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Petitioning Betsy DeVos, Dr. Mitchell M. Zais, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Department of Education, Global Partnership for Education, New York City Public Schools

The Department of Education: Reform History Curriculum

It has been brought to our attention that we are not learning about our human races' history in its entirety. More so, the texts and lessons implemented in the United States are written in a one-sided nature. "Important/Essential issues such as racism, inequality, and conquest falling through the cracks of the historical narrative, there is little reason to recount the resistance to those types of oppression. There are occasional terse summations of resistance, but the bountiful history of people working together, crossing racial boundaries, and building social movements to make this country more democratic and just is omitted. Instead, history is more often viewed from the vantage point of the rich and powerful, the conquerors." We must bring urgency to a reformed education system. The perfect time is now, while we are primarily online due to Covid-19 outbreaks. Millions will be educating their children on the truth of our history as we self-educate. This will cause tension in classrooms. Teachers will wrongfully condemn students for rightful knowledge. This will cause rifts throughout our nation’s schools that have a righteous solution. Create a uniform and authentic curriculum, despite a variety of educational publishing companies. Acknowledge privilege, oppression, racial injustice, the primary influences of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, POC) in the advancements and roots of our world. We know the truth, and will not rest. Children are not born with discrimination in their DNA, they are taught it. 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it' (George Santayana-1905). We cannot be selective when teaching history. Learning both the good and bad will change our world for the better. “Ever since the Civil Rights Movement, there has been grassroots pressure by educators and community activists to change the textbooks used in U.S. schools. Progress was made. Blatantly racist references to Africa and favorable comments about slavery were eliminated, photos were diversified, and stories of famous African Americans and women started appearing, if not in the main text, at least in scattered sidebars. Despite improvements, however, most mainstream social studies textbooks remain tethered to sanitized versions of history that bore students and mislead young minds. This was brought home to me in 2008 when I examined the social studies textbook series being considered for adoption by the Milwaukee Public Schools. The books were from the dwindling constellation of large textbook publishers—Houghton Mifflin, Macmillan McGraw-Hill, and Scott Foresman. In keeping with state social studies standards, the 5th-grade textbooks in each series focus on United States history. Even though publishers make claims about being “multicultural” and honoring our nation’s “diversity,” none of the 5th grade United States history textbooks—even those exceeding 800 pages—examines the role of racism in U.S. history or even mentions the word “racism.” In two textbooks, the word “discrimination” doesn’t even appear. Nor do the texts tell students that any United States president ever owned slaves, even though 12 of the first 18 did, and all of the two-term presidents up until Lincoln owned and sold human beings. As my colleagues and I examined the books more closely, a picture emerged that profoundly disturbed us. With important issues like racism, inequality, and conquest falling through the cracks of the historical narrative, there is little reason to recount the resistance to those types of oppression. There are occasional terse summations of resistance, but the bountiful history of people working together, crossing racial boundaries, and building social movements to make this country more democratic and just is omitted. Instead, history is more often viewed from the vantage point of the rich and powerful, the conquerors.” Reference: Bob Peterson  

Raihanna Hingoo
12,040 supporters
Petitioning Donald J. Trump, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Andrew M. Cuomo, United States Department of Transportation, Charles E. Schumer, New York Governor, New York State Senate, New York Times, Catharine Young, Ne...

Require School Buses To Have Proper Safety Equipment

Lets keep our children safe and let’s start from enforcing stricter laws on people obliviously passing the school bus red lights, stop signs. More then 50,000 people in New York State pass school buses that are loading or unloading students each day. We want all our kids to come home safely and alive from school as many of us “parents” have work and need to find private transportation for them to school and from school and the only way we can make a change is by showing the government on how important our kids life’s are and how much we love them. As a school bus driver I see many drivers not only passing my school bus signs but speeding though them we need this to stop  especially for a City like New York itself. IF YOU LOVE AND CARE FOR YOUR CHILD YOU WOULD NOT HESITATE TO SIGN THIS PETITION AND FIGHT FOR OUR CHILDRENS SAFETY, HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.  For The decision makers, • Traffic cameras on all SCHOOL BUSES like citi buses have.                         • GPS on all school buses• more law enforcement agencies looking out for our children.• Drivers having direct communication with 911 in case of a tragedy like this happens they don’t have to pick up a phone dial 911 explain the situation give their location because by that time that child will be deceased. All buses work with students. MAKE IT SAFE.

