I hear a nostalgia for the “good old days” of the Board of Education … paeans to Rudy Guiliani and Ed Koch?
Rudy and Ed ran the Board of Ed, have no doubts, they hired and fired chancellors, claimed credit for everything that was “good” and blamed chancellors for everything that wasn’t …
And yes, those negotiated collective bargaining agreements … I don’t remember any monumental gains … and I do remember that Guiliani five year contract beginning two years of “0”,”0.”
As time passes that fish gets bigger and bigger, sports exploits more spectacular and former boy/girl friends more gorgeous …
The Klein initiatives have swung from tightly controlled top-down to school-by-school decentralization with absolutely no supervision or accountability, except for those School Progress Report grades …
In spite of Tweed fabrications test scores are stagnant, the gains of the late nineties/early 2000’s have disappeared … and support for and belief in Joel has eroded.
The State legislature appears anxious to take a close look at mayoral control. The law itself, that sunsets on June 30, 2009, is surprisingly simple. Much of what we have seen is the work of the chancellor, not the law.
Over the next month or two the Teacher’s Union, the City Council, the Public Advocate and a host of others will be issuing reports/suggestions/recommendations. The education public marketplace will be engaging in a public debate … a healthy exercise.
Ultimately it is the up to the legislature and our new Governor either to change the law, or, wait till next year.
Changing the leadership at the Tweed, the Department, the Board, or, whatever we choose to call it is not nirvana. Our schools are in serious jeopardy.
NAEP scores, the “gold standard,” are mediocre … and both the right and the left are questioning public education, as we know it.
Supporters of vouchers, non-union charter schools, schemes to create union-free charter districts, education management organizations, both not-for-profit and for profit, are afoot. This is no longer a “right” versus “left” fight … There is a broad spectrum that seriously questions the current unionized public school system.
Fending off the attacks is not a strategy … public school teachers, and their unions, must play an active role in creating schools that work for the most vulnerable kids.
Schools will be evaluated: either by the NCLB rubric and/or School Progress Reports, or by a method devised by teacher unions … and, unless we begin to see progress, measured by agreed upon methodologies, the opponents of public education will be emboldened.
School as learning organizations, cultures that encourage collaboration, where introspection, both individual and group, are core values.
The demise of the Klein leadership will be a win in a small skirmish in a much larger battle.