Sunday, November 02, 2008

Why Mayoral Control Is Bad For NYC Public Schools

There is a battle going on whether Mayoral control should continue as is or be modified. Mayor Micheal Bloomberg wants to keep total control while his critics want some changes according to the Daily News. To me changes to Mayoral control is a no-brainer. Under Bloomberg, Mayoral control has been a disaster for the NYC Public Schools. Flat test scores, overcrowded classrooms, no parental involvement, poor teacher morale, and an ever increasing bloated Central Bureaucracy at Tweed. However, Randi Weingarten, who made a big mistake not opposing Mayoral control in the first place, has seemed very reluctant to oppose a continuation of Mayoral control. Therefore, it is time to remind everybody who cares about NYC Public School education why Mayoral control has been bad for the school system.

  • Testing under the NAEP and SAT scores have remained flat or drifted downward since the beginning of the Bloomberg Administration. No "smoke and mirrors" can hide that fact.
  • The elimination of Parent Organizations that had real input in how their schools are run.
  • Tweed has imposed their every-changing "flavor of the day" teaching method on the classroom teacher which results in poor teacher morale and a "one-size-fits-all" mentality that is not conducive to individual student learning.
  • Overcrowded classrooms and many of them in so-called temporary trailers. See the Daily News article at one public school.
  • The transparent Kleinberg policy of favoring the hiring of "newbie teachers" by using the "fair student funding" formula and encouraging principals to hire teachers from alternate certification programs.
  • The equally transparent policy of favoring recruitment over retention of teachers, which the UFT leaders has bought into to the shame of our union.
  • The ever-increasing ATR problem that has risen to 1400 this year. This problem is a cynical move by Tweed to get rid of senior teachers by any means possible.
  • The overcrowded "rubber rooms" with 800+ teachers, many of them removed from the schools based upon a Principal's dislike of the teacher.
  • The selection of unqualified Principals to run schools when they have little or no experience in the classroom.
  • The doubling of teachers leaving the system in 2007. This is before the 25/55 pension system was in effect. I wonder what it is for 2008 with 25/55 in effect?
Finally, it is no secret that the bureaucracy at Tweed has increased significantly since Bloomberg took over the school system. In addition, the no-bid consultant contracts and high priced non-educators are strangling school budgets as money for the classroom is diverted to Tweed at the expense of the students. I won't even get into the "Charter/Small schools" that cost money and hurt the more traditional schools in the system.

Why is Mayoral control bad for the NYC Public Schools under Bloomberg? Just take your pick of the items listed above.

Tweed's "children last" and "education on the cheap" continues.


Anonymous said...

Right you are, and I have another reason. If Klein has another 4 years there will be nothing left of the Academic High Schools. Perhaps a token few will remain.
We will need a Vice President for ATR's at the current rate.

NYC Educator said...

I marvel that our part-time UFT President will not take a principled stand against mayoral control, despite overwhelming evidence it's bad for both kids and teachers. People who ought to know keep telling me she just wants people to like her. Unfortunately, that's one of the worst priorities a union leader could have, and we pay the price every day.

Chaz said...

I find it incredible that so many of our Union and political leaders choose to ignore how Mayoral control has hurt the schools. It's like they just put their collective heads into the sand and not see the problems.

Anonymous said...

Mayoral control under Bloomberg and Klein has been a program of "educational experimentation" where the students and the teachers are the lab mice. They've performed trial and error and error and error...

All while Randi and the UFT Leadership Academy seem to observe this from the other side of a two-way mirror.