Antoni Parys
9,512 supporters
Petitioning Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City Public Schools, Meisha Ross Porter, Andrew M. Cuomo, Michael Mulgrew, New York State House, New York State Senate

Support students, educators, school staff and parents fighting for a remote option!

Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan Parents stand in solidarity with the Bronx Parent Leader Advocacy Group As of June 2021, more than 60% of New York City students and their families, as well as many educators and school staff, participated either fully or partially in remote learning. With an uncertain start to the Department of Education’s Summer Rising programming this July, questions remain about public school-based mask wearing, social distancing, staffing, and properly prioritized funding in our hardest-hit zip codes. Due to the continued uncertainty that Covid-19 presents to school communities, and the disproportionate impact of the virus on our  vulnerable students, staff and families, we stand with the Bronx Parents Leaders Advocacy Group to amplify the questions and concerns laid out in this open letter. While families who do not require a remote option seem to take precedence in the Department of Education’s planning, we ask: where is the equity and excellence in removing an option that the majority of NYC parents, largely Black and brown, clearly prefer and even require to ensure their family and community’s safety?  In addition, many historically marginalized students and communities have found solace in virtual learning due to the lack of bullying students have faced for common in-person behaviors that are often shunned and criminalized. Cultural hairstyles, clothing, use of informal speech or languages other than English, and social and emotional needs that do not fit into the mold of ‘normal’ behavior are often met with over policing rather than care. The absence of this resulted in dramatic improvement in the lives of our students.   Parents across New York City stand in solidarity with Bronx parent leaders and educators fighting for a remote option. We also demand transparent communication regarding health guidance in a city that has essentially made all Covid-19 related health mandates optional as new variants of the virus continue to be discovered, and the long term effects of Covid-19 on our city’s youth remain unknown. What does mandated in person learning with no remote option and lackluster health guidance mean for our immunocompromised families and teachers? For our pregnant and nursing guardians and staff members? For our students with disabilities? For our students in temporary housing and our multilingual families who have continually been the last to receive pertinent Covid-19 and school reopening related information in languages that they can understand? What does this mean for families of  our youngest learners for whom vaccinations are not yet available, and those who have made a commitment to adhering to safety guidelines to protect public health? These are the questions students, parents, guardians, and school staff have been asking since the school year ended. As we gear up for reopening, our expectation is that our Chancellor, Mayor, Governor, City Council and the NYC Department of Education will lead with compassion and equity at the center of their thinking rather than a desire to be the ‘largest school district to fully reopen’ at all costs.  The 700,000 remote learners who received no systemic support throughout this pandemic refuse to be this city’s collateral damage. We will not allow our children to be packed into already overcrowded school buildings that are not prepared to adequately meet their needs just so the outgoing Mayor can build his legacy on the backs of our students and their underpaid and overworked educators.  What’s more, if indeed schools have low spread, it is because the majority of public school parents have prioritized public health by remaining remote, allowing families and schools to be responsible and diligent about maintaining safety protocols, and facilitating communities prioritizing their most vulnerable families in both mitigation and prevention. It is irresponsible and ignorant to remove all those mechanisms that kept everyone safe and expect the same results on the backs of our students. We DEMAND: A centralized remote option that prioritizes social emotional learning and culturally responsive curriculum, and allows for student voice, parent empowerment and teacher autonomy. This can be borough or district based to avoid the staffing issues schools experienced last year. Free universal broadband. A QUALITY, working, internet connected device, headset and/ or keyboard where age appropriate in the hands of every public school student who needs one. Our suggestion is a keyboard for every middle and high school student since long form writing and essays are difficult to perform on a tablet or phone. This may apply to older elementary students as well and should be considered. Language justice, translation and interpretation in line with all remote options. Snail mail in addition to digital correspondence updating families and educators on the status of remote options this fall. Opportunities to collaborate and make remote learning work for all stakeholders who require it.    When New York City educators,  students and families look back on this time they won’t remember being ‘the largest school system to reopen.’ They will remember whether our city’s leadership prioritized it’s most vulnerable students and staff and created a feasible remote option for the majority of New York City’s public school families. We hope you will make the right decision in supporting our school communities. In Solidarity with Public School Families and Staff, Bronx Parent Leaders Advocacy Group Black Lives Matter At School NY Steering Committee Movement of Rank and File Educators - UFT Caucus Health Justice Working Group- MORE UFT Community Education Council District 14 Community Education Council 4 Parents for Responsive Equitable Safe Schools- PRESS NYC Parents Supporting Parents NY Coalition for Asian American Children and Families Frack Outta BK  Showing Up For Racial Justice- SURJ NYC  Teachers Unite D14 Revolution Teens Take Charge Ya Ya Network Student Success Network  Queens Restore Remote Coalition Las Odiosas BX  Students Break The Silence NYC Student Strike Youth Power Coalition Education Council Consortium  Parent Action Committee Healing Centered Schools Working Group Alliance for Quality Education    

