Monday, April 20, 2009

Mayoral Control Freaks

Once again, Mike Bloomberg is placing himself between the city-and the abyss that awaits if he's not at the helm to right the ship. The issue? Mayoral control of the schools-and the NY Post has the story: "Mayor Bloomberg predicted there would be "disaster in the classroom" if state lawmakers don't extend his authority to run city schools -- and blasted critics yesterday for wanting to return to an education system that served special interests rather than kids."

This might be what passes as truth on Planet Bloomberg, but Mike needs to take a chill pill-and come back to earth. No one is suggesting an awful recrudescence of Livingston Street. As Manhattan BP Stringer told the Post: "Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said Bloomberg should "take a deep breath" and support proposals like his own that would extend mayoral control with tweaks to engage parents. "To educate children, you need one person in charge -- and that's the mayor," Stringer said. "The struggle now is how you re-engage parents in the education of the children. This is to complement mayoral control."

But the mayor, not renowned for his flights of fancy, simply can't help himself when it comes any challenge to his own prerogatives: ""You'd have chaos if you don't renew this law -- which expires the end of June -- because I don't how you'd put the genie back in the bottle. I don't know how you'd recreate the bureaucracy," Bloomberg said on his radio show, referring to the old Board of Education. "And all of the money that we've taken out of the bureaucracy and put in the classroom would go right away out of the classroom and back into the bureaucracy," he said."

All this from a guy who's in charge of the 78% solution-that's the amount of increased budgetary expenditures we've seen in every year since Bloomberg took charge of education; on top of a top-down management structure that shuts out parents from meaningful input. So let's jettison the Bloomberg straw men-and while we're at it, how about tuning out all of the faux common man commercials which are just as sincere as his school pronouncements. A real debate needs to take place; the Bloomberg monologue is tendentious in the extreme.