Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Updated: Let the Sunset...

... On Mayoral Control

Assemblywoman Inez Barron, wife of City Councilman Charles Barron, agrees over at Gotham.

So does NYC teacher Sean Ahern

Will you have your mayoral control with or without fries? Rare, medium or well done?

Excuse me, but is there anything else on the Legislative agenda besides the renewal of mayoral control?

The purpose of such forums as the one below is to shore up the support for the next phase of mayoral control which is more public school closings and charter school openings. I think the panel below is framed by the Chancellor and those who have been granted a seat at his table. They are vested in the privatization of public education and their menu is sorely limited to making the most of what they have created. They are not inclined to self criticism because this might lead to questioning of the very premises of mayoral control which might threaten the extension of the law which expires in June.

What did Bloomberg and Klein know about running a school system in 2002? They needed the experts more than the experts needed them. Now it has dawned on some experts that Bloomberg and Klein and Gates and the Broad Foundation have their own plans for public schools quite apart from the Orwellian slogan of "Put Children First". Some have been shaken from their slumber by the growing discontent from below. Others have enlisted or been summoned in the makeover and rebranding of the law on mayoral control which sunsets in June.

Phase II of mayoral control, a final solution for public schools and teacher tenure is a entrepaneurial feeding frenzy about to be set loose upon NYC schools on a much larger scale than we have seen thus far.The orwellian sloganeering like "Put Children First" is being set aside for objective even handed assesments where experts can quibble over this or that data set. By the time this charade fades, the Legislature will renew the law and Bloomberg will have bought another term as Mayor.

Imagine a thousand Eva Moscowitz' and Geoffrey Canada's, funded by Gates and Broad chomping away at the public sector like so many like pac man free market clones. Every school a charter school run by a CEO beholden to the shareholders, held accountable by a value added system of test scores and graduation data. If you think this is about putting children first then fine, go to the forum, but if you think its a fraud, better organize your own forums and raise some hell with the Legistature to let this law sunset.

Part of the difficulty faced by some experts is that it is difficult to admit they were wrong in the first place to buy into mayoral control, so they have a vested interest in not bringing forth the most critical issues at stake. The reluctance to admit error blocks a change of course and you end up collaborating with the wrong people and inadvertently enabling a scam. Others are just wedded at the hip to the oligarchy.

Bloomberg and Klein can do little without the cooperation of leading academics, education administrators, the leadership of the UFT, education entrepaneurs, non profits, and politicians. What is amazing is how much the so called experts ceded to the oligarchy in exchange for so little in return.

Who at this panel will say to the professionals and academics in attendance that we are not merely hired hands for the oligarchy, we have knowledge and skills that can be put to good use and we don't need mayoral control, we don't need oligarchy to do it. Is there anyone who will propose a new method of governance based on collaboration with the growing movement of parents, community groups, school based educators and independent politicians? Let the academics, the school based educators and parents run the schools. Let the law sunset. Have a wake instead of a makeover for mayoral control.

Sean Ahern

Related: They can't even match the turnout of old school board elections, abolished in the mayoral control debacle.

From Leonie Haimson on the phony farce of parent involvement attempts by BloomKlein so they could claim they want parents involed during the upcoming dabete on whether to extend mayoral control.

The DOE failed to get the more than 5% participation they were looking for in the straw vote for CEC members – which they wanted so that it would exceed the turnout for the last Community School Board elections. Instead, they say they got 2.5%.

This despite an ad campaign, robocalls from Ed Koch, outreach by Councilmembers and borough presidents, and internet voting over three weeks– with the time period extended not once but two times.

Albany legislators set to pick up question of mayoral control of schools

BY Meredith Kolodner and Rachel Monahan

Tuesday, May 5th 2009, 4:00 AM

As soon as Albany lawmakers agree on an MTA bailout, legislators will tackle yet another hot topic - mayoral control of city schools.

It's the Albany equivalent of a final exam for Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein.

The 2002 law abolishing the Board of Education and giving the mayor power to appoint the chancellor will expire in June if legislators don't renew it.

While most favor some form of mayoral control, devilish details stand in the way.

"The mayoral-control debate has become the forum for parents to express their desire for more responsiveness to their individual needs," said Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City.

Her group supports renewing the law as it stands, as does the Bloomberg administration, but many parents and advocacy groups want to see changes.

Learn NY, a nonprofit set up to fight for mayoral control, wants "more notice and clearly defined opportunities for parent input," spokeswoman Julie Wood said.

The latest city Department of Education effort to involve parents, offering all parents the chance to vote for parent leaders, isn't working, parent critics said.

Only about 2.5% of 980,000 eligible votes were cast citywide. Less than 1% of votes were cast for Brooklyn high school delegates.

"The vote was meaningless," said Citywide Council on High Schools member David Bloomfield.

Education Department spokesman Will Havemann defended the election, saying, "The vote will be influenced by 25,000 voices that have never before been considered."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When the law sunsets will the DOE then be "out of mayoral control" or just "out of control?"