Tajh Sutton
7,249 supporters
Petitioning New York City Public Schools, Mayor Bill de Blasio, United Federation of Teachers

Demands For A Safe Reopening -Open Letter of NYC parents & families, educators #protectnyc

The Mayor and New York City Department of Education have promised a full safe reopening of our school buildings, but have yet to communicate any plans for doing so. With the surge of the Delta variant, the most transmissible COVID-19 variant to date and most dangerous among youth to date, and an explosion of cases, hospitalizations and deaths that rival numbers from previous COVID-19 waves, a comprehensive safety action plan must be shared with all, now. The undersigned members of the United Federation of Teachers and, New York City parents and families, demand that the New York City Department of Education implement the following steps in order to reopen our school buildings safely because we believe in-person learning is an option for parents and guardians, if deemed safe by authorities, while still offering a remote option. We DEMAND: 1.  Mandated vaccinations - Anyone 12 years of age or older entering a DOE facility, including but not limited to school buildings, should possess proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The unvaccinated, 12 years old and over, must not be allowed entrance in instructional spaces (unless there is a documented medical exemption).  We believe the city and DOE should seek to utilize schools as vaccination hubs to ensure vaccine equity in underserved communities and to educate about vaccine safety. 2. Mandated masking - Everyone within the premises of a DOE facility must have a mask on at all times, except for eating at proper times. Failure to do so should result in their immediate removal. 3. Heightened COVID Testing and Tracing Protocols - Weekly random testing of at least 33% of the entire school communities. There must be baseline testing for all students and staff in September. We expect clear, strict and concise procedures in place for quarantine and closing down schools when there is a COVID outbreak. This includes a return to a school-wide 14 day quarantine based on a total threshold of 3 or more positive cases within the school community.  Baseline testing for all those returning from quarantine. 4.Strict adherence to social distancing - There must be strict adherence to at least 3 feet of social distancing at all times. Distance is subject to increase if authorities deem so. 5. Proper, Science-Based Ventilation in all DOE facilities- We demand for scientifically proven methods to control and monitor the spread of airborne diseases, including COVID, that include enhanced ventilation with outdoor air, and high efficiency filtration. Sites must be inspected and certified by a board certified industrial hygienist before anyone is allowed in the facility. 6. A Remote Option - A remote learning option for all parents/guardians that want to opt for one. 7. No Learning Loss Screenings/Diagnostics and Focus on SEL, trauma-informed supports - There will be no academic screening/diagnostic assessments for so-called deficit of learning/learning loss. Rather, we must focus resources on the social-emotional well-being of our students by funding after school programs, PSAL, counseling, social service and weekend programs.  We desire a pause in required high stakes state standardized testing until performance based alternatives are explored. 8.  Increased transparency, tracking capability and reliability in COVID-19 data reporting - We demand an updated COVID-19 city wide dashboard that is more transparent, meaningful and reliable in its data reporting of COVID-19 incident cases, hospitalizations and deaths that tracks over 90 day intervals and shows vaccination rates.  Failure to implement these demands will result in a coalition of educators and parents urging UFT members, families and students to stay out of buildings deemed unfit until they are safe for teaching and learning.  As a community of New Yorkers we have a sacred responsibility to ensure the collective public safety and health of our children, elderly, most vulnerable and those with limited access.

6,893 supporters
Petitioning United States Supreme Court, U.S. Senate, New York State Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand, Hakeem Jeffries, New York Times, Donald Trump, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United Hea...

