Earlier this year, Montclair Cares About Schools collected more than 550 virtual signatures on an online petition asking the Montclair Board of Education to defer the adoption of district-wide quarterly assessments included in a Strategic Plan for the district.
Now the same group is planning a public forum on Sunday, Oct. 6 called, “Which way, Montclair? A community conversation about our schools.”
The free forum will take place
from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist
Congregation at Montclair at 67 Church St.
A panel discussion will include three panelists who are all active on education issues on a state or national level.
Topics that will be discussed, according to Montclair Cares About Schools, include the impact of high-stakes student assessments and the need for transparency and democratic dialogue in school district decision-making. The panelists will also put recent changes in local schools in a state and national context.
The panelists for the event are:
- Stan Karp, director of the Secondary Education Project for the Education Law Center, co-editor of the national school reform journal Rethinking Schools and a longtime educator and Montclair parent;
- Debra Jennings, co-executive director of the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, a former Montclair Board of Education member, and parent of two graduates of Montclair High;
- Sharon Krengel, coordinator of Our Children/Our Schools, a statewide advocacy network and a former school board president in Highland Park, N.J.
The moderator will be Michelle Fine, a Montclair parent who
teaches at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
“We hear from parents who want a full and open discussion about recent troubling changes that have been imposed on our town’s schools, including the new districtwide quarterly assessments and their implications for the everyday learning experiences of our children,” said Elana Halberstadt, a member of Montclair Cares About Schools.
Halberstadt added, “This sort of open and informative dialogue has unfortunately been largely missing from our town’s Board of Education meetings.”
This week, supporters of the Montclair Board of Education created a petition under the name "Support Montclair's Schools." The petition reads, in part, "We call for civility, respect and patience as we move forward implementing the strategic plan to improve our schools. Let's give this a chance."