on CPE1: Norm in The Wave - Legendary Progressive School Under Assault
Parent and teacher reps met for hours yesterday with the Chancellor's "team" which included Phil Weinberg, Laura Feijoo, Louis Herrera, Yolanda Torres. A group of supporters sat on the steps of Tweed as a show of support. A 120 page binder listing Garg transgressions, including violating numerous chancellor regs, was handed over.
Below is my column this week, a brief attempt to explain the CPE1 situation to the Rockaway community in a nutshell.
Published in The Wave, April 14, 2017
When I was a young teacher dreaming about teaching in a child-centered progressive school (which I never got to do), the model school set up in East Harlem (District 4) in the mid-1970s by Debbie Meier, one of the gods of teaching in this country for 50 years, was a magnet for teachers and parents looking for alternative ways of working with kids that were far from the mainstream. Central Park East (CPE) became a nationwide model, offering elementary school children a private school model of education and making it available to parents who did not have the means to send their kids to elite schools. A major component of such education in Debbie’s vision was a non-segregated and diverse population that would be roughly one third black, Latino and white in a neighborhood where such an option was not available. Call it the one of the early concepts of choice within a public school system which is so pushed by the charter school lobby. Debbie won a McArthur Genius Award for her ground breaking work in New York and in Boston.
The CPE model was the furthest thing from today’s no excuses, test-driven, anti-union, rigid, corporate as opposed to student-driven charter factory floor concepts.
People from all over the nation came to study the practices in the school, which involved student choices in what they would learn, in addition to a wide degree of latitude for teachers; a democratically run school where major decisions on hiring and practices were decided jointly by teachers and administrators with a lot of parent input. Principals sometimes referred to Ed Notes Online: on CPE1: Norm in The Wave - Legendary Progressive School Under Assault: