Every time I see a new Department of Education (DOE) policy, I feel a twinge of hope.
This feeling goes away quickly. I remember that a rule, law, or regulation is only as good as the implementation and follow up. These type of actions are almost never available in the Department.
The DOE does not have consequences which are uniform across the board, and we can all see the random manner that anyone can get away with anything as long as you are the right color and socio-economic status. My opinion - so sorry to break your bubble if you think that segregation and the rich-poor gap are no longer NYC facts. I get worn out quickly - don't you? - hearing about the new curriculum, the new way to evaluate teachers, the new Renewal Program, etc., etc. and yet there are kids who are bullied, and it never stops.
I have loved history since I learned to read, and know that George Santayana's quote is correct:
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
There are repetitions all over the place.
I decided to finally read a book I bought on Amazon ($6.99) that calls out to be read: "110 Livingston Street, Politics and Bureaucracy in New York City Schools" by David Rogers, Random House, 1968. On p. 5, Rogers wrote:
"In the words of one cynic, the New York City school system is the nightmare toward which many others are moving".
The title of Chapter 1? Here it is:
"THE FAILURE OF DESEGREGATION: A BRIEF HISTORY"
But there's that twinge again, when the DOE goes for a policy change that seems to be in the right direction, especially against a DOE internal epidemic namely bullying. I'm going to hope that now kids who are being bullied in school can, indeed, get relief (see the below articles from Time Out and NY POST) and transfer to another school "automatically".... whatever that means. Remember, it's implementation and follow up that makes a law, rule or regulation "work".
I'm not going to breathe a sigh of relief as NY POST Reporter Selim Algar, an excellent writer, suggests, but I'm feeling that twinge. Maybe this time.....
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|Jim Walden (picture by Natan Dvir)|