Thursday, June 22, 2017


The State Legislature left Albany last night "for good" for the year. Therefore, mayoral control of NYC schools is dead as of June 30 and we will go back to having some checks and balances in the school system on July 1, right? Well maybe not.

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.
Freddy Krueger.JPG

From Wikipedia:
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 Freddy Krueger, I mean mayoral control of the schools, is dead for good come July 1.

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.


Anonymous said...

I just read that charter schools are notwgoing to be able to fast track new teachers via an alternative license system. This will mean that pretty much every charter school teacher will be "certified" in a cheap, fast track system. The irony is that word will get out to parents about this and what parent is going to want their kid's teacher to be some unprofessional hack that took a few summer classes right out of college? Interesting times for sure!

Anonymous said...

The mayor did not deliver on his promises. There is no respect for teachers.

Anonymous said...

The mayor doesn't control the schools, Farina does. DeBlasio doesn't even know what's going on, hes too busy raising reelection funds. How much does he need? No one is running against him.

Anonymous said...

I talked to Flanagan yesterday and told him most teachers I know do not want mayoral control of the schools and that Mulgrew is completely out of touch with what teachers want. I wish he could end Mulgrew control of the UFT.

James Eterno said...

How does that help us? Flanagan's bargaining position is weaker if he knows we don't support mayoral control. He has few cards to play and should cave soon.

I am reading an article in Politico NY that says Republicans may settle for new alternative certification requirements for charter schools as their charter school victory and say they got something. Mayoral control will continue unless there is something from heaven above to give Democrats a reality check on the state of the schools. Very unlikely with a Democratic mayor.

Anonymous said...

Come on, who gives a shit? As if it matters. We've had different mayors, different control, the job sucks. Nothing changes. No respect. No discipline, No rules. Always get the blame.

Anonymous said...

Apparently somebody fas some dirt on Mulgrew.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't More challenging the secret agreements regarding ATRs with a PERB complaint?

Anonymous said...

What will a PERB complaint do? The only way to challenge Unity is to beat them in an election.