Eclectic quotations accumulating in Hell's Kitchen, NY, USA.


"We agree that the mayor should have a larger role in
running the school system than in the recent past, but he
should not have unchecked power to hire personnel, make
contracts and set policy. The time has come, then, for a
mid-course correction by the Legislature to restore
transparency, public engagement and accountability to the
school system.

Since the mayoral takeover, the school system has been
reorganized along the lines of a corporate business model,
as though educating children was no different from selling
toothpaste. The Department of Education is today a tightly
centralized, top-down structure of regional and local
officials who relay instructions from the department's
headquarters to the schools. Not only does the
reorganization leave out any role for public involvement,
it has also led to serious malfunctioning of school

The reorganization, for example, caused the disruption of
school discipline and the near collapse of school safety
during the past six months. The department wiped out the
old disciplinary system, leading to long delays in dealing
with suspended students - who were quickly returned to
their schools and got into more trouble. And Mr.
Bloomberg's solution of putting armed police officers into
the schools is not a long-term answer to the deeper
problem, which is the erosion of the authority of teachers
and principals in schools. In addition, the reorganization
left thousands of children who have disabilities without
access to the services they need."

-- Diane Ravitch and Randi Weingarten in an Op-Ed piece titled Public Schools, Minus the Public in The New York Times, today.