Board opposes U.S. education secretary nominee
N.Y. (Jan. 30, 2017) -- The City School
District of Albany Board of Education joined a growing national movement
against U.S. education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos on Jan. 30 with
a resolution opposing her
The resolution calls on the
U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to vote no
when it considers DeVos’ appointment Jan. 31.
Calling public education a
“fundamental civil right” in the United States, Board President Sue
Adler said the nation should not put its educational leadership “into
the hands of a person who not only lacks the qualifications to fill the
critical post for which she has been nominated, but who also has waged a
personal war against public education.”
The board and district also
reaffirmed a steadfast commitment to serving every student and family in
the Albany community.
board wants our community to know diversity and inclusion are core
values to our public-school system, and we will
stand up for all students and families,”
the resolution said.
Nearly 80 percent of the
district’s 9,600 students are students of color, and there are 57
languages spoken among the district’s student population.
About 13 percent of the
district’s students (nearly 1,300) are English-language learners. That
student population has nearly tripled over the past five years with the
large number of refugee families moving to Albany from Asia, the Middle
East and other parts of the world.
About three-quarters of the
district’s students also qualify for free and reduced-priced meals.
While the primary message of
the board resolution was to oppose DeVos’ nomination, the message also
served to reiterate that the board and district are proud to serve such
a richly diverse community. The district will continue to welcome all
students and families, said Interim Superintendent Kimberly Young
“The questions and challenges
confronting our nation today are serious and real,” Dr. Wilkins said.
“They cut to the very essence of how our country was founded and what we
stand for as a people. Our school district is honored to join the
thousands of communities across our nation and around the world who are
proud to defend basic human values for every single student and family
Dr. Wilkins offered several
suggestions for individuals who would like to help make a difference for
all students and families in Albany.
The mission of the City School District of
Albany is to educate and prepare all students for
college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our
diverse community. The district serves
more than 9,600
students in 17
elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood
schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as
well as other innovative academic opportunities for students,
including four themed academies at Albany High