Thursday, May 28, 2015

Our oped today on why Mayoral Control needs to be reformed

Please read our oped in Gotham Gazette, co-authored by Shino Tanikawa of CEC 2 and NYC Kids PAC, why mayoral control needs to be reformed to incorporate checks and balances and more parent input.  It begins this way:

On May 12, a Quinnipiac poll was released showing that two to one, New York City voters believe that the mayor should share control over our public schools with other elected officials. On Tuesday, Public Advocate Letitia James issued a report, calling for improvements to ensure sufficient checks and balances and more parent input in school governance. We agree.

We make the case that when it comes to transparency, accountability, parental input, and checks and balances, the existing governance system is highly flawed, and we provide many examples. 

As one Community Education Council said, “CECs still lack a seat at the table in planning what happens in their respective districts. The new engagement is additional phone calls…We're still toothless lions when it comes down to any real power.” Another concluded, “As it stands, CECs are largely ignored by the DOE.  When we write resolutions they go unanswered. When we give input at hearings our input is ignored.”

The oped concludes: Absolute power does not work at the federal, state, or local level. It leads to poor policies and encourages corruption. It certainly does not work when it comes to our public schools.  

Please read our oped and also check out the excellent report by Public Advocate Tish James which makes many similar points. Thanks!

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