Saturday, June 24, 2017

Does It Matter Who Runs New York City’s Schools? - The New York Times

Does It Matter Who Runs New York City’s Schools? - The New York Times:

Does It Matter Who Runs New York City’s Schools?

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Top 5 Things to Know About Mayoral Control of Schools - Center for American Progress -

The State Legislature’s failure to pass a bill extending mayoral control of New York City’s schools before the end of the term on Wednesday had no immediate effect on the city’s 1.1 million schoolchildren: Mayor Bill de Blasio’s hold on education policy in the city continues through June 30. After that, Mr. de Blasio has warned of “chaos and corruption” that could return if control reverts to the Board of Education.
Not everyone agrees with that dire prediction. In 2009, the last time mayoral control lapsed, things went fairly smoothly, and it was restored in August.
Is having a city’s mayor run the schools necessarily better? Joseph P. Viteritti, a professor of public policy at Hunter College, who was a special assistant to the New York City schools chancellor from 1978 to 1981, said that there was “nothing inherently bad” about school boards and that mayoral control was not a panacea for the challenges facing urban districts.
Which is not to say that Professor Viteritti endorses returning to the old model. In New York City, he said, mayoral control has clearly been shown to work better than the structure that preceded it. “It makes absolutely no sense to go back to the old system,” he said.
Here is a guide to understanding why who runs the schools matters and what education specialists say works best.
How were schools governed in New York City before mayoral control?
Before the Legislature gave the mayor control over the schools in 2002, they were governed by a Board of Education and 32 elected community school boards. The Board of Education had seven members; the mayor appointed two, and each of the five borough presidents appointed one. The Board of Education selected the chancellor. The mayor could also influence the school system through the city budget.
Until 1996, the community school boards had authority over the elementary and middle schools in their districts, including the power to appoint superintendents and to approve the superintendents’ choice of principals. High schools were under the control of the Board of Education and the chancellor. In 1996, confronted with evidence of corruption and patronagein many school districts, the Legislature diminished the boards’ power and gave the chancellor the ability to select superintendents.
Why is mayoral control better?
Virtually all education specialists agree that mayoral control has proved Does It Matter Who Runs New York City’s Schools? - The New York Times:

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