One of the great buzz words that the Department of Education uses is "Accountability". According to the DOE all public schools must be held accountable for their success and failure in student academic achievement. Fair enough, if the schools were given the proper funding, support, and resources to be held accountable. Of course, many schools have experienced large budget cuts over the last three years that have seen an average of an 11% reduction in school funding, not including another 3% reduction for the next school year. Because of Tweed's use of the "fair student funding" program, schools are afraid to hire experienced teachers because it affects their budget. Furthermore, the "fair student funding" program, as used by Tweed, is an effective 20% decrease for the average school funding (interestingly, the DOE does not require the Charter Schools to use the "fair student funding" formula since it would dramatically reduce funds to those schools because they tend not to take the children who have high resource needs). Accountability, accountability, accountability, is the theme from Tweed for the public schools.
However, accountability seems to have been ignored when it comes to the Central Bureaucracy as Tweed blunders their way from one self-made crises to the next. Let's look at all the problems that have occurred just in the last couple of months.
- A top DOE official first denied and then withdrew her denial, under oath, that she had a "personal relationship" with a consultant at the consulting firm FTA while supervising the contract. Yet she is still employed at Tweed, The entire article can be found here.
- The DOE failed to properly supervise a Consultant, William (Ross) Lantham who allegedly took $3.6 million dollars without proper oversight. The article is here. Doubts about the Consultant date back to 2002 here. The people at Tweed are pointing fingers at each other and nobody is taking responsibility for this fiasco.
- The Office of Family Information and Advocacy have bungled their way from one problem to the next and no heads have rolled because of it. First, was to try to pressure parents and parent coordinators to sign a petition to eliminate LIFO. Which may lead to further action and even a criminal complaint. Then they refused to publish a list of candidates who were running in the Community Education Councils here. Yet nobody has been fired because of these fiascos.