After 12 years of his machinations, which is four more years than the millions of New Yorkers who twice voted for term limits demanded, it is doubtful that anyone in NYC above the age of, say, five, has any doubts of the completely ruthless and anti- democratic spirit of Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Still, even those who have tasted Bloomberg’s contempt for the democratic process and ethos may be taken aback by the spiteful little man’s latest stunt: the hiring of the consulting firm The Parthenon Group to craft a plan that will preserve Bloomberg’s dreadful Children First Network, a key component in Bloomberg’s destruction of the New York Public School System, created ostensibly to assist principals and teachers in their ever more complex work loads. They are perhaps the only structure in Bloomberg’s DOE that is loathed in equal measure by administrators, teachers and parent groups. The reason for the mass loathing is simple: the Networks are both crazily expensive and largely incompetent. For an extra bonus they are created not out of geographic communities but rather on abstract demographics, the better to insure relationships are as strained and a-human and as corporate as possible.
Nobody seems to know how one is hired and by what criteria. I’ve been advised by “experts” in my field who never taught a day in their life. The same principals who hire Networks somehow also take orders from them and also live in fear of them. For the past year or so, it seems every time I’ve heard the Networks mentioned it was always in the context of how, come January 2014, they would face the same good riddance as their creator Bloomberg. But their creator, it turns out, has other ideas and would like to extend the Networks well into the mayoralty of whoever it is who comes after him regardless if he or she wants it. To be sure, Mike Bloomberg would like to extend all his ideas into perpetuity if he could,just as he would use his billions to purchase an army of shills to defend them, which is just one of the reasons that New Yorkers will rue the day they allowed a sociopath like Bloomberg anywhere near power for a very long time.
See Gotham Schools article below.
JUNE 10, 2013
DOE secretly enlisted Parthenon to devise plan to save networks
by Geoff Decker, at
Intent on preserving the Bloomberg administration’s education legacy, the Department of Education has hired a favored consulting firm to craft a plan that would safeguard a signature policy.
The city has hired the Parthenon Group to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the system through which principals choose support organizations to provide professional development, curriculum, and budgeting help.
The consulting firm, which has previously studied school closures and small schools for the department, is charged with crafting a strategic vision to ensure that Children First Networks are preserved when another mayor takes over next year.
“While there is no set of actions that can perfectly ensure ‘sustainability’ of the network model, the goal of the project will be to identify a series of steps that can bolster the odds of sustaining those elements the DOE views as most essential,” the firm wrote in its bid for the project. The confidential bid was submitted in April and obtained by GothamSchools.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott momentarily balked at testifying at a City Council budget hearing after he was told he would be sworn in under oath.
At the start of a budet hearing in City Hall this morning, education committee chairman Robert Jackson said, "the administration … indicated they were not notified by us that they would be sworn in" and that the matter "has been resolved for this particular moment."
But the Harlem-based Democrat added, "Let me just say to the chancellor and their staff … every witness will be sworn in, henceforth."
A spokeswoman for the city Department of Education said Walcott responded to the request that he be sworn in by walking over to the mayor's office to consult with officials there.
"The hearing hadn’t started yet when DOE staff walked over to the Mayor’s office side," D.O.E. spokesman Erin Hughes wrote in an email to Capital. "Given that the City is in litigation on some issues that were expected to come up in the hearing, we had to check with counsel to ensure that the unusual process of taking oath wouldn’t pose a problem to those cases.
"It was an unusual request given that no administration official in 12 years has been asked to be sworn in."
Jackson co-chaired this morning's hearing with finance committee chairman Domenic Recchia Jr., of Brooklyn. After Jackson's opening remarks, Recchia greeted Walcott, who then began to read his opening statement. Walcott was not sworn in before he began speaking.
Another lawmaker at the hearing said Council members felt misled by Walcott's testimony at the last hearing, at which he spoke about the school bus strike, and wanted greater assurances about the accuracy of information coming from City Hall.
Some members of the Council have grumbled, quietly to reporters, that the Council has not exercised enough oversight of city agencies because of Speaker Christine Quinn's close working relationship with the mayor.
Later, when Walcott testified, he engaged in a heated exchange with City Councilwoman Letitia James after the Brooklyn lawmaker asked about school bus drivers who reportedly lost their jobs after that recent strike.
At one point Recchia had their microphones turned off and Jackson asked James and Walcott to take a 10-second breather to calm down.
James said she thought Walcott was "making fun" of the issue of bus drivers who lost their jobs.
Walcott replied, "Don't even try it."
Later, James said, "Most of those patrons look like you ... people of color, and you think that's something comical."
Walcott, visibly annoyed, said, "Oh, give me a break."
Recchia intervened shortly afterward.
From Betsy Combier: Make no mistake, Robert Jackson is part of the problem.
Why is it ok to accept the testimony of Dennis Walcott when he would not be placed under oath?