Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Broke Everything and Fixed Nothing...

...This comment about the BloomKlein tenure over the NYC school system came from Lisa Donlan, parent activist from the lower east side in Manhattan and a proponent of local community control as an alternative to mayoral control.

It is so totally true and is so ignored by BloomKlein adherents - the amazing level of incompetence, covered up by mucho PR. One thing we would have expected from the Bloomie technocrats, would at least be doing things with some level of efficiency, no matter how hare-brained the scheme.

We all know that there was a lot that needed to be changed. But instead of picking and choosing and doing it rigth, the broke it all. And they not only fixed nothing, they broke it worse.

Lisa wrote this on the NYC ed news listserve after reading about the Tisch family attempt to start the ball rolling towards a 3rd Bloomberg term in office:

I tell you- it sure makes one nostalgic for the old local school boards and all those opportuniites for local corruption, cronyism and nepotism.

In its place we have citywide, wholseale corruption and cronyism in the form of $300 million in no-bid contracts; top DoE officials with major equity holdings in for-profit vendors; legions of retired superintendents/administrators double dipping while in the employ of the market-driven SSO's and other DoE partnerships; networks of enlightened scions holding the purse strings to many facets of our parapublic education system; and untold backroom deals of the strangest of powerful bedfellows cutting up pieces of a growing pie.

As the French say- the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Give me local control and its small scale flaws that can be addressed in face-to-face community confrontations, over system wide policy-by-press release, kick-the-anthill-to-see-what-crawls-out management of a million students in 1400 plus schools, and sophisticated spin in place of transparency and accountability.

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