New Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s visit to the Borough’s Parents Advisory Board meeting on Tuesday night offered an interesting glimpse into what the schools’ head believes needs to be done to aid efforts to improve education, not just in Queens, but City-wide.
We just hope that the new administration can make the necessary changes before it is too late for our current students to benefit from them.
Fariña stated that she was on-hand at the meeting – her first advisory board meeting since becoming chancellor – to listen to parents and to get a feel for what parts of the school system needed improvement. But she also detailed some changes she was hoping to enact, including earlier foreign language classes, more ESL and arts classes and a look into all proposed co-location sites in the City.
One of the biggest challenges the school system faces right now is the issue of overcrowded schools and students being shuffled off to trailers to learn because there is no room for them. The lack of classroom space is no doubt hurting the chances for a quality education for thousands of students. Without the proper venue for a classroom, teachers struggle to reach students and students are often unable to process information given to them.
The Dept. of Education needs to create a plan immediately to address overcrowding in the schools. We understand that, as Fariña told the advisory board earlier this week, this is not something that can be fixed overnight. But without a plan in place now, it cannot be fixed at all.
Yes, Fariña is still in her first six months as head of the schools in the City. But if she does not begin to act toward overcrowding soon, it will be to the detriment of thousands of our students. Their futures are not something that should be trifled with.