students. The cause of all of that? Money. Public schools are highly underfunded and that is significant because, as one of the speakers said, “money matters.”
Everything said made a lot of sense because my current school is considered underfunded by majority of the student body and faculty. That being said, I’ve witnessed multilingual students suffer from the lack of resources they have. My school has several English learners, a subgroup of multilingual students. Those students are in the same classes as fluent English speakers and that presents many problems for them because everything is taught in English. I’m not going to exaggerate and say that these students don’t receive any resources at all but they don’t receive an adequate amount. Often times bilingual students, like me, have to help them during class or they are left on their own to figure it out. More often than not, they aren’t able to move at the pace of the rest of the class and from there, it’s almost always a downward spiral.
Finding out about the billion dollar cuts the government has proposed for the already poorly funded public school system further fueled my anger. Then, finding out that the government has simultaneously proposed increased funding for charter schools intensified it even more. It clearly shows that the government is bias.
All-in-all, the Public Education Town Hall got me upset; not the town hall itself but the controversies shared in it.
Maryory Martinez is a junior at Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies and a Trellis intern