Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Our federal and state governments have checks and balances so no one person has total control, which is a synonym for dictatorship.
An oped from the opposite point of view by Marc Sternberg, the principal of Bronx Lab is here, with the headline “Accountability saved my dying school.” The truth is very different, of course.
Bronx Lab is one of the small schools that replaced Evander Childs, a large failing school in the
Bronx. Yet rather than save Evander Childs, DOE allowed it to die, and instead opened new schools with completely different types of students in its place.
As Eduwonkette noted in 2007, before Evander had been finally closed:
“On every dimension, the Evander incoming 9th graders are lagging behind academically - they are more likely to be in special education or to be classified as ELL, they are much more likely to be overage for their grade (i.e. they had been retained before), their attendance rates in junior high school were much lower, and they were much less likely to be proficient in reading and math.
What else? Oh yes, according to the DOE’s statistics, Bronx Lab has class sizes this year ranging from 13 to 25. Meanwhile, most of our large high schools – including the one that Arthur Goldstein teaches at – continue to have class sizes of 34, and the DOE refuses to help them improve by giving them the space and resources to reduce class size, despite a state mandate that would require this.
This is the future we face, if Bloomberg and Klein are left unimpeded by any checks and balances, as is currently recommended by the billionaire boys club of Bloomberg, Eli Broad, Bill Gates, Mort Zuckerman and Rupert Murdoch. None of whom, incidentally, would ever send their own children to a school where class sizes are larger than fifteen.