New Mission

New Mission


My idea is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues. I’d like to see different successful schools, wherever they may be, up close. I’d like to sit down with directors and administrators. I’d like to speak with government officials who keep a pulse on the education affairs of their communities. I want to learn more about education around the globe through speaking with locals, seeing the schools, and shaking hands with the people responsible for implementing the systems. If you know of any outstanding (public or private) special needs schools in other parts of the world, I’d love to hear about them. If you know any education experts from around the world, I’d love to be introduced to them. Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas. Read more about my mission.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

And Your Candidates For Next Mayor Of NYC Are...

With Bloomberg on his way out, who will take the helm as mayor of NYC and lead the fight for education improvement?

Well, here are your candidates - along with a link to the article that more fully sets out their respective backgrounds, anticipated campaigns, and potential to succeed in the election . . . including commentary by the ubiquitous David Bloomfield, an education policy expert whose name appears everywhere these days when it comes to education. (The quoted text below, as well as some of the content, has been taken from the article referenced at the bottom of this blog post.)  And the nominees for best motion picture are... 

Tom Allon, Manhattan Media CEO 

"He takes issue with the mayor's emphasis on test scores and the administration turnaround program...."

Does his private sector experience and limited education experience conjure up thoughts of Cathie Black?

Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate

"We have got to bring parents to the table and treat them like stakeholders if we hope to make more progress in our schools."

According to Bloomfield, "His challenge will be to move from advocacy, where he has had the luxury of throwing darts at mayoral decisions, to operational authority, where he will have to take action regarding greater rein for his Panel for Educational Policy appointees, hard choices on school closures and co-locations, and applying budgetary discipline to such issues as class size and special education."  

* Cash prize for anyone who can clearly and succinctly describe what the role of "public advocate" entails.

John Liu, City Comptroller 

John Liu wants to shift from "mayoral control" back to "mayoral accountability" - how would one who lacks control be held accountable?  He also wants to create a moratorium on charter-school co-locations which is music to the public schools' ears.  His audits of the DOE have made him front page news in the recent weeks.  He's shown that he can come down hard on the Department, but would he be able to run it better if given the opportunity? 

Christine Quinn, Council Speaker

"I would continue my push to go further, and achieve full municipal control of schools by placing legislative authority with the City Council rather than the state Legislature."  Give the city council lawmaking power?  Is there precedence for that?  Curious to see how it would play out. 

Scott Stringer, Manhattan Borough President 

"A decade of ideological bickering and constant reorganization is enough."  

Bill Thompson, Former City Comptroller

Bill Thompson ran in the last election and lost.  What would his mark be?  For one thing, he would scale back the mayor's control over the Panel for Educational Policy (which has been thought of, at least throughout Bloomberg's terms, as a brainless puppet that does the mayor's bidding).

Read more here:
http://www.cityandstateny.com/education-mayor/ 

P.S. It's interesting to note that "special education" is mentioned only one time in the entire article.  Special education is not an issue you can get around.  Any serious candidate will need to address this head-on and come up with a realistic and practicable plan that deals with the overall need for special education, its costs, and the resources available for those children who are eligible.