You are reading

Ocasio-Cortez, Local Electeds to Discuss Public Schools at Town Hall Meeting in Jackson Heights Saturday

Congress Member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Attend Town Hall Meeting in Jackson Heights Saturday

March 11, 2019, By Meghan Sackman

A town hall meeting is planned to take place in Jackson Heights on Saturday that will provide the public with the ability to weigh in on the quality and needs of public schools with newly-elected officials such as Congress Member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The Jackson Heights People for Public Schools, a local education advocacy group, is hosting the event that aims to get a conversation going about issues such as the racial makeup of district schools, the amount of funding public schools receive and the curriculum taught at nearby schools.

The meeting, which will take place on March 16 at Fiesta Hall, located at 37-62 89th St., from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., will start off with a panel discussion followed by questions from the public. Panelists include Ocasio-Cortez, State Senator Jessica Ramos and Assembly Member Catalina Cruz.

The meeting will provide residents with the ability to ask questions and voice their concerns. Organizers hope that the elected officials will learn more about the current state of district schools, which will help them with their policymaking.

Nuala O’Doherty, the vice present of Community Education Council 30 and a JHPPS member, said the discussion will focus on topics of particular interest to the group.

These topics deal with issues such as the racial mix of students at local schools; the funding that neighborhood schools receive; and the curriculum, with the diverse backgrounds of the students in mind.

O’Doherty, who has three children currently enrolled at Jackson Heights public schools, said that many middle-income parents who move into the area are sending their kids to private schools, under the misconception that they are better, while the poorer children go to their zoned public schools, creating segregated learning communities.

“These families move to the neighborhood for diversity and then take their children out of the neighborhood to other schools, when the reality is that our schools are just as good,” O’Doherty said.

She said that there were several areas where the public schools need to improve. For instance, she said that the curriculum is often not reflective of the cultural and economic makeup of the students–often putting these kids at a disadvantage.

O’Doherty said that this is reflected in the questions asked in standardized tests. She said a recent question asked students to identify their feelings–such as excitement–associated with going through a car wash, an experience many low-income children have never had.

“Most of these kids’ families don’t have cars and have therefore never been through a carwash,” O’Doherty said. “Questions like these on tests disclude many students in the area.”

Other confirmed panel speakers include State Sen. John Liu; State Sen. Robert Jackson; Education Historians Diane Ravitch and Carol Burris; and Leonie Haimson, the executive director of public education advocacy group Class Size Matters.

Representatives from other organizations such as Alliance for Quality Education; NYS Association for Bilingual Education; NYC Opt Out; and Network for Public Education will be in attendance as well.

All Jackson Heights parents and residents are encouraged to attend the meeting.

Headsets, which will provide a translation of the meeting into different languages, will be available at the event.

RSVP to the town hall meeting here.

email the author: [email protected]


Barry Ward

“Most of these kids’ families don’t have cars and have therefore never been through a carwash,” O’Doherty said. “Questions like these on tests disclude many students in the area.”
Wow! “Disclude” is not in the dictionary, making her point even more ludicrous.

Car washes

Children not having a car so they don’t know what a car wash is. Is he kidding. This is New York City, most people don’t have a car. This is beyond ridiculous, it is ludicrous. This is what has become important. Fools electing fools. Children are not sensitive hot house plants, they won’t be permanently scarred by a question about car washes.

Time to learn

Time for her to start acting like a serious politician, instead of an instant celebrity. She’s inexperienced and somewhat immature, yet she has an opinion on practically everything. It appears that she spends most of her time either tweeting or responding to tweets, which is something that Trump does. I have hopes for her, but so far she seems to enjoy the media attention a little too much. She should learn from Hillary Clinton. When Clinton was elected senator, she worked hard, avoided the spotlight and became a good senator. It’s not about her, but about the people she represents.


