Renewal Schools Post-Mortem

Mar 7, 2019 by

“Death Panels”.  That’s the term created by ultra-reactionaries to describe what they felt would be convened to decide who would receive or be denied life-maintaining medical care in the event a single-payer health care system replaced our American for-profit industry.  

These reactionaries are inconsistent, to put it mildly.  Actually they are hypocrites, because when it comes to education, they are opposed to intervening for struggling schools to make them well again. They are for “death panels” of bureaucrats who would order the withholding of potential remedies from schools, allowing their educational health to decline and then “pull the plug” on them through closure.  

That was the pragmatic nihilism favored by former Mayor Bloomberg and his two henchmen chancellors.  

With “Renewal Schools”, Mayor DeBlasio at least made a sincere effort at resuscitation. Urgent care in the hospital or in a school is expensive., It didn’t quite work out in this case, but at least a vigorous good-faith attempt was made.  

In his most recent NY Post column a few days ago, Bob McManus blasts the Renewal Schools program and those he regards as its pesky upholders. He wishes DeBlasio would shut up the “noisy parents” who fight to save “malfunctioning” schools and claims that they have surrendered to some bizarre subconscious mechanism called the “Stockholm Syndrome” in which captives become enamored of their captors.

McManus also deplores what he considers DeBlasio’s squandering of precious assets on unworthy programs like the city’s expanded preK program, which impartial research has acclaimed as extremely advantageous to child development. He calls out “mayoral spouse” ( whom he would call First Lady if it were someone else) for the “world-class boondoggle” of her ThriveNYC initiative, which he calls ” a mental health-related something-or-other” and berates the Scott Stringer, the city comptroller, for “shrinking from demonstrating that he deserves the job.”  

The mayor, chancellor, city council and the teachers union are not infallible and not every experiment is guaranteed to be a success. But they, unlike McManus, are united in an energetic dedication to serve the future of our city. The problem is not his ideological bent. It’s that his ideology is itself bent.   Ron Isaac

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