Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Teacher's Pet

The news is a never ending source of amusement. In yesterday's NY Sun, the paper reported on the fact that Kathryn Wylde, noted educator and critic, had resigned from her position on a commission studying the impact of mayoral control of the schools, because the panel's creator, Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, was "too critical" of the Bloomberg administration's school policies.

This is the same Wylde who famously had the chutzpah to criticize Diane Ravitch, a real educational, in what appears to be a continuing effort to be the mayor's chief flack; something that's worth a lot more than $1 a year. In an understatement Ms. Wylde told the Sun: "...she also felt uncomfortable serving on a commission headed by such an outspoken critic, as she often works closely with the Bloomberg administration on school programs."

In fact, it's hard to tell where Wlyde ends and Bloomberg begins, since she is always out in front on almost all of the key Bloomberg initiatives, most lately on congestion pricing. So if the mayor has a dim view of lobbyists in general, it apparently doesn't apply to the one lobbyist who represents the most influential and wealthiest New Yorkers. This is beyond irony, and we can't wait to see the upcoming Times story on the untoward influence of big business in the Bloomberg administration (just kidding).

It all goes back to the "mobilization of bias." The status and legitimacy of the city's real estate elites is unquestioned, even when there's an over all effort to identify and minimize the role of money in city politics. So we have the silly figurine of KW, reading copy that was written for her on subjects which she has no expertise; and doing so with an air of droit du seigneur that characterizes her elevation to a hallowed position in the New York City's "Thinkery."