Get access to ALL the medical help, if that's what you need

We need to change the system with the kind of coverage we can get under our medicaid insurances. Having different types of medicaid insurance, should not change the coverage we have from our doctors. Furthermore, things such as service and therapy dogs should be covered by our insurance for those in need. When there are real medical problems, it is very hard to find the medical help we can get without excessively paying out of pocket for each doctor. There are many insurance plans that fall under medicaid. However, when someone is looking for doctors, they would have to either keep switching their insurance, or pay out of pocket for the coverage that is needed.  Furthermore, there are many things insurance would not pay for altogether which causes us the problem to be more prone to be in debt. I believe service and therapy dogs should not have to cost thousands of dollars to be obtained. Someone who may be in a manuel wheelchair for example, would need help going up and down the sidewalks, switching on and off the lights, and opening doors. A service dog is something that is trusted to perform activities that people with disabilities would otherwise need the help of another person to do. Many times not having someone you trust near you, would ultimately require you to trust strangers. A physical disability causes the incapability to run away from danger, and therefore, they become a target. A therapy dog helps with things that medication cannot do such as, to over come Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Service and therapy dogs should therefore not be considered a necessity. Those with disabilities may have the means to board a public bus, but traveling to or from the bus may be an issue. (Not to mention that there are not many trains out there that are wheelchair accessible, and even if there are, it may be very difficult to control a wheelchair when the brakes are not good ones such as in a manuel wheelchair.) We The People, need help with medical expenses. We need all doctors to accept ALL medicaid insurances. We the people should have all medical help covered by our insurances and not have to be in debt for medical expenses that would otherwise be covered. All those people who want to feel both safe, and independent should have the services that fall under the "medical" category be covered. This should apply to both veterans who put their lives in danger to keep our society safe, and non-veterans who would otherwise feel more comfortable to go out to work and feel that they too, can work and make a difference in society.  Please sign and share!

Lilly Jonson
4,624 supporters
Petitioning NYC DOE, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Andrew M. Cuomo, NYC Health, Oxiris Barbot, New York City Public Schools, New York State House, New York State Senate

Shut down ALL NYC Schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19 before it's too late

The newly developed Corona Virus has over 125,000 confirmed cases and over 3,800 deaths worldwide. This Corona Virus spreads really easily and is super deadly to its victims. In the United States alone, there have been over 1,200 cases, with over 40 deaths. The United States is not ready for COVID-19 at all.  We do NOT have enough beds, we do NOT have enough medicine, our doctors have NOT been trained, and most importantly, WE DON'T EVEN HAVE THE CAPACITY TO CONDUCT TESTS ON SYMPTOMATIC PATIENTS. Watch this VIDEO to see how badly the US is handling the Corona Virus Risk is at an all-time high, while politicians are telling us to stay calm, that risk is low, and that everything's under control, but that's NOT true at all. We are at a state of emergency, and risk is exceedingly high. Everyone should be on their highest alert and prepare for the worse.  Covid-19 is especially dangerous in New York City, as it's hugely populated. Just in the past week, New York had an increase of over 100 confirmed cases, and the amount of cases per day has been growing exponentially. NYC Schools are a breeding ground for the Corona Virus and SHOULD BE SHUT DOWN. Schools in NYC are overcrowded and don't even have the supplies to sanitize. Most schools in New York don't even have soaps, or paper towels, or even working sinks. How can a student prevent the spread of the virus if they can't even wash their hands? NYC Schools MUST be SHUT DOWN, and students should STAY HOME. Every part of going to school is a gateway to getting Covid-19. From riding the bus, taking overcrowded trains, and having classes in schools with 1000s of students from all over NYC, every step is a chance closer to getting the Corona Virus. Once a student gets infected, the virus will spread rapidly, not only to other students, but also to their family members when they get home, especially to those with medical conditions, and the elderly. Shutting down all NYC Schools will prevent, or at least slow the spread of the Corona Virus, and may actually help keep schools open more in the long run. If we close schools now, the cases will remain low, and we'd only have to close until the number of COVID-19 cases stops growing. If we wait until this epidemic worsens in NYC, more people will be infected, and schools will have to be closed for a longer amount of time. Attendance at NYC Schools should be excused starting now. We know some people depend on NYC Schools as a means of getting hot meals, getting care, or to stay warm due to financial issues. The solution is to keep certain schools open for those needed individuals, while making attendance for other students un-mandated.  SIGN THIS PETITION TO CLOSE DOWN ALL NYC SCHOOLS, AND TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE. Mayor DeBlasio, Governor Cuomo, NYC DOE, NYC Health MUST ALL TAKE ACTION NOW!!

Jonathan Lin
4,149 supporters