From: Dan Drmacich <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To:David Long,Sean Smith,Dave Atias,Eileen,Deb Hanmer and 79 more...
Sat, Apr 30 at 10:58 AM
Present: Howie Maffucci, Connie Flahive, Don Pryor, Joe Simson, Phyllis Moss, John Boutet, Don Bartalo, Cindy Butterworth, Dan Drmacich
Discussion & Decisions:
1. Dan reminded members that the RTA Teacher Center Workshops on Racial Equity & Justice, May 2-7, from 4:30-6:00 pm, by Zoom are open to all interested Rochester-area citizens. If interested email Yolanda Montalvo at email@example.com to register for any of the one-day sessions. See offerings below.
2. Dan shared that he had a productive discussion with RASE Commission Chairman, Bill Johnson, regarding the lack of progress with RASE Recommendation advancement. We agreed to the following actions:
A. Dan will draft letters to Mayor Malik Evans & County Executive Adam Bello, to urge them to give human resource, financial and individual advocacy for advancing the Recommendations.
B. Given that Urban League has organized meetings to advance the Recommendations, Dan will urge their groups to involve Coalition members & other interested individuals.
3. Bart reported on his observations of recent RCSD BoE meetings and his participation with the organizations for "Mobilization for Public Education." Key thoughts shared by Bart include:
A. Most of the BoE members do not demonstrate an understanding of the budget process.
B. The former RCSD CFO has been hired to bring a new understanding & clarity to the budget.
C. The Mobilization group, headed by Jalil Montiquim, has been meeting on Mondays from 6:30-8:00 pm, and has urged the BoE to include the following items in the budget:
- Adoption of the RASE Education Recommendations,
- The Culturally Responsive Education Framework (from the NYSED ?)
- The RCSD Code of Conduct
- Healthier student lunches
- Use of restorative justice principles & other solutions vs. suspensions in school & police presence,
The Mobilization group has been lobbying with BoE members in front of the RCSD Administrative Office Bldg. before their meetings & will continue to do so at 5:00 pm on the following dates: May 5th, 9th, 10th & 11th. Coalition members are urged to attend & meet with BoE members as they enter the Bldg. So far, the conversations have been productive. For more information, contact Bart at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Given our Coalition's advocacy for alternatives to high-stakes standardized testing and more meaningful alternatives, we approved exploring the possibility of organizing a county-wide conference on the issue, focusing on its impact on students & teachers & society, alternatives, opting out, research & current alternative effective models. Dan will initiate the process.
5. Don Pryor reported that the Great School for All recently had a productive meeting with several Monroe County Supts. for selecting the hiring of a facilitator to help the group make governmental, organizational & financial decisions.
6. We agreed to meet with Justin Murphy, to discuss his recommendations for racially desegregating & improving Monroe County & City Schools, articulated in his book: "Our Children are Very Greatly in Danger," on May 20th at 4:00 pm, by Zoom. We are all encouraged to purchase the book & minimally read the preface & last chapter recommendations before the meeting. Joe recommended that we agree on some questions to pose to Justin. We will also agree upon other special guests to invite.
7. Dan suggested that we consider advocating more publicly for teaching about Critical Race Theory in schools, vs. denying its reality, since it's constantly in the news. What's wrong with teaching students to think critically about the role of racism & its impact on society? We'll hopefully discuss this at an upcoming meeting.
8. We agreed to meet again on Friday, May 13th at 4:00 pm.