Try to find some good in everyone. Be patient

Feb 11, 2019 by

I followed this advice without success for a whole week after the appearance in The New York Post of a City Journal editor Bob McManus’s piece “Chancellor is Blind to the Coming Storm”.  But  today, after 7 days, despite digging for any redeeming value in the author’s rant, I’m stuck with the conviction, originally established many years ago, that McManus’s mindset, when it comes to public education, is too disgraceful and immune to mitigation.

His op-ed is a sweeping castigation of everything Chancellor Carranza stands for and has ever done. McManus views him as  friendless, (except for politically opportune alliances), ignorant about governance, an abject failure as a leader,and a habitual provocateur of ideological-based battles.

Specifically, he blames Carranza for policies that he says victimizes Asian students, thwarts academic rigor, flies in the face of the merit system and are hostile to charter schools, which McManus adores.

He accuses Carranza of baiting  or alienating upscale communities and the middle-class, while reserving  his bitterest name-calling for his description of the schools chancellor as “a water-carrier for the real schools boss, Michael Mulgrew of the United Federation of Teachers and that can’t hurt.”

By “real”, is he saying the chancellor is a puppet and the teachers union leader pulls the strings?   Is he saying that Carranza is a lackey of the teachers union which will shield him when the mayor eventually turns against the chancellor, as predicts? Or that Carranza is a figurehead and gofer for the teachers union? 

McManus and The Post always call Mulgrew a “boss”. That’s accurate, as the word is generally used. But they imply that his absolute rule was imposed upon naive or powerless members, when in fact the president has been repeatedly  democratically elected by a gigantic majority.

There they go again: trying to drive a wedge between union leadership and rank-in-file. McManus is the progenitor of many illegitimate brainchildren, especially fallacies about education.

McManus and The Post smell a rat when the two top education leaders are keen not merely to represent labor or management, but together fight for quality education for all children amiably and frankly, even amidst differences.  “This isn’t to say that Carranza is on his own”., writes McManus.He leads his readers to draw the only possible inference.

Rather than the leaders having a cooperative and productive relationship, they would much prefer they be at war.  They view that as the natural state of labor-management relations , especiallyin public education. It fits in with their theories of the natural order of the universe as it affects workplaces. This is evidenced by innumerable specimens of editorial-page hostility-mongering. 

And what does he mean by “can’t hurt”?  That the endorsement of the chancellor by the teachers union is premium job insurance for Carranza.  He implies that the chancellor is weak and that the teachers union exploits it for it own advantage.

What “can’t hurt” is that Chancellor Carranza and UFT President Mulgrew continue to have a relationship driven by mutual good-faith and the best interests of the city. If the two leaders  are not at each other’s throats, it’s proof of their collusion, according to him. Instigators like McManus and The Post are not pleased when labor and management are constructive adversaries and not mortal antagonists.

Bob McManus says that Chancellor Carranza “is more foolish than he looks, which is pretty foolish” and that “the folks who hold Carranza’s career in their hands (teachers union) are loyal only to themselves and to a corrupt culture.”

Working together for a thriving school system is a retreat from the corrupting effects of  pointless rivalry  nd an affirmation of responsibility to New Yorkers and devotion to children.  Mulgrew, Carranza and DeBlasio practice that awareness.  McManus and The Post are not in the awareness business.

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