The representatives of Malverne union free district met in public on October 13th. The meeting agenda revealed preparations for windows replacement at the HS gym, as well as toilets upgrade and installation of lights at the main stadium. Davison school will get new roof, toilets renovated, and windows replaced. H.T. Herber school will get toilets renovated.
The management and the bargaining unit, despite negotiating in good faith, were not able to reach an agreement on the APPR plan proposed by governor Cuomo in April. Yet, they agreed the superintendent would apply for a Hardship Waiver. This is a positive fact, as it postpones Cuomo’s draconian teachers evaluations for another school year. One year is a long time, given that each year more parents come “out” to protect their children from overtesting and datamining. The NYS Allies for Public Education plan to inspire 500K refusals from standardized tests this coming spring, thus doubling numbers of last year. With high number of refusals, there may not be a need for updated APPR plans.
There is more on parents minds than just overtesting and datamining, though. In October, governor Cuomo created a Common Core Task Force. Its goal is to assess what is necessary in order to “fix” the Common Core. The members of the “Task” are touring the state, listening to parents at hearings. It’s evident from the clips recorded at the hearings that parents came to realization that the state is failing to provide a sound education to millions of students.
Although the “Hardship Waiver” application was the most important information disclosed at the meeting, the most entertaining part were the performances of building principals. October is the annual fest to recognize the school board. The principals brought paintings, plaques, and boards. Dr. Romano, the HS principal, trumped all of his colleagues. He prepared a multilingual theater, gathering about 10 students of various grades, each coming from a different cultural background. One after another they expressed their accolades to the district representatives in different languages.
I expressed my admiration to Dr. Romano’s show in an email. The multicultural education is priceless in the current interconnected world. In my message, I suggested that the performing students and their parents become the community ambassadors for multicultural studies at individual schools. I made him aware I approached this topic at the resident representatives meeting in July. I also expressed my will to develop this idea further together with him. My message has remained without a reply, but I am positive that some day the parents put muscles to the skeleton of regulations coming from Albany.