Golden Opportunity to Evaluate Mayoral Control
Recently I held a Public Hearing on the June 2009 expiration of the New York City Education and Reform Accountability Act of 2002. The hearing was one of a series of hearings being held by the Senate Democratic Conference Task Force on School Governance. The Task Force is comprised of nine Senate Democratic members who are investigating and plan to report on the effect Mayoral Control has had on the New York City public educational system.
After years of debate, the New York City Board of Education and local Community School Boards were replaced by a City Department of Education under Mayoral control when the State passed this law in spring of 2002. This law was intended to overhaul the City’s public school system by consolidating most of the administrative and personnel powers into the office of the School’s Chancellor, who is solely accountable to the Mayor. Parents, Teachers, Principals, educational researchers and City government officials all have their own perspectives on what has worked and what hasn’t since we moved the City’s school system directly under the authority of the Mayor.
I became a State Senator at approximately the same time as these changes went into effect. Since that time, I have met with many constituents with children in our public school system as well as with the principles and teachers working in my district, who have serious and legitimate concerns about our schools. With the law set to expire, we have been given a golden opportunity to figure out what changes might need to be made.
At the hearing in September, a number of great suggestions were submitted on how to improve the City’s schools. If you have any suggestions or are interested in finding out more about what was discussed at the hearing you can go to my website at www.lizkrueger.com/mayoralcontrol.html.
I don’t think anyone wants to revert back to the old Board of Education model, but this is the right time to evaluate how we should adjust our laws to improve the system and reach further toward our goal of having the best school system in the country. #