News, commentary and analysis by leaders of the Communist Party USA in New York State. We discuss State politics and issues in New York City, covering developments in labor, civil rights education, housing and more.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

NYS Communist Party Statement on Education

At 12:01 this morning, the law that enshrined mayoral control of New York City’s public schools formally sunset, as the New York State Senate remained paralyzed by crisis. The old Board of Education was automatically resurrected, as were 32 community school boards, whose members are to be elected.

Whether or not this will stand, or if the State Senate will come back to order and re-issue some form of mayor control remains to be seen. However, what we’ve seen so far is not good: Bloomberg is making sure to keep himself and his corporate-world school’s chancellor, Joel Klein, firmly in control, with as little in the way of checks and balances as possible.

The seven-member board is composed of two people directly appointed by the mayor, and one person appointed by each of the five Borough Presidents. The mayor and the BP’s have made their appointments, and six of them are sympathetic to Bloomberg: There are three deputy mayors and three allies. The other, Dolores M. Fernández, was appointed by Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr., and thankfully, she is expected to oppose Joel Klein’s continued reign as well as many of Bloomberg’s policies.

It’s too bad that four of the five Borough Presidents decided not to challenge Bloomberg’s power. If they had, we could have seen a board that would fire Joel Klein, and bring in someone who has an actual background in education. Klein has imposed a top-down corporate model on the schools, and has left room for virtually no input by parents or the community.

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