Monday, March 02, 2015


Mayor Bill de Blasio wants permanent mayoral control of New York City schools.  The law giving the mayor control sunsets in June and has to be renewed by the State Legislature or we revert to the old seven person Board of Education with each Borough President picking one representative and the mayor selecting two. 

Under current law, the mayor picks the majority of the rubber stamp body known as the Panel for Educational Policy which rarely listens to the voice of the community. The PEP pretty much does whatever the current mayor and chancellor want. It does not seem much better under de Blasio than it was under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  I spoke to de Blasio's PEP once on behalf of Absent Teacher Reserves last November.  A DOE official took down my contact information but I never heard from anyone.

My position on school governance is there should be an elected Board of Education in New York City that is independent of the politicians.  Put the schools back in the hands of the people.  Why this is a radical concept is beyond me.

Our friends at the Chicago Teachers Union are making the case out there for an elected school board. I don't think anyone has to to worry about the leaders in the UFT here in New York making a similar push.


Harris L. said...

The very, absolutely, last thing the reformistas want is to put education policy in the large cities into the hands of the people.

How could you possibly accomplish what the Cuomistas want to accomplish if they had to harass, corrupt or intimidate five or seven or nine independent elected officials who might not be harassable, corruptable or intimidated?

I do remember, unfortunately, the fecklessness of the Board of Education as it was constituted during the days when the Borough Presidents controlled it--with the overlay of district boards and superintendents elected by 5-6% of the electorate. A mess.

But a Citywide Board of Election that chose the Chancellor and supervised Tweed, yes, but not in our lifetimes.

ed notes online said...

I'm also wary of elected school boards given that the charter money would flow in sa it has in LA, Colorado and so many other places -- but at least it would be a drain on their resources - and they don't always win. It would put the issue in the public eye -- but the UFT would also drain resources for candidates we wouldn't like.