Central Park East I: Principal Removed! Hurrah!

Below is a piece I wrote shortly after Monica Garg was removed as principal.  More recent developments are looking like this may be a Pyrrhic victory, more to follow….


Dear Friends and colleagues,

I got some encouraging news a couple of days ago that I thought I’d pass on. The Department of Education in New York City has decided to seek a new principal for Central Park East I. As many of you know the school has spent almost two years in a state of crisis as a new principal sought to “”change it.” She believed that progressive education was not suitable for Black, Latino and low-income children. She had other faults that were of a more personal nature. Of course, even with her departure we still keep rebuilding the school. We will keep our fingers crossed and the pressure on to replace her with someone who shares more of our original beliefs and intentions. Rebuilding a school will not be easy and in many ways it requires starting all over again since one cannot replicate but must always invent. For me this is worth celebrating because it represents the power of a community to come together, persevere and eventually be heard.  Of course it should not be so hard to get this kind of change in a public school that belongs to its teachers and families and children. The job ahead of them will not be easy but its friends will hopefully be there to help.

8 Responses

  1. Sounds like a very exciting time ahead for Central Park East I and the community!

  2. Vert glad to hear that this wll likely be a change for the better!!!

  3. This is wonderful news. I remember visiting the school when Deborah Meier was the leader. The impressive young people I met belied any idea that progressive education is not for “these” children.

  4. Deb, it certainly shows what the power of a well organized and unrelenting group of parents and allies can do. But it should not take this. The fact that 2 teachers were 100% cleared of all charges is further evidence of the harassment of this abusive principal. We live in such divisive times. Lets hope a new leader comes in to restore and heal the incredible community that CPE1 was, is and needs to continue to be. Children deseeve that.

  5. Congratulations to you and your colleagues. I just wish NYC and other districts would be more open to the “teacher led” schools approach in which educators – with parents in a school, can make key decisions including the decision about leadership for their school.

  6. Great work. It’s horrible that it took two years, but hopefully positive change is coming. Anyone know what actually pushed the change in the end? Have you foiled any records such as emails?

  7. So sorry to have missed what must have been a wonderful reunion. I do love seeing the wonderful photos and families of former students on Facebook. Best regards and congratulations to all!

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