While this blog believes the end of mayoral control should be seen as a positive development because a Board of Education with one member appointed by each of the borough presidents and two appointed by the mayor might bring some desperately needed integrity back to the school system, we are still very skeptical that this will last.
More likely, mayoral dictatorship over the schools is kind of like Freddy Kreuger: dead but not really dead.
In 2003, Freddy battled fellow horror icon Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th film series in the theatrical release Freddy vs. Jason, a film which officially resurrected both characters from their respective deaths and subsequently sent them to Hell. The ending of the film is left ambiguous as to whether or not Freddy is actually dead; despite being decapitated, he winks at the viewers.
The State Legislature and Governor Cuomo are kind of winking at us this morning on mayoral control dying at the end of the month.
We have reported on some of the waste under mayoral control and how useless NYC's school governance system is. However, the politicians love it as Ed Notes pointed out on Monday. Ed Notes, aka Norm Scott, also spoke about the issue on the radio yesterday. Community school boards, with their power curtailed by the 1996 law the school system would revert to in July if the Legislature does nothing, are nothing to fear but I don't see them being reconstructed. Since the Assembly tied mayoral control to other local non-NYC issues, expect a mayoral control resurrection very soon in a special legislative session.
Read between the lines of this Albany Times Union piece which includes Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie's statement on the end of the legislative session. Sales taxes in more than 50 New York State counties will expire later in the year because they were tied to the mayoral control bill the Assembly passed. The State Senate wants more charter schools in exchange for a renewal of mayoral control. This is a game of chicken. I can't see counties being denied their money. The ICEUFT Blog makes these not so bold predictions:
Mayoral control will only expire temporarily, if at all, as it did in 2009. Lawmakers will return to Albany in the near future for a special session. Taxes will be passed for localities; mayoral control will be renewed; the Republicans will get a tiny face saver on charter schools and/or some minor tweaks in the mayoral control law.
As usual when it comes to the government and many union leadership issues, I hope I am wrong and that
P.S., Talking Points:
When some ignorant supporter of mayoral control points out the increase in the high school graduation rate under mayoral control, simply point out that creating diploma factory high schools in NYC where teachers are pressured to pass everyone is not cause for celebration. Then, direct them to this piece that shows the ultra low CUNY community college graduation rates to prove how unprepared many of our graduates are for college.
If they are still not convinced, send them to the ICEUFT Blog June 20, 2016 post that sums up the results of mayoral control in a paragraph:
Is a suspect graduation rate worth all of the negatives that have come with mayoral control? What I see is higher class sizes, depleted school budgets, overemphasis on testing, the destruction of so many neighborhood schools, Absent Teacher Reserves shuffled throughout their boroughs, out of control patronage hiring, no bid contracts, a constantly reshuffled bureaucracy, lawyers, lawyers and more lawyers, scripted curriculum, one crazy teacher evaluation system after another and more.