New York’s top education official has sent a timely shot across the city’s bow — warning that school renewal plans unveiled by Mayor de Blasio may well fall short of the genuine accountability the state has every right to demand.
Cheers to Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch for clarifying that kids will never be rescued from failing schools if the worst teachers remain in their classrooms.
In stepped Tisch, saying bluntly that “if we do not see movement with these lowest-performing schools in terms of their ability to retool their workforces by the spring” — that’s this spring — “we will move to close them.”
These schools, Tisch said correctly, “have failed for generations now.”
“It’s not just saying, ‘We’re gonna fix these schools,’ ” she said. “You’ve got to give the new principals and assistant principals the ability to hire the teachers that they want and fire the teachers that they don’t want.”
Ah, yes - Tisch is happy to tell Mayor de Blasio to close public schools and fire the teachers in those schools or she'll step in as a state entity and do it for him.
Meanwhile, she shirks blame for the "Dr." Ted Morris Jr. mess, passing the buck onto the local Regents and NYSED for the state's approval of a charter school with a lead applicant who lied about having a BA, an MA, a Ph.D, an MSW and starting three non-profits since he was ten years old.
Mercedes Schneider wrote a scathing post last night that exposes the lack of due diligence that the state did on this charter application and notes that both the Regents Chancellor and the current lieutenant governor, Robert Duffy, are making excuses for why Morris, the con man, got a charter.
She finishes her post with this:
For at least three years– 2012, 2013, and 2014– Morris has been misrepresenting himself to NYSED and, by extension, to Regents and the citizens of Rochester.
He clearly meant to do so.
Others found him out; otherwise, it is almost certain Morris would have continued in his lies.
Morris has been exposed– and with him both NYSED’s and Regents’ failure to properly investigate the charters they have approved.
Time to step up, Tisch:
At least ask to see evidence of NYSED’s having verified lead applicant credentials before stamping your “aggressive” approval.
The Daily News of course ignores the whole Morris fiasco because it doesn't play into their "Tisch is the adult in the room" frame for the closure threat story.
Tisch's refusal to take responsibility for the Morris fiasco, her passing the buck onto the local Regents and NYSED for handing a fraudster a charter school, shows she is NOT the adult in the room, that she only pushes her authority as chancellor when it suits her agenda.
As a pro-charter, anti-public school reformer, Tisch isn't interested in holding Ted Morris, Greater Works Charter School, NYSED, the local Regents, herself or the charter approval process accountable for the Morris mess.
She is, however, happy to hold Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Farina and the teachers in NYC schools accountable for "improvement" of performance by spring or she's going to step in and force closure of some schools.
Apparently only unionized teachers and their schools are to be held accountable in Merryl Tisch's New York.