Monday, June 29, 2009

Tweakers Take a Hit: Time Out From Testing Pulls Out of Parent Commission

My guess is that both ICE and GEM would line up with many of the points made by TOFT. My sentiment is to tweak the pre-mayoral control system of community school boards to make it work more effectively. "Horrors, horrors," people say when I utter these words as they hold up a cross. And all those people rioting in the streets over the prospect of a Soviet system without Bloomberg in charge.

I predict that over the next Bloomberg term of office, as phony grad rates rise and almost all of these students entering college require remediation, the debate on mayoral control will shift to "how soon can we drive a stake through its heart?"

Graphic by David Bellel. See Gary Babab satire. From Gary Babad at the nyc public school parents blog

The TOFT statement:
We are sad to report that the steering committee has decided that TOFT can no longer participate in the Parent Commission on NYC Governance (PC). We worked for a year in this coalition to come up with a proposal and then legislation to end mayoral control. We were looking to replace the current Panel on Education Policy with a Board where the Mayor does not control all decisions. The PC bill had many elements to it.

At this point, members of the PC are more interested in seeing mayoral control with minor changes because they are pushing for items like a funded Independent Parent Organization and a constitution commission, but not fixing the major problem – public school education ruled over by an autocratic mayor who claims incredible improvements when all outside evidence indicates the total opposite.

We cannot be part of this. Unless the Mayor's power over our schools and kids' lives changes, and unless we, stakeholders, are at the table, nothing will really change.

Therefore, we hope you will continue to swamp Senator Sampson's office with faxes and phone calls and tell him we want a Board of Education which is a true partnership, not a dictatorship.

Senator Sampson’s Phone (Albany): 518-455-2788
Senator Sampson’s Fax (Albany) 518-426-6806

The Board of Education or PEP must drastically change.
The Mayor can not have the majority of the appointments and votes.

Thanks so much and we will keep you posted,

Jane and Don

Some people might say, "What a shame. Bloomberg's divide and conquer strategy." I take the opposite position. This debate is crucial over the long term. Seven years ago it seemed Ed Notes stood alone opposing mayoral control. Then ICE made the UFT's support for it a major plank in our platforms in 2004 and 2007. People like Diane Ravitch and Sol Stern have made major shifts in their position. All this takes time. I know, a generation of children and all that. But until the ravages of one person rule are experienced, the idea will be out there for people to try. We need four years of Arne Duncan and another four of Bloomberg to turn the worm. The vampire has to take a lot of victims before a mob gets out the stake.

1 comment:

Loretta said...

I totally agree. The changes they are settling for will do nothing of worth for kids or teaching. It is disappointing that after such a long hard struggle, they are settling for nothing. I have been writing my own emails asking for a majority of members of a central board be non-mayoral appointees and that they select an chancellor who is an educator. If we don't have that-we have don't have anything. I have also sent information on how the scores are cooked up. They have been hiding behind the claim that mayoral control is working. We cannot allow them that cover. Let it sunset and pick it up once the senate is back to normal dysfunction.