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Jackson Heights Parents Form Group to Tackle Public School Issues

By Katie Honan | January 7, 2014 4:53pm
 Parents interested in learning more about local public schools can attend a meeting on Thursday.
Parents interested in learning more about local public schools can attend a meeting on Thursday.
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JACKSON HEIGHTS — A group of parents and teachers have formed a public school advocacy group and are holding a meeting Thursday in the hopes of educating other parents on ways to improve schools.

Jackson Heights People for Public Schools was started in November by a group of parents and educators with the goal of educating each other on issues effecting their children, according to an organizer, Amanda Vender.

"We want to support our local public schools, and let people know about them and how good they are," she said.

While Jackson Heights has some of the most overcrowded schools in the city, Vender — who is both a public school teacher and parent — said the group would like to show the many positive attributes of her neighborhood's schools.

JHPPS would also like to explore larger education issues, including Common Core curriculum and "high-stakes" standardized tests, she said.

The group is holding a public meeting on Jan. 9 at an apartment building on 85th Street, where they'll discuss these tests, as well as explore the options to opt-out of them.

"A lot of us who have small children in elementary schools don't even know about the tests for early ed," she said.

They'll also discuss plans for an upcoming kindergarten forum, which will bring together parents of kids currently in kindergarten with those still weighing their options.

"Parents kind of go crazy over kindergarten," she said.

"We want to have a forum to encourage parents to at least consider local public schools as a great option. We want to help parents make an informed decision."

The public meeting will be held at an apartment building on 85th Street. For more information, visit their website and email peopleforpublicschools@gmail.com.