Saturdays 1:00-2:00pm

Hosted by: Leonie Haimson, Dan Alicea

Leonie Haimson
Leonie Haimson is the Executive Director of Class Size Matters, which the NY Times has called the“city’s leading proponent of smaller classes.” The organization is dedicated to providing information on the significant and wide-ranging benefits of smaller classes, particularly for at-risk children, to boost student learning, engagement, and graduation rates, and lower disciplinary referrals.

Leonie was a public school parent for 15 years. She received the John Dewey award from the United Federation of Teachers in 2007, was named one of NYC’s “family heroes” by NYC Family Magazine in 2009, and was honored as an “Extraordinary Advocate for our Children” by Advocates for Justice in 2012.

In 2014, she received the “Parent Voice” award from Parents Across America for her work on protecting student privacy and leading the success battle against inBloom, the Gates-funded student data collection company. In 2015, she was named one of the ten most influential people in education technology by Tech and Learning Magazine.

She co-founded and co-chairs the Parent Coalition for Student Privacy [PCSP], which has released two toolkits, one for parents and one for educators , on how to better protect student privacy. The Coalition has also been invited to testify before Congress twice in recent years on how federal student privacy law should be strengthened. Leonie also sits on the board of the Network for Public Education.

She has appeared on CNN,Fox News,MSNBC,Good Day NY,WNBC News,National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, Democracy Now,NY1,Bob Herbert’s Op-Ed.TV and numerous other television and radio shows. She has written for theNY Times,the Nation,Education Week,Washington Post,the Indypendent,SchoolBook,Huffington Post,Chalkbeat,In These Times,Gotham Gazette,City and State, and other publications. She blogs at the NYC Public School Parents.


aniel Alicea, is a special educator with 25 years of middle school teaching experience in Title 1 schools. He taught Social Studies and English Language Arts at a junior high school from 1997 to 2006 in the Laurelton-Springfield Gardens section of Queens. At I.S. 231, he was also the Spanish coordinator and technology coordinator.

In 2006, Daniel re-located to the Houston area where he taught in a middle school from 2006 to 2014. Missing home and serving his native city, he returned in 2014, and has since been teaching and advocating for the school community at MS 53, in Far Rockaway, Queens. There, he also serves as chair of the School Leadership Team and is the school’s UFT chapter delegate.

At MS 53, Daniel has successfully helped to thwart the closure of his school and limit charter school expansion within the schools’ shared colocation campus. He has storied, positive rapport with his students with disabilities and is a trusted relationship builder within the school community.

Daniel has championed efforts to increase family engagement, while actively collaborates with his school community to bring equity of voice, confronting racial inequity and promoting inclusion. He has, also, directed and produced various school Broadway Junior performances alongside MS 53’s talented students.

As a UFT delegate, he seeks to represent and balance the best interests of students, families and staff. In the 2020-21 school year, he proposed union motions and resolutions to try to help bring an end to unilateral mayor control of New York City schools, expand union democracy and prevent the privatization of Medicare for union retiree seniors.

Daniel is also a lead organizer within Educators of NYC – a newly formed community cohort of city educators. As a moderator for Educators of NYC, he has helped to facilitate monthly forum meetups bringing educators, advocates, activists, parents and union caucuses together to share ideas for instruction and spurring vital conversations around reimagining and democratizing our city schools and the teacher’s union.

Daniel, who grew up in the Bronx and Queens, is the son of Puerto Rican and Dominican immigrants, and is the proud father of three daughters and a son.

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