Power of Ten Update
In This Issue:
1. School Board Loses in Court Again!
2. Your Signature Needed: New Oversight Letter to NYSED
3. Ballots Are Arriving
4. Write-in Linda Valentine in Ward 4
1) School Board Loses in Court Again!
Once again, a court of law has found that the East Ramapo school board majority has acted in bad faith, enacting policies that favor the private-school community at the cost of harming the quality of education for public school students.
Read all about it in The Journal News: Appeals court back backs NAACP in East Ramapo voting rights challenge
2) Your Signature Needed: New Oversight Letter to NYSED
We first wrote to the State Education Department (NYSED) asking them to intervene in East Ramapo back in 2009. We cited “a pattern of racial segregation in school attendance and race-based neglect of educational opportunities” that “violates the democratic principle of governance with the consent of the governed.”
Through all of the many dozens of findings by courts, monitors, state and federal agencies, the board has never wavered from its racially biased policies. Children who entered Kindergarten in the 2008-9 school year will have spent their entire educational experience under this system of 21st Century Jim Crow. Far too many exit with crushed hopes and no diploma. All this while, the State Education Department has stood by, writing reports and wringing their hands. We now have a new message for NYSED, and for our elected officials: We are sick and tired of being sick and tired. No more reports. No more “monitoring”. It’s time to act.
NAACP Spring Valley Chapter, in partnership with the NYCLU, has written a letter to the Commissioner of Education, asking for a meeting to discuss more direct involvement. Our elected representatives in Albany are copied.
They would like YOU to sign on to this letter!
Please act swiftly, sign, and share.
3) Ballots Are Arriving
Many voters have gotten their ballots already. It’s very important that you follow the directions included with the ballot carefully.
If you are in Wards 1,2,3 or 9, you will see the name of one of our East Ramapo Together candidates.
Please visit https://eastramapotogether.wordpress.com/ for all the details.
4) Write-in Linda Valentine in Ward 4
Many readers have written in asking if there are not any other choices in their wards. Those in Ward 4 (Chestnut Ridge area) now have an alternative:
To my community of Chestnut Ridge and Ward 4. My name is Linda Valentine and I am a candidate for the East Ramapo Central School District Board.
I have been a resident of Chestnut Ridge for 25 years and I have taught in schools districts in New York City so I understand the value of public education for all student. My Master’s Degree in Social Work provides me with the knowledge needed to apply compassion to the challenges students and family face particularly during this pandemic. I have worked in the court system and in law enforcement and have seen firsthand the tragic results of policies that inhabit learning and the results.
But most important, I am the mother of four children who grew up in Chestnut Ridge. My two youngest attended the East Ramapo school district and I am the proud grandmother with six grandchildren of which two attended Summit and Kakiat.
I am a 36 year member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority whose mission includes an educational focus and service to mankind. Also as a member of the Order of the Eastern Stars here in Rockland, I have a heart for community service. My church is St. Paul’s AME Zion in Spring Valley.
My personal story, I was in a serious accident five years ago where I was paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors said I would never walk again however my faith in God, my husband Grant Valentine, my children and friends, I am walking again. So I understand the struggles students have who are underserved, denied resources and the feeling of neglect by institutions. I want the students to know there is a voice on the East Ramapo school board who will speak for them. For the parents in East Ramapo, know I will do whatever I can for our students and I am part of the community you can believe in.
It does not matter your race, religion or zip code every student has a right to achieve their potential with a solid public education.
There is no shortage of solutions just a shortage of courage and my plan is as follows:
- To ensure the East Ramapo students are prepared for the digital economy with the understanding of technology and the tool for success
- Increase academic growth for students who come from non-traditional families
- To Focus on restorative justice to reduce out of classroom time
- To track special education students into inclusion opportunities in all grades and
Continually assess equity gaps and goals.
I will need your help as a write-in candidate so please: LINDA VALENTINE