Archive for January 31st, 2003

31st January
2003

First Published in The New York Sun,  January 31, 2003
By Andrew Wolf

Little more than two weeks after Mayor Bloomberg’s blockbuster Martin Luther King Day education speech, things are starting to unravel. Both the structural and instructional aspects of the plans advanced by the mayor and the schools chancellor, Joel Klein, have come under fire. I have learned that top city officials are scheduled to attend a summit meeting up in Albany on Monday to smooth things over with angry members of the Republican state Senate majority.

The city officials will be traveling north to address what the city’s five Republican senators say they perceive as an attempt by the mayor to do an endrun around the legislature regarding the fate of the community school districts. When the law was passed last year to give the mayor control of the city’s schools, the fate of the community school districts was deliberately not addressed. The law provided for the legislature to appoint a panel to make a decision on that matter; the panel has been formed, has held hearings, and will report by February 15. But the mayor has already gutted the community school districts and created 10 new “super districts,” combining the existing districts in groups. Mr. Klein has even gone so far as to appoint the 10 regional superintendents who will lead these new entities. (more…)