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Betsy Combier

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The E-Accountability Foundation announces the

'A for Accountability' Award

to those who are willing to whistleblow unjust, misleading, or false actions and claims of the politico-educational complex in order to bring about educational reform in favor of children of all races, intellectual ability and economic status. They ask questions that need to be asked, such as "where is the money?" and "Why does it have to be this way?" and they never give up. These people have withstood adversity and have held those who seem not to believe in honesty, integrity and compassion accountable for their actions. The winners of our "A" work to expose wrong-doing not for themselves, but for others - total strangers - for the "Greater Good"of the community and, by their actions, exemplify courage and self-less passion. They are parent advocates. We salute you.

Winners of the "A":

Johnnie Mae Allen
David Possner
Dee Alpert
Aaron Carr
Harris Lirtzman
Hipolito Colon
Larry Fisher
The Giraffe Project and Giraffe Heroes' Program
Jimmy Kilpatrick and George Scott
Zach Kopplin
Matthew LaClair
Wangari Maathai
Erich Martel
Steve Orel, in memoriam, Interversity, and The World of Opportunity
Marla Ruzicka, in Memoriam
Nancy Swan
Bob Witanek
Peyton Wolcott
[ More Details » ]
Why Can't the NY State DOE Release Data on Dangerous, Failing Schools Early Enough for Parents to Use?
Could this be another way that parents' efforts to transfer their children is sabotaged?
Release school data earlier
THE ISSUE | The timing of the state Education Department's release of failing, dangerous schools in New York.
The Leader Online, September 12, 2004


OUR OPINION | The state and local school districts should release the data earlier, giving parents time to decide whether to transfer their child to a different school or pressure schools to come up with a plan to fix the problems.

Thursday, the New York state Depart-ment of Education released its list of failing and dangerous schools throughout the state. And for the third straight year, the state waited until after the start of a new school year to do so.

The timing of the release is important because federal law allows parents and guardians to try and transfer their children to better and safer schools. By releasing the data after school starts, it becomes much more difficult for caregivers to do so.

Of course, state Educa-tion Commissioner Rich-ard Mills places some responsibility on local school districts, which "have this data before

we do."

He's right, to a point. If local school districts have this information early enough, they should release it to keep parents informed of what's going on. Some do, and that's a good thing. But all school districts should be forthcoming with this information.

Ultimately, the responsibility is in the hands of the state, which is doing a great disservice to families when it comes to their children's education by releasing the data so late.

Also, releasing the data earlier to the public would give parents enough time to review it and confront their local school boards.

While parents and guardians have the option to transfer their child, it may not be the best answer because bailing on a school isn't going to fix any problems there.

Parents and guardians should be given every opportunity to be involved in the education process. It is after all, their child's future at stake. They should work hand-in-hand with school boards, administrators and teachers to make sure every student is getting the best education possible.

The state Legislature should require the state Education Department and local school districts to release the information as early as possible before the start of the new school year.

Education - whether it's funding, testing or state mandates - has been one of New York's biggest issues for several years now. Every effort should be made to make sure the state's children are getting the best education possible and that taxpayers are getting the biggest bang for their buck.

© 2003 The E-Accountability Foundation