Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Parent Opposition to Restructuring

Tuesday's Daily News editorial contains more of the same anti-teacher and anti-parent ranting we’ve come to expect from the News editors. As an alternative viewpoint, we thought parents should hear from an elected parent leader. Below we offer some insights from David Bloomfield, President of the Citywide Council on High Schools. From David’s testimony on the restructuring before the City Council:

Many, many questions exist regarding the recently-announced restructuring of our public schools. All we have are speeches and press releases from which to divine the new direction. And surely there is much to look forward to in a system that promises accountability, principal discretion, central support rather than micro-management, assurances of greater teacher quality promoted through rigorous tenure review, and funding equity that encourages enrollment of students who might otherwise be marginalized. I and many others might get behind these changes if they were more thoroughly explained, if weaknesses were discussed in good faith, and if we thought this restructuring was more than the reform-of-the-day. The caprice with which these changes seem to have been formulated and peremptorily announced leaves many stakeholders on the sidelines when our hearts and minds are needed to move the system forward.

More recently, David testified on the Empowerment Schools aspect of the restructuring:

In their zeal to wring quick rewards from worthwhile reforms, the Mayor and Chancellor do themselves, their initiatives, and students great harm. To prevent organized opposition, they shut out parents and the larger community. They deride cautionary advice from educators as incrementalism. They do everything in their power to evade checks and balances, whether it is sole source contracting or telling this very body that it has no power to legislate on education.

Parent leaders like David are deliberately ignored by the editorialists at the News and Post, whose agenda is merely to blame the teachers union for everything wrong with our schools. For David's full testimony see these links on restructuring and empowerment schools. The CCHS passed this resolution in opposition to the restructuring on March 14th.


Anonymous said...

I remember in the months, weeks and days before the last mayoral election the DOE's website was putting on something like 3 bs items per day on their site, along with press releases up to the day of the election. They're all about spin and very little substance and in the case of the DOE, I doubt that they would know substance if it was in front of them.

Patrick Sullivan said...

Mayoral control has made education far more politicized than ever before. Now, it's simply a PR game played by wealthy men who have no children in the system, no skin in the game. But this third restructuring will wreak too much havoc and Bloomberg's legacy will not escape unscathed, no matter how hard the NY Times tries to ignore the failure.