- I favor mayoral control.... – perhaps a broad-based screening panel, an appointed school board serving fixed terms. [TWEAKS]
- Geographic school boards did create a sense of community, unfortunately, too many were dominated by local politics and too many superintendents were mediocre at best....
- Whether we call them districts or networks, whether they are geographically contiguous or theme/affinity based the goal must be to build professional learning communities (PLC)...
- Is it mayoral control or the specific mayor and the chancellor/superintendent?....
- In the era of Citizens United, elected school board candidates can raise unlimited dollars and partisans of vouchers or easing the firing of teachers and principals or the privatization of education could win elections. Mayoral control ties mayors to education – both the successes and the failures.... Peter Goodman (Ed in the Apple).
On his blog Goodman lays out the rationale the UFT will use in its refusal to join with others in calling for an end to mayoral control. Basically, as you read through the lines he in essence supports the Joel Klein type of reforms -- his main criticism is that Klein chose the wrong people.
It's not mayoral control but the mayor. Just because at least 32 out of the last 36 years we had mayors who trashed us should not be a factor. We want to hand all the power to one person instead of actually having people with a real stake in the system -- parents and teachers -- have any real power.
But then again why expect anything different from a shill who was an active supporter of the authoritarian top-down structure of the UFT? I was a witness for many years when Goodman was a District Rep -- an elected district rep -- I'll give him that. (I haven't heard him call for the election of district reps since Randi abolished them a decade ago.)
Elected school boards? The rich will buy them anyway. While he's not wrong here the idea of neighborhood school board elections here in NYC would give anyone who wanted to buy all of them a tough proposition. But he trashes that idea too. I will maintain that with all their corruption and crap local elections was still a better system than exists today under the mayor -- and it was a system that was being repaired and could have been reformed. (And Goodman as the UFT rep in district 22 flourished in that system.)
Goodman's blog makes it clear the UFT will never support such a system again, much preferring even a Bloomberg. I will say one thing: they have been consistent over the past 45 years in opposing any vestige of local control, even though they helped create the semi-coma like system following the '68 strike. But they never felt comfortable in that role, much preferring to deal with one person, even if it Bloomberg because they can always claim to be waiting whatever ogre is in power out, knowing full well the Unity shills will trumpet the waiting game as the perfect game plan.
Goodman essentially justifies the basic UFT/AFT support for much of the underpinnings of the ed deform movement, one of the major assaults being disassociating neighborhoods from the local schools and teachers, opening the way for them to be closed, privatized and replaced by charters.
In the world of Goodman: Neighborhood schools and support networks? Nah, not so important. Geography be damned. Let's have networks where people are scattered all over the place.
Oh, charters? Goodman supported the opening and co-location of 2 UFT charters inside public schools, with his son being placed in charge of the middle school (until booted) located in George Gershwin MS whose closing hearing will be held this Thursday. Not a word
Goodman was a noted supporter of closing schools, as was the UFT for so long, serving on a state committee that recommended closing many schools, including my high school alma mata, Thomas Jefferson. Yes, the Goodman family has had a role in closing 2 of the 3 public schools I went to. I'm not telling them my elementary school.