A year ago, Queens public school parent Marie Pollicino refused to accept Mike Bloomberg's attempt to marginalize public school parents. She filed a formal complaint with the state education commissioner to reverse the Chancellor's changes in regulation A-655 specifying the role of school leadership teams (SLTs). Her action was joined by Queens parent Melvyn Meer, the District 26 Community District Education Council and the UFT.
This week, State Education Commissioner Richard Mills ruled that the Bloomberg administration's attempt to revise Regulation A-655, shifting all decision making power on SLTs to principals was a violation of state education law. The law grants school-based management teams specific powers and duties:
Develop an annual school comprehensive educational plan that is aligned with the school based budget. Such plans shall be submitted to the district superintendent and be made available for public inspection.... (Ed Law 2590 - h(15) (b-1))In his decision Mills says "The A-655, as revised, strips the SLT of this basic, statutorily mandated authority". The state ordered the city to revise the regulation.
Commissioner Mills also ruled that the method by which the Bloomberg Administration changed the policy was unlawful. State law requires the changes to be developed by the superintendent of each community school district in conjunction with committees "composed of administrators, teachers and parents". The current changes were developed without this input.
A copy of the legal decision can be found here.
For background on the case, see this earlier Daily News article and update here. Gotham Schools has the story here.
Oddly, the NY Post didn't have news coverage but that didn't stop the editorial board from braying about the decision. The Post apparently could not pass on the opportunity to simultaneously take a swipe at two favorite targets: public school parents and Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver.