Friday, June 30, 2017

NYC Educator: Reverend Al and His Pals Support Mayoral Control

NYC Educator: Reverend Al and His Pals Support Mayoral Control:

Reverend Al and His Pals Support Mayoral Control


You can stop holding your breath. Al Sharpton has finally weighed in on the mayoral control issue, and he strongly supports it. You won't be surprised that some of his friends support it too. Mike Bloomberg was a big fan, and Arne Duncan has also supported it. Newt Gingrich has yet to weigh in because he's running around telling important lies about the GOP's most recent assault on health care.

Of course he trots out the standard line that scores have improved, ignoring the fact that this is a nationwide trend, mayoral control or no. Reverend Al further can't be bothered to notice New York's rich history of rampant test score manipulation. All the reformies jumped up and down when they improved under Reverend Al's pal Mike Bloomberg, and viciously ridiculed Diane Ravitch, who noticed the NAEP scores painted a vastly different picture. The following year, the New York Times and others noticed she was right, and Mike Bloomberg's draconian methods made no significant difference.

I particularly like this line:



There’s no disputing this fact: Mayoral control is the best way to run the largest public school system in the nation.

How could anyone argue with that, since there's no disputing it? But actually, there is. Diane Ravitch has been calling it a myth for years, and wrote in one of her books that it was a reformy shortcut to circumvent democracy. Bill Gates didn't spend $4 million promoting it just for fun,  Leonie Haimson calls it fundamentally undemocratic. I argued in the Daily News that it was destructive to public education. So there is, in fact, dispute, and I'd argue Sharpton has put forth one of those new and trendy "alternative facts" here.

I was particularly fond of this line:


First, public comment rules would change and the Board of Education would be able to meet in “executive session” — in other words, behind closed doors. The board could therefore make decisions without public comment.

I've been to many PEP meetings, as well as school closing hearings, and I've never seen Al Sharpton show his face. Had Sharpton bothered to show 
NYC Educator: Reverend Al and His Pals Support Mayoral Control:



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