Sunday, May 13, 2007

DOE Has New “Role” For Parents

May 13, 2007 (GBN News): Miffed over the resistance of many New York City parents to reforms instituted by the Department of Education, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein has reportedly instituted a new program by which unemployed actors would be paid to fill roles as parents throughout the school system. These “parents” would attend DOE conferences, fill vacant positions on Community Education Councils, and play other visible roles. The Chancellor was said to feel that paid actors, trained to take direction and beholden to the DOE, would be more compliant than actual parents and would help the DOE give its programs a more positive spin.

A source at the DOE told GBN News that the move would actually serve a dual purpose. It would increase public involvement in the NY City educational system while also lowering the city’s unemployment rate. Participants in this program will be recruited by the DOE “Chief Family Engagement Officer” Martine Guerrier, a move which is intended to mute criticism that Ms. Guerrier has not yet been effective in engaging parents.

The DOE source also noted that Chancellor Klein was adamant that none of the actors in the program actually be parents of NY City schoolchildren. The Chancellor reportedly feels that it would be a “conflict of interest” for real parents to take part in any function which might impact on their own children.

When asked how such a potentially expensive program would be funded, the source pointed out that one of the consultants for Alvarez and Marsal, the “turnaround” firm hired by the DOE to slash the school system’s budgets, will be on vacation this week. The money saved on this consultant’s expense account for the week will be used to subsidize the program for the entire upcoming school year.


Leonie Haimson said...

The conflict of interest aspect is especially brilliant.

tolui said...

LOL ;-)