Thursday, June 22, 2017

NYC Public School Parents: Josh Karan: an opportunity to revise Mayoral control and what should happen next

NYC Public School Parents: Josh Karan: an opportunity to revise Mayoral control and what should happen next:

Josh Karan: an opportunity to revise Mayoral control and what should happen next


Guest blog by Josh Karan below.  Though I'm not as optimistic that parents will have any say in what happens if and when mayoral control lapses, the Parent Commission which was a part of in 2008 did have a rigorous analysis of what was wrong with mayoral control and how to improve upon it. We invited any parent or parent advocate to be part of our group, held panel discussions with experts on school governance and critical education issues, and deliberated for an entire year before coming up with our consensus recommendations. For those who would like to see what we proposed, you can check out our full report here. -- Leonie

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We have an unexpected opportunity to influence how NYC schools are governed, which could make them more engaging of and accountable to communities. 

Since 2002 the granting of control of the schools to the Mayor by the NY State legislature has required periodic re-authorization.  Presently such granting of power expires July 1, and there has been a deadlock between various factions as to the terms for its reauthorization.

Therefore, according to staff of one NY State Senator, the NYS legislature will be convening a Special Session after July 4 to address the issue of NYC school governance. 

This has panicked proponents of Mayoral Control, including the di Blasio administration, and many others, who view Mayoral Control as responsible for great improvements in educational outcomes.  They are seeking a multi-year, re-authorization, while Republicans and some Democrats, want to link re-authorization to an expansion of Charter schools, and an audit of how the school system has been spending its money.  

Proponents of Mayoral Control have argued that the alternative would be a return to what they assert were corrupt, unrepresentative, local Community School Boards.  

This impasse allows some opportunity to affect the debate, perhaps resulting in the Special Session granting only a short-term re-authorization, while we work to re-invigorate the discussion about the role of parents and communities in the formulation of the structure of decision making for public education, as well as its goals. 

The context can be proposals that a group of us, calling ourselves The Parent Commission, compiled in 2008, when then Mayor Michael Bloomberg first desired renewal of his control over NYC schools. 

At that time, over many months, a group of 15-30 parent activists discussed various proposals for democratic governance of NYC schools, and NYC Public School Parents: Josh Karan: an opportunity to revise Mayoral control and what should happen next:


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