You’re kidding me. Worked hard for US how? How much money did she raise ? She was a politician that became a millionaire how? She has opinions and passion because she actually cares . She doesn’t take money and she has been fighting for us. She might not be experienced but she is doing soemthing. Hillary was the status quo of let’s see I’m with her nonsense. Have you not seen her on C-SPAN ? Also she IS fighting for climate change. Last time I checked Jackson Heights is located on planet Earth. We are lucky to have someone like her. How many town Halls did Joe Crowley have ?


Politicians use improvement of public education as a campaign promise. Then do nothing. Guess where most politicians send their kids to school.


This person’s voice is the last one we need getting involved in our children’s education…. look at the swell job she did torpedoing Amazon 😳


Will this “Discussion” be in a dozen languages?
” …to continue in English, press 0ne”

stan chaz

If the diversity of Queens bothers you my friend, then I dare say that you live in the wrong borough, the wrong city. and -despite Trump– the wrong country – a country of proud immigrant ancestry that makes up the fabric of this diverse nation. Reaching out to our neighbors in their native language does not weaken or divide us. On the contrary it strengthens us and what we stand for, as exemplified by that welcoming Lady of the Harbor that still stands watch over our city.

more racism from Trumpeters?!

Imagine living in Queens, the most diverse area in the world, and being as afraid of diversity as the typical Trump voter…

JH resident

“She said a recent question asked students to identify their feelings–such as excitement–associated with going through a car wash, an experience many low-income children have never had.”

Wow…some of these people are oversensitive and they’re doing more harm than good for their children and the children that live in this community. Life isn’t fair, stop teaching children that life should cater to their specific circumstances.

How can anyone blame parents for sending their kids to private school in this area? The schools are overcrowded and don’t have enough funding. If the parents have the financial means to give their kids a better education, why are others getting upset about it?

Certain ethnic groups need to get over themselves; they’re jealous that other people can afford to give their children better opportunities.

“These families move to the neighborhood for diversity”…no one moves here for diversity, they move here because it’s far cheaper than Brooklyn, LIC, and Astoria and it’s more convenient to Manhattan than places like Forest Hills.


Then maybe they hould move somewhere else if they have your attitude. I grew up in Jackson Heights, My family lived her for 60 years. I went to PS 92, Ps 149 and IS 145 and the schools were desgregated because the families made a decision to make it work after the schools were paired in the early 1960s. I received a good education, the other students, many of whom I am STILL in touch with received a good education, we fed into the specialized schools. I went to Stuyvesant then college and I’m finishing my graduate degree thanks to more open minded parents who didn’t turn up their nose with ignorant remarks about people you know NOTHING about! And even LESS about history #stablegenius

JH resident


If you actually grew up here, you would realize 60 years ago and today are drastically different. I’ve been here for 10+ years and I can tell a difference in terms of overcrowding, which is causing the problems in the schools.

An overwhelming number of the adult population here does not have a strong grasp of English and that hurts their children. Education is not just at school, it’s supposed to start at home. The majority in this neighborhood are low income and working class (look outside the historic district bubble), so they aren’t in a position to help their kids excel. Honestly, I don’t think they care. They’re too busy working.

Lucky for you to be able to attend Stuyvesant, do you realize the mayor is trying to destroy that opportunity for many kids by forcing diversity initiatives that aren’t based on merit?

At what point is diversity causes more problems than solving?


People are being selected because of who they are and what they look like, not what they have achieved or experienced. Diversity also includes diversity of thought. Having a group of people who look different but think the same accomplishes nothing.
Get ready for an avalanche of thumbs down. Truth can be difficult.

Wow, I'm shocked ANOTHER Trump supporter has super-racist views!

it’s the illeguls and libruls to blame!


Add more after school programs and more teachers.
Get these kids off the streets.



Invest in the future, invest in the kids .
When these children grow up they will be taking care of us .


Two words :
Over Crowded !
talk about that and add
School safety
Over Crowded & School safety.
Four words total.

Food for thought

I hope they talk about the lead in the water and how the staff members flush the pipes the night before the inspection. And they should look at the food being feed to the children.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News