Toxic Asset: How Will a Bloomberg/Klein Third Term Impact the Passage/Amending of the School Governance Law?


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair; we had everything before us, we had nothing before us; we were all going directly to Heaven, we were all going the other way.”
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.
A historic presidential election is pushed off the front page by a cataclysmic economic crisis that is pushed off the front page by the Bloomberg Term Limit/Third Term announcement that is pushed aside by the Biden-Palin debate.
Are we gazing at the sparkling future of an Obama/Biden presidency, or, a catastrophe paralleling the Great Depression?
Will the Bloomberg push for a third term succeed? Will there be a public outrage/backlash?
And, what about the chances of a Cubs/White Sox World Series?
As the vortex of news spins around us is there a black hole absorbing everything?
Interestingly in the midst of this whirlpool the union and the Department agree upon the release of individual teacher progress reports  … that will NOT be part of any teacher evaluations. Is this the beginning of a new era of union/Department collaboration, or, a pause?
There is no question that the push for a Bloomberg third term includes a push to retain the current iteration of mayoral control.
 There are two areas where we see flaws most clearly: the wholesale disenfranchisement of and disregard for stakeholders, including parents; and the lack of real accountability and transparency.
NY Times editorial leans toward the recommendations in the Gotbaum Report
 The report calls for greater transparency on test scores and other data. It wants the city comptroller to have the same audit powers over the Department of Education as over other municipal agencies. And it calls on the city to do a better job of including parents and community groups in policy discussions. These and other worthy suggestions need to be discussed in a civil climate as the reauthorization process gets under way. No reasonable person wants to turn back the clock on New York schools.

A range of other organizations have been exploring tweaks and, for some, more wide ranging changes. A committee of the City Council, the NYC Democratic member of the State Senate, and importantly, the teacher union.

 For six years the Department, especially Joel Klein, has stonewalled elected officials. Legislators have small pools of dollars that they dispense to organizations in their community. A legislator wanted to give dollars to a local school, he called the school, the principal refused to speak with him without the prior approval of the DOE Office of Communications.

 Principals know they can avoid parents, the only recourse for the parent is to call “311,” …

 Will legislators reauthorize the current school governance plan with Joel Klein continuing as chancellor?

 Are the moderate Betsy Gotbaum suggestions a path to a new plan? Will Bloomberg compromise, or, fight to the bitter end to retain each and every current item in the law?

 For some a Bloomberg third term, and four more years of Joel Klein is a “toxic asset,” and, legislators will insist on substantial changes. Or, maybe the just announced individual teacher report card plan augers new “gentler, kinder” Department of Ed …

 Stay tuned.


3 responses to “Toxic Asset: How Will a Bloomberg/Klein Third Term Impact the Passage/Amending of the School Governance Law?

  1. perchance2dream

    It is amusing to note his rationale for the run is not to save the city’s finances but to keep the school system on his reform path. It is so ridiculous an assertion that one cannot even fathom what part of that so-called reform warrants keeping. The system has never been as corrupt, nepotistic or dysfunctional as it presently is. Bloomberg has managed to not reform the system, but to create an even more expensive and broken model than the one he destroyed.

    He has proven he is the master of public relations, not public education. For that he deserves a dubious distinction award, not another term in office.


  2. This is a qualified disaster. 4 more years of BloomKlein. I can’t take it anymore. He is a flip flopper. I hope there is a public outcry about this.


  3. Read Clyde Haberman’s last column in theTimes. And just heard a very skeptical commentary on NPR’s Weekend Edition. So maybe it won’t work. We can only hope.


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