Reform: Putting Our Kids First
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
years, New York City’s public school system has been floundering.
And the heart of the problem is the lack of clear direction and
accountability at the top. The current structure for running the
school system promotes diffused, confused and overlapping layers
of authority. It creates clouds of uncertainty just where clarity
of purpose is desperately needed.
Koch, Dinkins, Giuliani and I have all agreed that this structure
for running the schools does not work, and we have fought to change
it. The Mayor should have sole control over the appointment of
the Schools Chancellor, and the Chancellor should report directly
to the Mayor. That establishes democratic accountability—and if
democracy can be trusted to safeguard our social services, police
forces and other essential services, why wouldn’t it work to protect
our most precious resource, our children?
Now, thanks to the leadership of Gov. Pataki, State Senate Majority
Leader Bruno, and Assembly Speaker Silver we stand on the verge
of a new era in running our school system. The details of a new
blueprint for running our public schools are still being decided.
But, I promise you this: the end result will be a system for running
the schools that puts kids, and parents, first.
We’re going to build on what works in our schools. And a common
denominator among all of our city’s most successful schools is
strong parental involvement. We’re going to make sure that our
schools are safe and orderly. We’re going to make first-rate education
the reason why the city’s 80,000 schoolteachers come to work.
And we’re going to overhaul the current crazy-quilt system of
building, maintaining and managing school buildings.
buck stops here.” That’s the sign that Pres. Truman used to keep
on his desk. It was a reminder to everyone about who had the ultimate
responsibility for success or failure in running the country.
For too long it’s been too easy to pass the buck for our failing
schools. Not anymore; from now on, the education buck will stop
here, at the Mayor’s desk.#
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