Friday, November 13, 2015

Your DOENut of the Week: The 'Nays' Have It!!!

I'm tempted to say that I'm sorry for not posting more and for not paying closer attention to Ed News as of late.

But then I go reading up on what I've been missing and I see something like this and I become immediately glad -happy, in fact- that I have diverted my attention elsewhere.

Education topics are 'nuts!!!

Take this piece, for instance. The title of it premises that our current mayor is letting accountability go by the wayside. That darn mayor and his darn failed policies. It interviews, as part of some good diligent reporting, a lady named Lori Podvesker. Related to Ms. Podvesky, it says;

“There’s no information for you to make your own assessments outside of visiting the schools in person,” said Lori Podvesker, a policy manager at INCLUDEnyc, a support agency for young people with disabilities, and whose son attends a District 75 school in Manhattan. “That’s so fundamentally wrong.”

Fundamentally wrong.

Man, that makes me sad. If only a policy maker existed in NY who could set this fundamentally wrong policy right again.

If only.

In only. If only. If only.

And then I reazlize! Lori Podvesker is a member of the Panel of Education (the PEP)!!

That's right!!!

She is one of the thirteen New Yorkers who sit on the panel and make (I'm trying to keep a straight face here) **policy** for New York City Schools. Specifically;

The thirteen member body designated as the Board of Education in section 2590-b of the Education Law shall be known as the Panel for Educational Policy. The Panel for Educational Policy is a part of the governance structure responsible for the City School District of the City of New York

You can see a full list of PEP members here. Ms. Podvesky's Twitter profile is shown below.

Twitter bios are so straight forward

She is (somewhat rightly) upset that there is little information viz accountability for D75 and D79 schools in the city. She is also a parent of a D75 child and that must be frustrating.

May I suggest Ms. Podvesky use her power as a member of the governing board of the NYCDOE and change all that? Her colleague on the PEP, Norman Fruchture (who, like her, is an education stakeholder and activist) has recently done so with over issue of school segregation. Perhaps Ms. Podvesky could follow suite? Just a thought.

In the meantime, I'd like to offer a bit of reflection: We are in some type of strange, crazy times when the persons who make policy for New York City's schools are out in the press taking issue with policy. Sometimes I feel like we are all critics, grown from the Duncan and the Bloomberg era. We have become experts on objecting to almost everything objectionable. This is the truth with Common Core and High Stakes Tests and our approach to poverty and solutions to public education.  Objecting -agitating- has become become part of our life and our life force. But when it begins to look as though our criticisms have become more powerful than our higher desire to actually make things better, I think a quick gut check is in order. The "nays' can't have this one. "No" may be part of the answer but "no" is most certainly not ~the~ answer. Just another thought.

Speaking of gut!! I'd also like to Ms. Podvesky a box of donuts as she is a recipient of one of my (somewhat coveted) DOTW awards. I hope she understand sit's all in good spirit (although she'll have to share it with Patrick Wall, the reporter of the piece His piece made no mention of her role as a PEP member. No worries Mr. Wall! Everyone slips and I'm still a big fan!)