...while charter schools can be a path to excellence, they can also cause problems. Shoehorning them into existing school buildings over local objections can alienate parents and reinforce among students a harmful sense of being separate and unequal.
Mr. Bloomberg’s schools chancellor, Dennis Walcott, called the criticism an “unconscionable” assault on the Education Department... after 12 years, this mayor’s ideas are due for a counterargument. The critiques the candidates are offering hardly shock the conscience, and their complaints about the Bloomberg administration can be heard from teachers and parents in any school in the city. ... NY Times editorialAfter 12 years of outright support of Bloomberg ed policies and for ed deform in general, along with some of the worst coverage of local and national education issues (other than when Anna Phillips was reporting for a year), this editorial is a sign that the increasing messages of outrage emerging from every area of the city are reaching their mark. Staples has been the most adamant supporter of deform and a union basher to boot. I hope he brings an absence note.
The school system has indeed gone overboard in relying on standardized testing. Tests need to be a means to the end of better instruction, not the pedagogical obsession they have become. Yes, Mr. Bloomberg has shown disdain for consultation, as in his rush to close underperforming schools without the full and meaningful involvement of affected communities. The system needs to strengthen neighborhoods’ connection to schools and reconnect with parents who feel shut out. And while charter schools can be a path to excellence, they can also cause problems. Shoehorning them into existing school buildings over local objections can alienate parents and reinforce among students a harmful sense of being separate and unequal.Wow! What a blow to the charter shills. Actually talking about strengthening the neighborhood schools and how charters helicoptored in help destroy that concept. Yes, choice = divisive = destructive.
It is important to note that when teachers or their union complains everyone shrugs. But when it is clear that the message is not coming from the union or their flunkies it begins to hit home. And for the social justice bashers, there is a lesson -- a union that only worries about bread and butter is going down the tubes.
Make sure to read the series of article at Perdido Street School on the end of ed deform. Here is a link to one: Ed Deform House Of Cards Falling - Ed Deformers Whining About It
and another… Quinn Vows To End City's Participation In Field Tests
there can be truth in applause lines. Comptroller John Liu spoke for many at the forum when he told of his frustrating inability, as a parent, to give input to school officials. And William Thompson Jr., a former city comptroller, answered Mr. Walcott in a statement on Saturday by noting the incompleteness of educational gains: “For 12 years, the mayor has vilified teachers, shut out parents, turned classrooms into test prep centers and closed community schools. We have tried those policies, and our kids are still not receiving the education they deserve.”Liu I believe. Thompson whose main campaign supporter is Bloomberg neighbor Merry Tisch, queen of ed deform, I do not.
The Times still has to take a shot at local control.
When Mr. Bloomberg won direct control of public education in 2002, it was a historic and necessary victory, ending a system of local districts that was grossly dysfunctional and unaccountable. The candidates should not be allowed to downplay or deny how bad things were when nobody was in charge.In fact there were people in charge and every ill of that system has been exaggerated (and believe me I can list every single flaw -- but flaws that could have been fixed without mayoral dictatorship). This is another propaganda war that has to be fought.
The fact that not one mayoral candidate has the nerve to talk about taking a look at a more democratic system of running schools is problematic. Until we end mayoral control -- and the UFT takes a firm stand in calling for its end -- the downward spiral will continue.
Leonie commented at the listserve:
Everyone should read the lead editorial in today’s NY Times; I will post it below for those w/out access but please also click on this link, leave a comment, and send it to everyone you know via the NYT gadget so that it becomes the most emailed and read thing in today’s newspaper:Education and New York City’s Mayoral Race - NYTimes.com http://shar.es/ZYwVfThis editorial represents a total sea change for the NYT whose editors (and publisher/owner, whose best friend is Bloomberg’s personal investment adviser) have defended the mayor’s education policies for the last 12 years. This is also after a week where Walcott was allowed to vent, almost uncontested, in three articles on the NYT news pages against the Democratic candidates, who want to take schools in a different direction –with Walcott claiming that they were simply in the thrall of the UFT.Here is the key sentence in the editorial today: “The critiques the candidates are offering hardly shock the conscience, and their complaints about the Bloomberg administration can be heard from teachers and parents in any school in the city.”Wow. Did someone on the editorial board actually talk to a public school parent for the first time? Or does someone on the editorial board actually send his or her kid to a NYC public school?Astounding change! Before this, Brent Staples who usually writes their editorials on schools, either ignored what was happening in our schools, or supported the mayor’s policies, and followed the usual narrative that the only debate that existed was between Bloomberg vs. the UFT, who were looking out for their interests. Parents did not exist in this world view.Today marks the day we finally live in a city where not all three daily’s editorial boards automatically defends Bloomberg on schools. This is a MAJOR major blow to his legacy.Here is the editorial in full below; the only major problem in it is that it takes the usual (false) position that pre-mayoral control the districts were hotbeds of dysfunction and corruption.For good or for ill, the Community School Boards lost much of their power in 1996, six years before mayoral control was instituted. Due to a major change in the governance law, they lost the ability to appoint a superintendent and hire teachers and other staff. The legislation also gave the chancellor the ability to intervene when districts failed to meet performance goals, when school board members acted inappropriately and also required greater financial disclosure by community school board members.Otherwise this editorial is stunning and could have written by people who were actually paying attention to the reality of our schools the past twelve years. Only question I have is where were they before?