I am sure that the citizens of New York City understand the inequity of New York's Department of Education. The folk who work at the DOE will do anything to protect their "own", which means those who are willing to separate themselves from following the law, rules against nepotism and theft, and all those things which easy can be called improper or at least unethical and in most cases illegal.
If you are a relative of a politician, an administrator, and/or a favored employee of the DOE or you are a "special friend" of anyone, you are in. Credentials matter.
That's why people who steal remain on the DOE payroll. They may be moved to a high position if a misconduct charge is substantiated against him/her, but they are rarely pushed aside.
I am NOT saying there are not good people who work for the DOE. There are, thankfully, many excellent people still on the books who would rather stop unethical behavior and put their jobs on the line than protect crimes against the health, safety, and welfare of the students.
In 2003 I was lucky enough to receive from Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo a document which spells it out very clearly. His letter to the Department of Justice in Washington DC urged the DOJ to allow Mike Bloomberg to take away the vote for the people who govern the school districts in NYC, and replace with a system whereby PTA Presidents, Treasurers and Secretaries would be the "selectors" who would vote for CEC members, or the powerless Community Education Councils around town. Bloomberg did not believe in fair representation, because this would mean that his control was not absolute. This letter started me thinking about what really was going on. In my opinion, this was the denial of the right to vote, which I take very seriously. I started working on my book.
Bloomberg/Cardozo also dismantled the NYC Board of Education and replaced it with the Panel For Educational Policy. The difference? PEP members are not voted into office, they are all appointed. Their so-called "vote" is tainted by what their boss says. Even if they do vote on something, they vote the way Joel/Cathie/Dennis/Carmen want, or the PEP should look for another position somewhere else. Simple. And unfair.
My youngest daughter was in PS 6 when Carmen Farina was Principal. I worked with her on the Annenberg Challenge for the Arts, and I set up the Arts Together Community Partnership (ATCP). I was on the Executive Board of PS 6, and I thought that everyone worked for the kids. I was new to public school, my other daughters attended private schools in grades 1-5.
I was wrong. The day that I asked where the money given by Annenberg was going, Carmen called me up (May 23, 2000) cursing, screaming, accusing me of theft, hiring/firing the arts people at PS 6, she yelled and screamed for 20 minutes. I almost had a heart attack. I had never heard anyone so abusive, and I had never heard most of the words she used, either. The next day the ATCP brochures and papers were thrown away, I heard, with the assistance of Assistant Corporation Counsel Jane Gordon, a parent at the school. I was told to never be involved in anything at PS 6 ever again.
The next year I ran for PTA President. I was already fighting back, investigating, and documenting everything. Carmen was removed from PS 6 in February.
In the article below, you will see the following:
"After the forums, three officers from each school’s Parent Association (PA) and Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) – the President, Recording Secretary, and Treasurer – will cast ballots online for their preferred district candidates between . On , the results will be posted online at NYCParentLeaders.org."
Parents who are not "elected" by the system are without a vote.
|UFT President Mike Mulgrew, NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio, Chancellor Carmen Farina|
The CECs work closely with the district superintendents, approve school zoning lines, hold hearings on the Capital Plan, and provide input on instructional and policy issues. There are 32 CECs. Each CEC has nine elected members who are parents of students currently in grades K-8 in district schools, and two Borough President appointees.
The CCHS advises on education policy and issues involving high school students. The CCHS has 10 elected members, two from each borough, who must be the parents of students currently attending a public high school.
The CCELL advises on education policy and issues involving students in bilingual or English as a Second Language (ESL) programs. The CCELL has nine elected members, who must be parents of students currently or recently classified by the DOE as English Language Learners.
The CCSE advises on education policy and services for students with disabilities. The CCSE has nine elected members, who must be parents of students receiving special education services provided by the DOE.
The CCD75 advises on education policy and services for students with disabilities who attend D75 programs. The CCD75 has nine elected members, who must be parents of students in a D75 program.
– Election results are published on NYCParentLeaders.org.