Friday, January 30, 2009

Consistency Is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds

Nonetheless, it appears to be the primary argument Mayor Bloomberg's minions are advancing for extending mayoral control.

Klein plead with lawmakers to keep their opinion of him out of their thoughts on mayoral control. “Whatever you think about me personally,” he said, “you need the stability of that kind of leadership to transform education.”

So let's see if we can understand this. Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, who opposes tenure for teachers, feels no matter what kind of crappy job he's done, he ought to have the right to keep on doing it. Joel Klein, who opposes tenure but has achieved a permanent position by never, ever opposing Mayor Bloomberg, feels continuation of his manifest failures will "transform education."

Mr. Klein and Mr. Bloomberg, who've just built two sports stadiums all New Yorkers financed, but most will find difficult to afford, are now offering to "transform education" by firing 15,000 public school teachers. Note that no sports stadiums are being cut, and no luxury boxes are disappearing, because both the chancellor and the mayor put "Children First."

Mr. Klein says that class sizes will increase. How that is possible I have no idea, because NYC has the highest class sizes in the state, and Mr, Klein, despite having accepted hundreds of millions in CFE funds, has done absolutely nothing to reduce them. Also, the UFT contract caps classes at 34. Though she's surprised me before, I doubt even part-time UFT President Randi Weingarten would endorse raising class sizes.

In any case, if you want to keep putting "Children First" for oversized classes, overcrowded schools, the very worst facilities statewide, trailers, closets and bathrooms in lieu of classrooms, stagnant test scores where the Tweedies can't manipulate them, and all the other goodies this chancellor has brought NYC's schoolchildren, parents and teachers, line up for continuation of mayoral control.

And like the chancellor said, just because you think he's doing a terrible job, that's neither here nor there. The important thing is that you let him keep doing it for a long, long time.
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