Some time latter this week, unless he unexpectedly finds his cojones, outgoing state commissioner of education David Steiner will find Dennis Walcott qualified and grant his waiver, the fourth consecutive chancellor who required a waiver from the commissioner.
Of course these days the chancellor has as much power as the leading character in Weekend at Bernie’s.
Geppetto pulls the strings from Gracie Mansion, and no one seems embarrassed.
Walcott joined Bloomberg on the mayor’s weekly radio show on Friday and said the education policy will be, “the same.” We’re going to be pushing hard on the reforms that we’ve already put in place and driving them down further,” Walcott said
More co-located charter schools, more school closings, more teacher and teacher union bashing, ignoring the test score debacle and the massive failures of NYC high school graduates at the City University.
The department will be run out of the communications office and the metric will be approval ratings. Walcott will race from Afro-American church to community meetings, from school to school, from elected official to elected official, unfortunately selling the same failed messages.
Bloomberg has one critical decision: do I punish my opponents by needlessly laying off teachers, or, do I avert layoffs and somehow avoid looking duplicitous?
Walcott is anxiously awaiting the message, after all, he’s only the messenger. He’s not in the room when policy is crafted.
While Black decided how to “dress down” for meetings so that she wouldn’t look too regal no one thought to figure out where to find kindergarten seats. Eight thousand kids received no high school choice. The co-location wars escalated. Failing charter schools were multiplying. And, lest we forget, teachers have been without a contract for a year and a half and negotiations over the teacher evaluation plan have ground to a halt.
In Washington the re-authorization of No Child Left Behind is caught up in partisan and intra-party conflicts and seems relegated to the next term. In Albany the fight over the next commissioner is taking shape, do we simply anoint the young, inexperienced deputy, a la NYC, or seek a consensus building educational leader? In the Apple we’re x-ing out the days on the calendar, unfortunately so is lame duck Bloomberg.
Bernie, I mean Dennis, will run from meeting to meeting, pacifying the masses, appearing calm, continue to make waffles for elementary school kids and teachers will worry about the upcoming state tests and the regents exams.
The policymakers at Tweed are trying to answer the pressing questions of the moment: does Dennis like his tea with lemon or milk, sugar or sweetener?