Interview with Sandra Feldman
QUESTION 3
INTERVIEWER:

The notion of parents having a major say in how the schools were run was something that was very new. How did teachers react to that?

SANDRA FELDMAN:

Well, you know, it wasn't new. It's not new in middle class communities. And when, and we weren't talking about, ah, parents making the decisions that should be left to professionals. We weren't talking about parents writing the curriculum or, ah, deciding on the methodology that teachers would use to teach. We were talking on, about parents having a voice in the, in the general policy making areas of the way schools were run which ultimately did happen with decentralization and the community school boards, ah, and that's what happens in every middle class school district in the United States.

INTERVIEWER:

OK--

SANDRA FELDMAN:

And it wasn't happening around, ah, the city of New York because you had this huge school system that was totally centralized, that was basically run out of 110 Livingston Street. And there was no opportunity for voice, either for teachers or for parents. And remember, that was the period of time when everybody was struggling for voice, teachers as well as parents. The union was brand new. And, ah, there was a need to get the school system to be more responsive at the local level and to try to, ah, create a situation where people would pull together for the sake of the kids.