Today’s news:

Dandridge reelected as CEC president - Urges new law increasing parental involvement in city’s education system

The president is still in charge.

The president of District 18’s Community Education Council (CEC), that is.

James Dandridge was re-elected as the leader for the CEC, which is a volunteer parents group advocating for schools in Canarsie and East Flatbush.

“I’m very appreciative. I feel it’s an honor and a privilege that the members have that much confidence in me to continue our quest to improve the education of our children because we still have a lot of work to do,” Dandridge told this paper.

While many councils have had a revolving door for presidents, Dandridge has been president of District 18’s CEC since it replaced the local school board in 2004.

“We’ve had turnover. We’ve lost some key members with graduation of some children out of the district,” Dandridge explained. “For the new members that have come on board, I feel that it’s an honor that they re-elected me.”

When school resumes in September, Dandridge expects the council to focus on mayoral control. That’s because the law will sunset in 2009 and the state legislature can either renew the law or create a new set of rules.

Dandridge said the CEC will encourage local elected officials to create a law allowing for increased parental involvement, which many parents say has been lacking under the current system.

“We have some ideas and concepts on how this system can work better for the children and the community,” Dandridge said. “We’re going to put that on our community leaders because they’re the ones that are going to make the decision on what is going to happen to mayoral control.”

“The whole concept of how the Department of Education handles its business needs to change,” he continued. “I think [politicians] need to make some hard-core decisions about making change to the system to really include parental involvement.”

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