With Cathie Black’s departure, the public’s focus will remain on the drama at the highest levels of the public education food chain. Unfortunately, if you pay attention to how the mainstream press covers the New York City education beat, there is one central player in this drama who is consistently ignored: The student. It’s enough to conclude that either it doesn’t matter what students think, or, worse yet, that students don’t think much at all.
Enter Elliot Vazquez, a junior at Samuel Gompers High School, which, like Central Brooklyn’s our own Boys and Girls High School, is a struggling school. In a Brooklyn Movement Center exclusive written by the MC’s journalist-in-residence, Patrick Wall, we put a mic in the hand of a student, someone representing the one constituency that has more at stake in the debate around education than any of us.
Read this poignant interview and bear witness to a smart, engaged and politically conscience soul who can drop more science on the realities of today’s public school system than any research study or television pundit. Most importantly, Elliot refuses to be a victim of failed policies, all of which were in place long before Cathie Black dropped on the scene, and which will be there long after she’s gone. Elliot is the kind of public education leader we need to pay more attention to, someone who is organizing his fellow students and serving as a role player for change in his school and beyond.