It ain’t broke, but it
needs some fixin’.
That was the general
consensus at the first in a series of state Assembly public hearings yesterday
control of the city’s school system.
The state law that gave
Mayor Bloomberg control of the public schools in 2002 expires in June – but
even critics of the law didn’t argue for a return to the old days.
"We can’t let the law
expire and go back to the way it was," said Assembly member Mark Weprin,
who has been a frequent critic of Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.
About 200 parents and
advocates at the hearing called for a host of improvements, particularly to
address a lack of parent engagement and transparency under mayoral control.
They called for greater
independence for the Panel for Education Policy – which was derided repeatedly
as a rubber stamp for the mayor – the creation of an independent body to review
DOE statistics, and for elected parent groups to have a greater say in big
"We cannot continue
to have a system that alienates parents and educators by imposing reforms
without any consultation," said Ana Maria Archila, of the **Campaign for
Education officials acknowledged
they were working to improve parent engagement.
**MRNY is an active member of the Campaign for Better