A Battle for the Soul of Education: Dr Pangloss and the Gorgons versus Parents, Teachers and the Kids

It is ironic that a few days before the historic CFE budget  was passed the teacher union president was reelected with about 90% of the vote. In spite of Klein’s laudatory comments about the budget, he fought it every step of the way. The CFE folk, the union and a host of education advocacy groups fought for firm wording in the budget. Klein wanted “soft” language so that he could drive funds to his latest delusional fantasies.

The final budget language  is a clear victory for the smaller class size advocates, and the kids. If disputes arise the final and binding decision will be made by the NYS Commissioner of Education.

Klein wanted 250 additional charter schools and got fifty, and the union now has the right to organize charter schools with more than 250 students.

The budget fight is far from over.

In a few days the new reorganization , the educational souk will be announced with the blare of klaxons.

Navigating the souk, created by the gorgons at Tweed, will be a Herculean task. Each and every school will have to chose their School Support Organization. The uber superintendents are racing around the city promising multiple organisms and indulgences, whatever is your “thing.”

All the SSOs are support organizations, they do not rate or evaluate, only support.

The DOE is silently creating Community and High School Superintendents with rating and accountability authority – basically the accountability police.

Glossy brochures, threats that “we still rate you up to June 30th,” desperate pleas from LISs who may be unemployed if they can’t recruit schools: the casbah has come to the DOE.

Next week the yet to be announced Partnership Support Organizations (PSO) will join rush.

All this costs money, lots and lots of money. The DOE’s plan was to “skim” the new Albany dollars for their latest reorganization, and to quietly cuts dollars to schools.

A union leader reelected with an astounding mandate, a majority of the City Council, a broad spectrum of educational organizations, immigrant advocacy groups and parents are calling for the reorganization to be postponed.

The skirmishes will continue until mayoral control sunsets or a “new” organization is created.

In the meantime the Dr. Pangloss at Tweed declaims “all is for the best in this best of all possible worlds,” as yet another generation of kids are sacrificed at the alter of educational ideology.


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