Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Reason To Be A Mets' Fan?

I've discovered a relatively new education blog and whoever the mystery writer of the blog is (he/she) I suspect, judging by the sites' title, is a Mets' fan. It would take a lot to change a lifetime of NYYankee allegiance, but... I've included the blog on my favorites list. Here's a recent posting from that blog. The pic is mostly my handiwork and I suspect Inspector Clousseau will report that.
The Clinton Legacy: What Joel Learned from Bill
January 12th, 2007
The Joel Klein bio refers in glowing terms to his years in the Clinton Office of the Attorney General. The most recent addition to Tweed, Chris Cerf was a colleague of Klein during the Clinton era.
I remember Bill staring at the TV cameras averring, “I never had sexual relations with that woman.” 
The NYTimes  quotes Klein: “…as long as I am the Chancellor of the public school system … the New York public schools will remain public schools.”
Of course back in October Tweed explained it’s plan to “privatize” schools through the creation of educational management organizations that would “manage” clusters of schools under performance contracts. In December the New York State legislature was called back into a lame duck session. If legislators wanted a raise (that would impact on the newly elected legislators - 98% of the legislature was reelected) they had to raise the cap on charter schools  from the current fifty to three hundred. And, the Chancellor would have the power to move any school from public to charter without the approval of staff or the parents in the school.
Low and behold, in the democratic caucus the Klein plan was trashed, legislators gave up a raise to defend public education
Chris Cerf, the former CEO of Edison Schools, a private educational management organization (they “manage” public schools under performance contracts) moves from highly paid consultant to highly paid deputy chancellor.
The NYSun reports on the struggling schools that moved to empowerment status. The Department wiped away the support structure and failed to create a successor. A school has a problem, a question, a crisis, send an email. When principals demurred: they wanted real people on the other end of a phone line who had answers, the initial response was: if schools chose to use the phone rather than email they would be “charged” a fee for each call. Don’t worry: Joel says, “I believe the impact of the empowerment initiative has been very, very powerful.” What does powerful mean? Is powerful positive? Is the inability to get answers to questions powerful? Is the lack of oversight powerful?
It really is unfortunate: the “philosophers” behind the deconstruction of public schools have been busy constructing our new policy in Iraq … and poor Joel has had to fall back on his Clinton lessons.
Not to fear, Klein says, “I will not contract out the management.”
Did you ever hear of that guy named Pinocchio?

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