Mayoral Control of Schools Lumbers to June Reckoning


Albany has to decide in June whether to leave Mayor Bloomberg in charge of the school system, which privilege he attained in 2002. The Times mischievously profiles his Panel for Educational Policy, whose duties seem to involve holding meetings and being yelled at by parently at sparsely-attended hearings. Some members, says the Times, “have barely uttered a public word during their tenures. Edison O. Jackson, president of Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, has missed 15 of the 27 meetings held since he joined the panel in 2007,” etc. The Times has also been running some anti-school-control Op Eds, while of course covering the frequent opportunities the Bloomberg administration creates for itself to beat the drum for it.

In polls voters have been mixed on mayoral control, with citizens with kids in public schools less supportive than the public at large. The new U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is supportive, but that may matter less than what some people in Albany think. Governor Paterson says he doesn’t have a strong opinion on it — which the Post thinks means trouble for the mayor. As usual, these things are a matter of quid pro quo, and the story of mayoral control’s progress will probably be written in bills that have nothing to do with education.


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