Interview with Dolores Torres
QUESTION 4
INTERVIEWER:

Describe the process of electing the governing board, how did it work? And what, just, talk, talk me through it.

DOLORES TORRES:

All right, we decided that there was too many schools to take over the complete district, we would have an experimental district of 8 schools. Two junior high schools, six elementary schools. And what we did was, we met PTA presidents, presidents of these schools. We found out the complaints of parents in that school, we found out how some PTAs were run by the principals. We found some PTAs were run by teachers. And we found out that a lot of, a lot of the PTAs were run by parents that weren't satisfied but felt as if their hands were tied. We asked them, would they like a better voice, more voice in the education, education of children in their neighborhood. They said "Yes." We had to find a way to do it. And we kept, we had meetings in each and every school, numerous meetings in each and every school. And we had put fliers out, explaining the situation, what was going on in the schools, what wasn't going on, whether there was learning going on, whether there wasn't, where we had principals that really were running a good ship, some weren't, and we wanted to get input from the parents. What was going on with their child? Was their child learning? Did they feel their child was on grade level? Did they feel that their child could leave a junior high school then and get into a good high school, say Dewey. Be prepared.

INTERVIEWER:

Stop for one second, stop down.



INTERVIEWER:

OK, so go ahead with this election process.

DOLORES TORRES:

OK, then as a result of that, we asked the parents from each school that belonged to the PTA to elect a person that they wanted to sit on this local school board, and they did. And they wanted a parent to represent each school, and then they wanted a couple of community representatives. Although I had children in the school, I was a community representative, because I worked during all of the different work with the problems we had in the community as did Father Powis. To be frank we did not want any politicians, on the school board, we did not want any teachers on the school board. But we were told, that these people have a right, to run, being they do work and live in the neighborhood, they do have a right, to have a seat on the local school board. All right, ah, there were teachers that we were willing to have on the school board, some we weren't. As a result, we got a politician, ah, now they're talking about they're shouldn't be any politicians on the school board. They made us have somebody like this on the school board, but that, it was mostly teachers, I mean mostly parents. And we held elections, because we had been meeting with people from other areas in New York.