Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cuomo's Lone School Board Appointee to Education Reform Panel

Governor Cuomo's new blue-ribbon school reform commission has been criticized for its lack of parents, teachers and school board members.   But as Gotham Schools pointed out here, Cuomo did appoint one school board member, Eduardo Marti, my colleague on the NYC citywide school board, a.k.a the Panel for Educational Policy.  As is typical for the eight-member mayoral bloc on the Panel, Marti has generally remained quiet during Panel meetings.  But even his limited comments suggest he supports an extremist agenda for the state's schools.

 Marti has made clear his disdain for parent participation, despite the ostensible goals of the Cuomo commission to "increase parent and family engagement".  When all five PEP borough representatives joined to support a resolution asking the Chancellor to consider including parents on a panel to advise on granting yellow bus transportation variances, Marti was quick to dismiss the idea.  Despite state law and precedent to the contrary, he rose to oppose the recommendation.  He stated it was no place of parents to provide this input nor of the Panel to even recommend it.

Last week, Marti spoke at length in favor of the Bloomberg administration's action to close 24 schools and replace half of their staffs.  In his view, the mass removal of teachers was an excellent opportunity to inject more motivated staff and provide an overall lift to building morale. He has previously championed school closings as "courageous" while bemoaning the caliber of students entering the CUNY system where he serves as an administrator.  He did not, however, address the responsibility of the Bloomberg administration for preparing these students despite having managed the system for nine years.

Marti could very well provide Cuomo with strong support for more authoritarian and unpopular policy recommendations on the new commission.  For example, beyond school closings and mass firings, I could certainly see him backing consolidation of rural districts, imposition of appointed rather than elected boards and forced  teacher ratings based on high stakes testing, especially in suburban districts like Chappaqua, Bedford and Westbury where parents and teachers are likely to push back against branding teachers as poor based solely on notoriously unreliable standardized state tests.


Anonymous said...

No surprise,by now everyone realizes that both Bloomberg and Cuomo are anti-teacher,parent,UFT and public school education.They have done nothing to help our children learn backed by their buddies in the media who know nothing about education.

Anonymous said...

Okay, can we possibly do something that impacts Cuomo's approval rating? That will be the only way to get the man's attention.

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Anonymous said...

What is fascinating is how this authoritarian test driven view of education has become the only educational reality. It is very much in line with the desire to destroy public school education that has existed for at least sixty years and is now beginning to succeed.The policies pursued by the mayor and others is not at all about education ony about politics.
and making money off of education using free market buzz words like 'choice' and and the denigration of workers in this case teachers.

Anonymous said...

It should also be clearly undrestood that NYCDOE is a hot mess with an unmanageable bureaucratic structure, which is always changing to hide the ineptness of this bureaucracy. NYCDOE needs to be put under an independent monitor - a truly independent monitor. Few people including the critics understand what a mess DOE really is - it is the penultimate cynical bureaucratic structure governed by many people quite ignorant about the meaning of the word education.