Parents, public missing from Roslyn Board of Education meetings

Parents, public missing from Roslyn Board of Education meetings
Amin Daneshmandnia

The quintessential purpose and structure of the school board are deeply embedded in the American public school system. Long Island is no exception, considering our reputation for the Ivy League acceptance rate of students.

However, this year marks a drastic shift of college acceptances from Long Island, to being more distributed elsewhere. It is imperative to keep in mind that Long Island is known for its high rankings.

For example, at one point the Wall Street Journal placed Roslyn as sixth in the entire nation. Others on Long Island too have an amazing reputation with rankings.

Indeed, Roslyn does garner a magnificent reputation, considering the research program, AP scores, and even admissions to other reputable universities. However, one concern still lingers throughout Long Island:  the public’s minimal attendance at school board meetings.

The Roslyn Board of Education schedules meetings twice a month, where the public is supposed to attend to engage with the school administered. Supposed is a strong word, considering public turnout is rare and minimal compared to other school boards.

I recently attended one, as I was the only member of the public. It is important to keep in mind that in this specific case, Roslyn, as well as other districts, has a growing Hispanic population.

Unfortunately, this can allow for language barriers, which in turn can cause discouragement.

As a community, we should make it our duty to participate in our children’s education, even if it means attending a two-hour meeting twice a month. Perhaps, one source of motivation could be the tax rate that many long islanders are familiar with.

Furthermore, each meeting should feature a vast array of the public, with diverse opinions to provide insight to board members from many angles.

Rarely, this may lead to tensions boiling over such as the fiasco that occurred at Syosset weeks earlier.

Despite that, I’m confident that our amazing community with dedicated board members can overlook social issues and foreign policy, and instead work on having adequate dialogue.

If we look at it from a psychological point of view, a large public attendance would give board members confidence that their electorate is actively engaged with the legislation the board makes.

In turn, the electorate(public), would have immersed confidence that their concerns are being properly addressed by the candidates they have elected and entrusted. A foundation of trust enhances a simulation, that thrives on public engagement and involvement.

It also may force board members to develop articulate arguments and opinions, and thus they would stop voting mostly unanimously.

I am optimistic that despite these lowered college acceptance rates Long Island is facing, we can turn it around as a community by properly setting our foot in our children’s education.

Amin Daneshmandnia is a student at Roslyn High School.


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