Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mayoral Control: The short of it | Seattle Education

Mayoral Control: The short of it | Seattle Education:

Mayoral Control: The short of it

I always knew that the “idea” of mayoral control would be raised for Seattle at some point.
When I heard that the City of Seattle’s Office of Education was to be renamed the Department of Education, I told friends that the next thing we’re going to hear is that the mayor wants to be head of the new Department of Education.
Well, the idea was floated last week in the Seattle Times Opinion section. No surprise there.
Short version of why this is not a good idea:
  • The mayor is easily swayed on education policy by big donors rather than educators.
  • The mayor is not an educator, knows nothing about how a school functions let alone an entire school district.
  • Because the mayor has no idea how to run a school district, the responsibility is placed in the hands of staff and political appointees who know no more about managing a school, let alone an entire school district, than the mayor.
  • It’s a way for folks like Gates and Broad to push through their agendas. An extraordinary example of that is Eli Broad pushing through his agenda in Los Angeles via mayoral control. Big money, big influence.
  • Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland and New York have had mayoral control for anywhere between five and ten years and the schools are no better off now than they were when the concept was popularized via faux roots groups by Bill Gates and Eli Broad.
  • The schools are no longer democratically led. The only recourse a parents has is to speak to the mayor (good luck with that), not a school board director.
  • The mayor usually appoints the school board (so much for the democratic process).
  • In Seattle where Councilmember Tim Burgess is Chairperson of the Education Committee, this is very concerning. Burgess never came out against charter schools and with him at the helm under a mayor who wants to be the head of the Department of Education, you can watch the floodgates open in Seattle to charter schools.
In the excellent article Got Dough?: Public School Reform in the Age of Venture Philantropy, Joane Barkin describes the popularity of mayoral control among the “Big Three”, Bill Gates, Eli Broad and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan:
On the question of who controls public schools, the Big Three much prefer mayoral control to independent school boards: a mayor with full powers 
Mayoral Control: The short of it | Seattle Education:

Sacramento Has It's Royalty 

Sacramento’s 1% line up behind strong-mayor proposal - Our Region - The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento’s power players line up behind strong-mayor proposal - Our Region - The Sacramento Bee: Sacramento’s power players line up behind strong-mayor proposalBy Ryan Lillisrlillis@sacbee.comPublished: Friday, Sep. 5, 2014 - 8:29 pmLast Modified: Saturday, Sep. 6, 2014 - 12:28 amKevin Johnson strode into a midtown loft building Wednesday evening, an entourage of handlers by his side.Inside the