[ProgressiveEd] Report on Friday's NYS Senate Majority Task Force 4/4 Pub...

Jane Bedell [email protected]
Mon, 07 Apr 2003 19:44:52 -0400

Not sure that I want to put Joel Klein, Diana Lam, Michelle Cahill and 
others in the DOE in the same box as Republicans who want to destroy public 
schools, Head Start, environmental laws.... and anything else that is good 
in this country.  What evidence do we have that they belong in the same 
Re: getting rid of bureaucracy.  When you decentralize things, do you get 
rid of bureaucracy?  I'm not convinved that centralization is the 
bureaucratic demon.  What exactly does lead to the teriffic bureacracy that 
folks have had to contend with over the years?
I don't ask these questions rhetorically.  I'm not an educator (I'm a 
parent of a kid at CPE-2), and I am interested in the analysis of what's 
made the public education system get in to the hole it's in.  I know that 
the answer to this takes up more than an e-mail, but it'd be interesting to 
have more of a discussion about it.
--On Monday, April 07, 2003 7:24 PM -0400 Victor Weiss 
<[email protected]> wrote:
> First of all, I'm surprised that an educator such as yourself is not
> appalled by these non-educator businessmen running a school system. Just
> like the "businessman" we have running our country, I believe the
> ultimate goal of these people (Republicans) is to destroy the public
> schools along with Head Start (where I'm currently teaching), social
> security, environmental laws, voting rights, and anything else that is
> good in this country. Also, how can you call abolishing community boards
> and centralizing everything including curriculum getting rid of
> bureacracy? Victor Weiss
>> From: [email protected]
>> To: [email protected]
>> Subject: Re: [ProgressiveEd] Report on Friday's NYS Senate Majority Task
>> Force 4/4 Pub...
>> Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2003 16:00:32 EDT
>> Dear Colleagues:
>> I want to publicly express my concern and dismay over the positions
>> articulated by the speakers at the NYS Senate Majority Task force
>> meeting.
>> As the Principal of a small progressive high school in the Bronx, I would
>> argue that Klein's re-organization and reform proposals represent the
>> first attempt in thirty years to change the focus in New York's education
>> bureacracy from political patronage and monitoring of schools to a system
>> that focusses on instruction and has the capacity to support teaching and
>> learning.
>> Progressive small schools have fought this bureaucracy tooth and nail for
>> years to carve out spaces where we could do meaningful work with kids in
>> spite of the larger system's goals and requirements.  I believe Klein's
>> plan
>> represents an opportunity to expand and deepen our work.  Our goal
>> should  not
>> be to throw up road blocks to protect bureaucratic structures that never
>> had
>> the capacity to serve kids or support teachers.  Our goal should be to
>> become
>> active partners in this process and help the larger community of
>> educators understand the depth and value of our work.
>> Klein and his team have made mistakes but they have also shown a
>> flexibility
>> and thoughtfulness that makes me believe we can work with them.
>> Respectfully,
>> Shael Suransky
>> Principal, Bronx International High School