Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Checks and Balances?

Who needs them, asks Mayor Bloomberg. We'll do what I want, how I want, when I want.

New Yorkers, however, are beginning to question this approach.

The criticisms about Bloomberg's control are many, including micromanagement and a disregard for the opinions of parents and teachers. Mainly, though, critics complain there are no checks and balances on the mayor. Teachers say their bulletin boards have been monitored; parent groups can't even convince the mayor to ease a ban on student cell phones.

"Mayoral control was supposed to get the politics out of school decision-making. It was supposed to be about what is in the best interest of the kids," said teachers union president Randi Weingarten, who backed the idea when it was signed into law in June 2002. "What has happened instead is that if you agree with the mayor it's fantastic. But all those parents who disagree with the mayor, they get left out in the cold, and the same in respect to teachers."

Too bad Randi, as always, was outmaneuvered by sweet-talking Joel Klein and City Hall. Ms. Weingarten was so keen on Mayor Bloomberg's reforms she enthusiastically championed a contract that denied teachers the right of presumed innocence.

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Bloomberg and Klein will be gone in three years. Their "reforms" may very well follow.

In 2007, the UFT has a chance to send Ms. Weingarten and the Unity patronage mill packing. Let's do that, so Mayor Bloomberg knows where he can go too.

(Thanks again to Schoolgal for another tip!)
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