Teachers union plan would abolish mayoral control of NYC schools

Mar 15, 2013 by

The teachers union yesterday revealed a plan to gut mayoral control over the public-school system — a move that critics blasted as a blatant power grab.

The United Federation of Teachers’ proposal — released amid a heated mayoral campaign — would abolish mayoral control by scrapping so many of City Hall’s appointments to the Panel for Educational Policy that it would no longer have a majority.

The mayor currently selects eight of the 13 members — giving City Hall iron-clad control over school policy.

The UFT, though, wants those appointments reduced to five.

‘It is clear that mayoral control in its current form has not worked.’ — United Federation of Teachers President Mike Mulgrew (above)

Chad Rachman/New York Post

‘It is clear that mayoral control in its current form has not worked.’ — United Federation of Teachers President Mike Mulgrew (above)

The other eight would be split among the five borough presidents, the comptroller, public advocate and City Council speaker.

The plan also would limit the mayor’s ability to select the schools chancellor. Currently, the mayor can unilaterally select the education chief, as is the case with other agency bosses such as police commissioner.

The union’s plan requires that the mayor select the chancellor from a list of three candidates recommended by the board.

The plan would also give community education councils veto power over whether charter schools can share building space with traditional public schools.

UFT President Mike Mulgrew insisted that mayoral control under Mayor Bloomberg has been a bust.

“By objective measures, like the racial achievement gap or the college readiness rate and by public disenchantment with the governance of the schools, it is clear that mayoral control in its current form has not worked,” Mulgrew said. “We wanted mayoral control — not a mayoral dictatorship.”

Graduation rates, including college-ready measures, have increased steadily in recent years.

The current governance law doesn’t expire until June 2015.

Bloomberg slammed the union power play.

“The UFT used to run the school system and it’s no surprise they want to return to those days by watering down a key reform that raised accountability and took control away from the special interests,” said mayoral spokeswoman Lauren Passalacqua.

GOP mayoral candidate Joe Lhota called the UFT plan “preposterous” and a “throwback to the Tammany era.”

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a leading Democratic candidate for mayor, also opposed the union plan.

via Teachers union plan would abolish mayoral control of NYC schools – NYPOST.com.

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