Recently Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Chancellor Carmen Farina announced a plan to help struggling schools by providing extra tutoring, after-school programs, and other needed resources. They made clear that they wanted to support schools with low test scores instead of closing them. The mayor said he would invest $150 million in extra resources to the lowest performing schools.
However, Merryl Tisch, the chancellor of the state Board of Regents, said on a radio show that if the schools didn’t show progress by this coming spring, she would move to close them and replace them with charter schools. The Tisch family, in addition to being generous philanthropists, are big supporters of charter schools.
Giving the DeBlasio plan only a few months to prove its success seems awfully unfair. Schools don’t get “turned around” in a few months. Surely Tisch knows that.
Indeed she does - but this is all about the power to fire teachers and close schools, as Tisch made clear in her statements.
So she doesn't actually care whether the de Blasio plan has enough time to succeed or not.
All Merryl Tisch cares about is making sure there is a precedent to break the teachers contract by giving the principals of these "failing" schools the power to fire teachers.
This isn't a fight over education or what's best for the kids.
It's a labor battle, with Tisch looking to help the privatizers by enshrining the right to fire teachers regardless of the contract between the district and the union.
So she's giving until spring for the de Blasio plan to show "progress."
It's November 17.
In short, Tisch has rigged it so that the plan cannot show "progress" and then she will move to have the schools closed and the teachers fired regardless of "mayoral control."
It's amazing how the reformers loved mayoral control when they had a mayor looking to destroy the system in power.
Now that there's a mayor who's a little less trigger happy about closing schools, they're going to circumvent mayoral control.
Funny how that goes.