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This film is about community control of the deoentralised school boards of New York City. The interest focuses on a District community school board meeting on the Lower East Side. This is an area o...f multiple deprivation and is populated by a variety of ethnic groups: black, Puerto Rican, Chinese and white. The pressures which affect decisions about the appointment of principals, teachers, paraprofessionals, teacher aides and the curriculum, are examined through the agenda of the meeting and through a series of interviews. The community school board's actions are placed in a city-wide educational and political context, with statements by Albert Shanker, President of the United Federation of Teachers, and Isaiah Robinson, a member of the interim Central Board of Education. The film also shows the preparation for an election, strongly contested, for a new community school board.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: E351, Urban education
Item code: E351; 10
First transmission date: 21-09-1974
Published: 1974
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:31
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Producer: David Seligman
Contributors: Peter Raggatt; Isaiah Robertson
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Al Shankar; Betty Machol; City-wide context; Community control; Decentralised school boards; Decision-making; Deprived area; Lower East Side; Luis Fuentes; Lyle Brown; New York City; Rev. Snyder; School board elections; Shirley Niebank
Footage description: Election candidates for the Community School Board, District I, New York, making speeches, cut to scenes from a Board meeting, with Schools Superintendent Luis Fuentes making his report. Exterior of Community School Office Peter Raggatt provides voice over commentary throughout the programme. Isaiah Robertson, member of the city, interim Board of Education and Lyle Brown, Vice.Chairman of the Community School Board, speak on decentralisation and standards. Shots of Board of Education Offices, election poster, tower blocks. Shirley Niebank, chairman of Parents Assocation for School 61, on community. Two District 1 teachers speak anonymously on the increasing influence of community control by which they feel threatened, shots from tower block view over water to skyscrapers in distance. Shots of United Federation ofTeachers Building. Union president Al Shankar explains the threats he sees in community control. Community Board meeting elects Mrs. Betty Machol as principal of school 61. Shots of school exterior. Mrs. Machol explains the new system of appointing principals. Dissenting Board member the Rev. Snyder points out the inadequacies. Lower East Side street scenes. Spanish posters. Raggatt explains that in the context generally below average achievement levels in the schools, teacher evaluation becomes a controversial issue. Fuentes and Mrs. Machol defend parental evaluation; Shankar and an anonymous teacher deplore it. Para-professional classroom aides are also appointed by parents. Classroom scenes. Mrs. Machol comments. Lyle Brown explains qualifications sought in para-professionals. Shots of Board meeting in uproar over a young man attempting to give an election address. Brown explains the difficulty in registering votes in the area. Candidates for election give addresses for a community meeting. Raggatt sums up, giving the result of the election.
Master spool number: 6HT/71326
Production number: 00525_6068
Videofinder number: 3973
Available to public: no