What is the difference between March Madness and the quest for educational excellence and equity in our community? One is a series of games and the other is a critically important issue with long-lasting, sometimes life-or-death, consequences.
Each year in March, die-hard college-hoops fans spend dozens of hours glued to their television sets, following their favorite teams, closely monitoring tournament brackets, and debating with friends, family, and colleagues the strengths and weaknesses of each team and what this or that player or coach must do in order to win. The road to the NCAA Division 1 basketball championship is known as “March Madness.”
What if we, Uptowners who love hoops, were to invest even a small fraction of our time and passion for basketball (or for other sports, scandalous TV shows, etc.) in closely monitoring education issues in our community; analyzing strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities across our educational landscape; and devising and implementing strategies to make sure ALL Uptown children emerge victorious? With that type of collective commitment and investment, Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood would be champions!
Total Equity Now compiled this March 2014 calendar in hopes that you will participate in–and encourage or bring other Uptowners to participate in–one or more of this month’s Community Education Council and Community Board Education Committee meetings.
If we sincerely want our young people to achieve their goals and dreams and ultimately help our community reach its full potential, we must participate in the decision-making processes that shape our educational landscape. That’s our shared responsibility and our collective opportunity.
Believe it: whether you’re a parent, student, educator, or some other concerned community member, you have the power to strengthen and expand educational opportunities in our community.
General info about Community Education Councils: schools.nyc.gov/Offices/CEC.
General info about Community Boards: nyc.gov/html/cau/html/cb/about.shtml.
(P.S. Uptown CECs and CB Education Committees regularly make decisions that will shape our educational landscape for years to come, not to mention their ability to focus community, political, and media attention on important education issues. Our families, schools, community-based organizations, grassroots groups, faith-based institutions, community businesses, and other entities do and should play vital roles, too. No one individual, group, or institution can handle this alone. It takes a village.)