Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Short Happy Tenure of Chancellor Walcott

I was in the teachers' room at school last week when I heard that Chancellor Black was to be no more. The attitude in the room might have been politely described as jubilant. I have yet to meet the real working teacher that was at all excited or motivated by her leadership, and no one I know seems to find her departure to be a great loss.

(Acting?) (Maybe?)-Chancellor Walcott has been in the position, I guess, for a few days, so nothing has really happened yet. Although trying to withhold judgment on Black didn't turn out well for me, I'll try to give him a bit of a honeymoon period as well. I know that there isn't much hope that he'll stand up against the mayor on layoffs, though. What a goodwill gesture it would be to talk to city teachers and tell them he'll do anything he can to avoid even one teacher layoff.

It is great that we have a Chancellor who attended the city schools, and one who seems to be more welcomed by parents. Walcott's closeness to Bloomberg, though, troubles me. So much of what Bloomberg has done and still wants to do to the city schools has been useless at best and dangerous at worst. Should he develop a separate philosophy and principles of his own that are more compatible with the real interests of teachers, students, and parents, I would feel more encouraged about his taking over. As it is, I am concerned that he will simply be a mouthpiece for the Mayor. I would like to see him show some independence.

For now, I'll watch and listen with an open mind. Maybe I won't get my hopes up, but I won't vilify him straight out of the gate, either.
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