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Fwd: Time sensitive! Write to the PEP about the new Kindergarten admissions changes

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  • Janine Sopp
    This from NYC Public: As you may or may not know, Chancellor Walcott announced a change in the way the DOE will handle kindergarten admissions for next year.
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 17, 2013
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      This from NYC Public:


      As you may or may not know, Chancellor Walcott announced a change in the way the DOE will handle kindergarten admissions for next year. The PEP (Panel for Educational Policy) must vote on this proposed change (despite the fact that the administration has basically declared it as a done deal) this Thursday

      As you also may or may not know, the PEP usually votes YES on every proposal submitted to it. For this reason, it is probably futile to urge them to vote no. HOWEVER, the panel does sometimes postpone a vote, so I would like you to join me in asking for a postponement so that more people have time to learn about the policy (which was just announced last week), ask questions, and comment on its advisability. We can hope that the next mayor will then use this information before deciding on whether to recommend adoption of this ($800K, privately-contracted) system.

      Below my signature I am pasting in a slightly modified letter that a fellow PVNYer  wrote for this purpose. Feel free to use it in whole or in part and to share it widely with your former or current preschools, friends with young kids, etc

      You may also want to CC:
      Chancellor Walcott (DMWalcott@...), 
      your council member, 
      and the education press 

      Thanks,
      Kemala (not personally affected as my children are past kindergarten, but upset at the undemocratic nature of this move and holding major reservations about the policy itself)

      ************************************


      Subject: Please vote no or vote to postpone a vote on "Kindergarten Connect"
      To: patk.j.sullivan@...JBergtraum@...PepofQueens@...THernandez5@...JMoy4@...MWilliams76@...,IShapiro2@...panel@...

      Dear PEP members, 

      I appreciate the hard work that you do. 

      As you are probably aware, the DOE announced Kindergarten Connect exactly one week before you are to vote on it this Thursday. 

      Though the press release describes KC as a minor shift to automating K admissions, its impact will be major. 

      Like most policies, KC has its pros and cons, but it is undeniable that there has been no process for letting the public weigh in on this big change and its probable and possible impacts. Parents who will be most affected by this policy have had no opportunity to ask questions or comment about it. In 2008, when OSEPO moved to centralize pre-K admissions, they held at least one public hearing where they detailed their plans. That must happen this time as well, not least because there is more buy-in for a policy when the public has had a chance to become better informed and feels that its feedback has been heeded.
       
      Even if you hear from some parents who are able to make it to the PEP meeting on Thursday despite short notice, remember that most parents still have no idea about it. Many of them will be new to the system, and others are expecting to sign up for K the way they have in the past. 

      I know that you rarely say "no" to a policy. Therefore, please vote to table a vote until there has been a proper hearing and opportunity for public comment.

      Sincerely, 

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      Janine
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