Pro-accelerated learning candidates sweep key election in NYC


Candidates who back programs like Gifted and Talented grabbed eight of nine seats on a politically contentious parent advisory board in Manhattan, according to Department of Education data.

The overwhelming victory tips Manhattan’s Community Education Council 2 — which oversees the city’s top academic district — in favor of accelerated learning options.

“These elections make it extraordinarily clear that parents value rigorous education and they want parent leaders who will stand up for them and their children,” said Maud Maron, a former CEC 2 member and current City Council candidate.

The DOE posted CEC voting results for all 32 city school districts late Tuesday night before later removing them.

The agency said the results were presented prematurely and would be officially released on Thursday.

All but one of winning candidates in CEC 2 — which spans Tribeca, Chinatown and the Upper East Side – were endorsed by Parent Leaders for Accelerated Curriculum and Education, or PLACE.

Maud Maron, a former Community Education Council 2 member, claims parents overwhelmingly support accelerated learning options.
Maud Maron, a former Community Education Council 2 member, claims parents overwhelmingly support accelerated learning options.
Maud Maron for City Council

Incumbent Ben Morden, who was one of the PLACE-backed candidates, received the highest number of votes, with 824 tallies.

Some activists noted a marked increase in the number of Asian parents who won seats on parent boards throughout the city.

Four Asian parents secured spots on CEC 2 alone — Chien Kwok, Kaushik Das, Li Hua Wu and Lim Fong Sim.

“There has been an awakening in Asian communities,” said PLACE co-president Yiatin Chu. “These parents are much more engaged now after Mayor de Blasio pushed to end the [specialized high school admission test]. They found out what CECs are and what role they play with our public schools.”

PLACE also noted that the top vote-getter in Brooklyn’s highly scrutinized District 15, Vincent Lu, also had an endorsement from the advocacy group.

PLACE co-president Yiatin Chu lauds parents for getting more involved in Community Education Councils.
PLACE co-president Yiatin Chu lauds parents for getting more involved in Community Education Councils.
William C. Lopez

Supporters of admissions changes point to the meager number of African-American and Hispanic kids at some of the city’s most coveted schools.

Current screening methods, they argue, benefit families of superior means and unfairly elbow out talented Black and Latino applicants.

Opponents counter that many of those who win spots at competitive city schools are low-income immigrants — and that the DOE should dedicate more attention to improving low-performing middle schools.



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