Saturday, March 03, 2007

Mr. Bloomberg Takes a Beard

The NY Times, of late, has a knack for headlines--Hoping to Quiet Critics, Bloomberg Picks a Parent in Chief for the City's Schools reads one. Note the emphasis on what hizzoner is hoping to do. The mayor's reorganizations follow the same pattern as all his other reforms--they are absolutely necessary, the only possible way to get anything done, and they replace last year's absolutely necessary only way to get anything done.

From the beginning, this mayor has claimed parents would be part of the reform process. After moving along without any input whatsoever from them, a group of parents marched to Albany with the teachers' union to protest. Mr. Bloomberg hired a parent to work in every school in the city, but that didn't avert the public outcry when a private company killed yellow buses for little kids all over the city.

Now, Mr. Bloomberg has hired one parent, a $150,000 parent, to do what? To provide the input the parents already in schools have failed to provide? To draw attention to the overcrowded buildings and the largest class sizes in the state? To point out that non-English speakers are not receiving the services they deserve? To decry the demise of the neighborhood school?

No, I gotta go with the Times--he's hoping to quiet critics. So, if you want to hear what city parents have to say, will you go with the word of Mayor Mike's 6-figure bull-goose parent? Or will you read the new blog set up by real activist NYC parents Leonie Haimson and Patrick Sullivan?

Me, I'm going with the latter.
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