Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I Enter Mayoral Control Debate on @BrianLehrer on WNYC

I just got off the phone after appearing on Brian Lehrer show (one of my must listens every day) on WNYC defending local school boards and attacking mayoral control. Brian seemed surprised to have 3 teachers on the line to support local school boards, given the narrow and biased debate. They picked me to rep the group.

Here's the embed code for the 33 minute segment -- I'm 23+ minutes in:

Brian Lehrer

I tried to make as many points as I could based on recent blogs by Patrick Sullivan, Leonie Haimson and James Eterno -- all links are in my post, Did UFT Boycott DeB Mayoral Control Rally? Patrick Sullivan: What Would Be The Impact of End of Mayoral Control

Here are some quick points I made:
  • Local control was only pre-k to 8. High schools were never decentralized.
  • My district had corruption and patronage and I and others consistently opposed that but we had a monthly forum in the neighborhood where parents, teachers and community members could make their points, in addition to having school board elections to challenge their control.
  • There is much greater corruption under mayoral control - as we've seen over the past 15 years -- add up the money lost in the districts and compare.
  • The 1996 law put curbs on the districts -- more accountability.
  • We could control the machine politics with more oversight.
When Brian asked me about how charters would deal with that I pointed out why isn't their buying of politicians more corrupt than what ever local school boards did?

Charters in no way want local control because most communities don't want charters. Ben Max of Gotham Gazette, who was on with Brian disagreed with me and said some neighborhoods want charters.

I disagree -- if we had local school boards, the people who supposedly want charters would be involved in controlling the public schools and would have the ability to make the kinds of changes they want.

Charters have used mayoral control as their main instrument. Since de Blasio is not in their pocket, they are unhappy, though from what I've seen he has given them almost everything they want.

Later I got this tweet from Ben Max:

Ben Max
Jun 21
@NormScott1 @BrianLehrer good talking with you earlier, Norm. interesting points. isn't this charter point negated by the state, though? 

I replied:

Norm Scott   @NormScott1
Jun 21
@BrianLehrer charters fear local bds.@BrianLehrer Parents that supposedly want charters would control public schools and negate charter or run them. 

 charters fear local bds.@BrianLehrer Parents that supposedly want charters would control public schools and negate charter or run them.

Some parents will want to be involved in local school board. I can also see highly funded charter school supporters running in some crucial districts and charterizing the entire district, though I believe they don't want everyone -- so maybe select the juicy stuff for themselves. So there could be a downside to this too.


Anonymous said...

There is way more corruption under mayoral control than with school boards

Anonymous said...

Once again thank you, Norm for sticking up for teachers and public education. Mayors don't care if there is corruption as long as it's one of their puppet-thieves divvying up the loot. Roseanne McCosh

Patrick J. Sullivan said...

Great job Norm!

Jane Maisel said...

Excellent points Norm!

Michele from Brooklyn said...

Way to represent Norm! No kidding Lehrer was surprised to have 3 teachers support school boards. His intro was totally biased against "the old system".