Re: Petition to postpone the opening of the Khalil Gibran International Academy (“KGIA”) until the City of New York Department of Education provides a full disclosure of the facts
Dear Chancellor Klein and Commissioner Mills:
We are writing once again on behalf of our clients, a coalition of concerned citizens, including among others, parents, residents and teachers of New York City, to petition the City of New York Department of Education (“NYDOE”) and/or the State of New York Education Department (“NYSED”) to postpone the opening of the Khalil Gibran International Academy (“KGIA”) until such time as the NYDOE provides a full disclosure of the facts to explain the confusion, ineptitude, secrecy and apparent deception surrounding the formation of the school, its principal promoters and administrators, and its agenda.
Urgency of the Petition:
The urgency of this petition is highlighted by the fact that the designated “principal”, organizer, and driving force behind KGIA, Dhabah “Debbie” Almontaser, tendered her resignation under a storm of protests this past Friday, August 10. Her resignation was accepted the same day and announced to the public by Mayor Michael Bloomberg on his weekly radio program….
The result of Ms. Almontaser’s resignation is that a public school she designed and developed effectively without any public input, review or scrutiny, is set to open in three weeks lacking proper leadership and oversight. State law mandates that certain standards be adhered to in our public and private schools. Given the public record available today, it appears that these standards have been either ignored by Ms. Almontaser and the NYDOE or simply violated.
After four separate Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”) requests made by members of our client group or by the undersigned on behalf of our clients over the past few months, the NYDOE has refused to respond in any meaningful way. Given Ms. Almontaser’s resignation and the events and public statements surrounding that resignation, together with the NYDOE’s refusal to allow any public scrutiny of the curricula, teaching plans, hiring practices, and agenda of the school, city and state education officials are on notice that failure to postpone the opening of KGIA until a full and fair accounting can be made by disinterested professionals and the public is tantamount to a reckless disregard of the public trust imposed by statute and regulation.
Read the whole petition here…
August 12, 2007 Petition to postpone the opening of the Khalil Gibran International Academy (“KGIA”)