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Education advocates form task force to examine school system

Susan Notes:
All I have to know is that former state education commissioner Thomas Sobol is involved. That's plenty good enough for me.

by Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) _ Education activists and school reform experts are forming a task force to study ways of redesigning the city's mayor-run school system so that it is based on a "human rights framework," organizers announced Tuesday.

The 15 members named so far to "Task Force 2009" include several academics as well as former state education commissioner Thomas Sobol. The year 2009 is when mayoral control comes up for review in the state Legislature; by then, task force members want to have detailed legislative alternatives ready to recommend.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg brought the city's school system under his control a few months after taking office in 2002. The task force's creation is largely the result of work by the Independent Commission on Public Education, an advocacy group that has criticized Bloomberg's management style as autocratic. The commission is concerned with human rights issues in the school system such as institutional racism.

Fordham University's National Center for Schools and Communities has also been involved in starting the task force. The center will provide coordination, research, and other assistance. The task force will sponsor public forums and meetings to gain ideas for its proposals.

New York's school system is the nation's largest, with 1.1 million students and more than 1,400 schools.

— Associated Press
The Association Of New York City Education Councils


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