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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Diane Ravitch speaks the truth on Mayoral control

See video below of Diane Ravitch's impressive testimony on Mayoral control, and questions from the State Assembly members. In response to a question from chair of the Education committee, Cathy Nolan, she also has some choice words to say about the reliability of the State Education Department.

Excerpt: "Never before in the history of NYC have the mayor and the chancellor exercised total, unlimited, unrestricted power over the daily life of the schools. No other school district in the United States is operated in this authoritarian fashion.

We have often been told by city officials that the results justify continuation of this authoritarian control. They say that test scores have dramatically improved. But no independent source verifies these assertions...

[The Chancellor who is ] the leader of the school system should be appointed by the independent board, not by the mayor. The chancellor’s primary obligation is to protect the best interests of the students. If elected officials say that they must cut the schools’ budget, the chancellor should be the voice of the school system, fighting for the interests of the children and the schools. If the chancellor is appointed by the mayor, his first obligation is to the mayor, not the children.

thanks to David Bellel for the video.

For news clips on the Assembly hearings yesterday, see Klein Defends Mayoral Control of Public Schools (NY Times) , Joel Klein under fire admits bus bungle (Daily News), 200 Pack Hearing on Mayoral Control of Schools (WNYC), Debate Over Schools Control Heats Up At Hearing (NY1) and several entries at Gotham Schools.

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