Saturday, March 21, 2009

Juan Gonzalez' column on charter schools and Mayoral control -- expurgated for the web?

Juan Gonzalez has another excellent column about how charter school parents are being used as “political shock troops” for the administration in its effort to renew dictatorial Mayoral control. Many of these parents are told by their principals to show up for rallies and hearings, while principals of regular public schools would be fired if they tried to enlist parents in any political cause – particularly one in opposition to the current administration: Charter school principals mobilize parents to lobby for Mayor Bloomberg School control.

Yet Juan’s column in the print edition of the Daily News is much longer than the version online, and cites the recommendations of the Parent Commission on School Governance, the fact that parents would like the Mayor to obey the law and consider the views of Community Education Councils when siting new charter schools, and the opposition of Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell and other legislators towards renewing Mayoral control when the current governance system sunsets in June. Yet all this is missing from the web version.

Was this radical shortening of the column another instance in which the Daily News editors are trying to censor the news? Similar to the recent episode when, unbeknownst to the reporter, the top editors axed her article about the personal wealth of the top officials at the Department of Education?

As is well known, the Daily News’ publisher, Mort Zuckerman, sits on the Fund for Public Schools, along with Rupert Murdoch’s wife. The Fund for Public School has spent millions on PR for the extension of Mayoral control. Zuckerman is also a close ally of the Chancellor and the Mayor, and editorials in the News on this issue, as well as those in the New York Post read as though they were dictated straight from City Hall.

Here is the section of Juan’s column that appeared in print and yet was eliminated from the online version:

Public school parent leaders say they don’t oppose charters. They just want the DOE to abide by state law and consider the views of the local Community Education Councils, the successors to the old community school districts, before making these decisions.

“They continually create this atmosphere of animosity towards parents,” [Monica] Major said. That’s why she joined the Parent Commission on School Governance, a volunteer group that just released a proposal to sharply curb mayoral control of the schools.

Manhattan Assemblymen Daniel O’Donnell, who used to be a supporter of mayoral control, has been amazed at the widespread discontent parents have expressed at school governance hearings in all the boroughs.

“If I had to vote today, I would vote against mayoral control,” O’Donnell said. “That should trouble them [Bloomberg and Klein] because many of my colleagues in the Assembly have similar feelings.”


Anonymous said...

Eventually, the Daily News made go the way of The Rocky Mountain News and The Seattle P.I. The Daily News treats people as being stupid with their pro-corporate Editorial agendas and behind the back antics. Fairness often takes a back seat by its publishers. The middle class is in great pain and all we get are pro-Bloomberg/Klein editorials and pictures of Angelina Jolie.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and, by the way...Juan Gonzalez is the man!