Tuesday, June 30, 2009

On the Eve of a Glorious Sunset...

Update from Albany and the Parent Commission

If you've been following some of the debates by parents on mayoral control (Debating the Parent Commission Position on Mayoral Control, Tweakers Take a Hit: Time Out From Testing Pulls Out of Parent Commission) the discussion continues:

This report came across on the NYCEdNews listserve last night:

It's looking like we may have something to celebrate tomorrow afternoon. It's looking likely, but it's not certain, that mayoral control will temporarily sunset tomorrow. It seems unlikely that the Senate will rubber stamp the Silver/Padavan bill. If a temporary extension of the current school governance law is approved by the Senate, the Assembly would need to be called back to vote that extension for it to become law. In the interim of a day or two, the sunset would be in place.

A short extension of the current law to provide the time for that full debate would be better than rubber stamping a bad bill and reauthorizing dictatorial control of the sch

One person responded:
I think even a short extension of the bill is a dangerous move. We cannot count on the legislature to do right-when they function they are dysfunctional. The passing of the Silver bill should teach us a lesson. The reason why we are even on this deadline has just as much to do with their power politics as work that we have done. If it weren't for their stalemate, I fear we would have a law that would give the mayor a majority of votes on the board and have him select the chancellor which is totally unacceptable if we want any mechanism for change. We cannot underestimate the money of the Mayor or the long hand of the Obama/Duncan belief in Mayoral control and to charterize and privitize.

I would warn about over confidence, but some people are planning a celebration of the end of mayoral control:

Teachers, Principals, Guidance Counselors, paraprofessionals, secretaries, parents, families and community members will be gathering to celebrate the end of Bloomberg and Klein’s control of the New York City Schools beginning at 4:30 P.M. Tuesday June 30, 2009 in the park on the east side of 52 Chambers Street in Manhattan. At the stroke of midnight, June 30, we will serve eviction papers on Joel Klein to remove himself and his cronies from 52 Chambers Street, The “Boss Tweed Courthouse” immediately. For more information of this celebration, call Nicola DeMarco at 917-374-5220 or 718-884-2069 or email at nickdmarco@hotmail.com

The proposed celebration elicited this response from the DOE's public relations chief David Cantor:
I can see someone disliking the mayor, the chancellor, objecting to the way they run the schools, working to protest and change system. This is just tribalism. David Cantor

Tricia responded

Call it whatever you like, without change to the system, New York's middle class families and the communities they support don't stand a chance under this regime. Between rampant overcrowding, refusal to build schools on the neighborhood level, teaching to the test, and a very public show of disdain and dismissive behavior towards their taxbase, well I can't really think of anything that's serving the needs of my "tribe" for one.

Tribalism? What a strange choice of words? Would you mind defining your term? My dictionary says the most likely meaning "strong loyalty to the group," which I have no problem with. Or did you mean to deem us a bunch of tribal savages? In either case, the group identify has been forged in opposition to the attacks perpetrated upon our families and professions, so it makes perfect sense. Haven't you realized yet what you've accomplished?
And the clubby alliance with Jack Welch, McKinsey, Broad, Gates, the Manhattan Institute, Alvarez & Marsal, IBM, Snapple, Edison, the testing companies, the accounting companies, Zuckerman, Murdoch, et. al, which could not care less what parents, teachers etc. on the ground said or thought, that's not tribalism?

From a member of the "tribe", Hear Hear! David, perhaps if your bosses bothered to engage in some adult dialogue with stakeholders in the system, instead of throwing tantrums and threatening Soviet takeovers and riots in the streets, things would have been different. Alas, we have a Mayor who reveals himself to be nothing but a spoiled brat who thinks his billions entitle him to get whatever he wants. Maybe some comeuppance will help him mature a bit, but I'm not holding my breath.

And my 2 cents:
Funny you use the term tribalism David. A recent email from Randi used the term "lord of the Flies" in referring to someone who dared call out during her farewell address. You guys have to stop meeting like this. If it is tribalism it is due to the climate you guys created by empowering and supporting so many awful principals . Need I say Rohloff or Reidy and why not check out lehman where so many teachers are deserting a sinking ship? But you guys will turn the other way when an entire math dept at Bronx high school of sci is wiped out. Maybe you didn't notice at yesterday's demo at ps 57 the young teachers who joined in and were so vocal, with some tfa alum. The hostility of so many members of the NY teaching staff has never been at a higher pitch. Keep tossing those spears. People are starting to catch them and throw them back.


Anonymous said...

And it was beyond chaos when schools had to pick an SSO from a baffling array of "vendors." Our market economy at work! As a member of the SLT I went to the "fairs" and tried to help make sense of the choices. It felt like a bunch of snake oil salesmen trying to sell us elixir. Which made no sense because, before that, we had had a smart, savvy, experienced group of educators in D2 supporting us, with whom our principal and teachers had established relationships. Our principal and all others had the rug pulled right from under them.

Anonymous said...

I was also thinking that chaos is a pretty good description of what happened when the bus routes were changed.

catt55 said...

hear, hear Norm! I'll go "tribal" anytime, anywhere if it makes the point! Bring it on!!

Anonymous said...

Why are Leonie and Jane Hirschman attacking each other? This is like left wing sects killing each other in the name of fighting capitalism.

ed notes online said...

I wouldn't characterize it as attacking each other. There is legitimate disagreement. Some people say keep it under the rug.
Ed Notes is open source. Put the ideas on the table. The powers that be do what they do regardless.