Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mayoral Control is History (Again)

According to the Post, it is all but official. Mayoral control of city schools will expire in eight days.
But almost everyone failed to remember that this isn't new, that Mayoral Control ended once and that it came right back, stronger than before by the first day of school.

In 2009, the IDC created a major crisis by locking the doors of the NY Senate and grinding all business to a halt. There were many victims of that crisis and Mayoral Control was one of them. It expired at the end of the legislative session.

Like now, there were many reservations about the mayor controlling public schools and the crisis gave an opportunity to address those issues. It granted more beef to the PEP, including the requirement that the chancellor lead the meeting and be there for the entire time (some may remember the massive protests that sprouted up as a result). It also empowered the CECs throughout the city. Finally, the process was a wake up call to all of the stakeholders of a system that had grown a little too comfortable with itself. So, in the long run, it was a good thing.

I hope that winds up being the case now. I'm a fan of a community control, and community boards are great, but they are in no position to fully run the schools within their community, while mutually controlling the members sent to the Board of Education. Schools will wins yp more segregated, waste will increase, not decrease, and the Byzantine ways of the nation's largest school district will settle right back in.

But schools, even in this enormous system, need to be a reflection of their local community, not some huge overgrown city. In the end, the expiration will allow am opportunity for the to allow more community say over things like school placement and curriculum.

So gasp, hold your hands over your mouth and think about the NYC Edu version of Brexit & Trump. But also understand that the school governance structure will be exactly the same on September 7th as it is today, that charters will expand and that  (which is really what this impasse is about) and we'll all forget about this for roughly eight years.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think many of us will be teaching in eight years. I'll have forgotten about mayoral control by the end of this sentence.