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Press Release: Public School Teachers Meet with Local Legislators to Discuss Working Together to Improve the New York City Education System

Public School Teachers Meet with Local Legislators to Discuss Working Together to Improve the New York City Education System
Teachers Network and Deputy Chancellor Carmen Fariña Host 3rd Annual Education Conference

New York, March 27, 2004 -- Teachers Network, a non-profit education organization, and Deputy Chancellor Carmen Fariña hosted a citywide education conference focused on student achievement and literacy on Saturday, March 27th at P.S. 261 in Brooklyn. Over 200 public school teachers, parents and community members attended the conference, which included a policy breakfast with legislators and roundtable discussions with local award-winning authors on literacy.

As an introduction to the day’s theme of “Our Lives as Readers and Writers,” Deputy Chancellor Fariña told teachers, parents and community members: “I spent 22 years as a teacher and not a moment was wasted. Today we must move forward with stability and do what is best for kids. We need to develop thinking, analytical, poised citizens of tomorrow. We must encourage students to think, write and read independently.”

The conference began with a policy breakfast where public school teachers within the Teachers Network Policy Institute met with state and local legislators to present research projects on issues such as parent involvement and standardized testing. The two parties discussed ways teachers could use their experience as educators to work with policymakers to improve public education.

“I know our children need as much help as possible, so we must push the agenda so every child has an opportunity to receive a quality education. If we don’t do it now, we can build more prisons and deal with the consequences later,” said Council Member Robert Jackson, one of the local policymakers that attended the policy breakfast.

Noted pop-up book artist Robert Sabuda delivered the keynote speech and cited teachers as being crucial to his success as author. During lunch, six award-winning children’s book authors, including Nicholasa Mohr and Paula Fox, conducted roundtable discussions with teachers and community members to discuss strategies for incorporating reading into classroom learning.

Participants also attended workshops throughout the day on topics such classroom internet use, intervention plans for struggling readers and new tea\cher resources. Deputy Chancellor Fariña led a literacy workshop on “How to Be a Leader of Literacy” to instruct educators on building reading skills within schools. New public school teachers who attended the conference will receive credit toward their required training as part of an effort between Teachers Network and the Department of Education to support new teachers in professional development through online training, courses and workshops.

About Teachers Network
Teachers Network is a non-profit education organization that has been working almost 25 years to support and connect innovative teachers through grants and networking opportunities in the areas of curriculum, leadership, policy and new media. Teachers Network’s mission is to provide teachers with the knowledge and skills to become leaders in their classrooms and schools, thereby improving student learning and achievement. Headquartered in New York City, Teachers Network is a community of educators linked nationwide by 25 affiliated organizations including foundations, public school systems, and several state education departments.


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