Friday, April 3, 2009


A "Calming influence"...

Seven months before the election, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s campaign is mounting an all-out push to win over New York City’s black elected leaders, clergy members and voters, seeking to land an early, and potentially crippling, blow against the mayor’s chief rival, City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr.... Meanwhile, Mayor Bloomberg heaped praise on the Rev. Al Sharpton on Thursday, calling him a “calming influence on the city,” as The Daily News reports. The mayor made his remarks before speaking at Mr. Sharpton’s annual National Action Network Convention. (Sewell Chan, NYT City Room blog)

Critics locked out...
Another News columnist, Juan Gonzalez, examined this week the peculiar alliance between Sharpton and NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, revealing a half-million-dollar donation to NAN from a hedge fund tied to a former chancellor. The big check was funneled through a pro-Bloomberg nonprofit. Klein and a top aide will appear on Sharpton panels so skewed in favor of the Bloomberg school reforms that minority critics have just about been locked out. (Wayne Barrett, Village Voice)
Did someone yell at Maisie?
Now Klein and the Rev have rounded up Education Secretary Arne Duncan, several big-city mayors and former Clinton nemesis Newt Gingrich to appear with them at a convention this week at the Sheraton in NYC, where they will surely move to create a national presence for themselves as the defenders of children against, oh, say, the teachers’ unions. (Maisie at Edwize, April 1st)
But Sharpton’s National Action Network conference this morning was a lesson in unity. And to clarify, UFT President Randi Weingarten has worked with Sharpton on educational equity and other issues for a long time. On Edwize, I speak for myself, not Randi or the union. (Thanks to her, Edwize is a space for diverse views.) (Maisie at Edwize, April 2nd)
Power & Influence...

We are witnessing a consolidation of power and influence that is rooted in new alliances among philanthropies, school leaders, and the business community. School leaders, starved for public resources, have allowed philanthropies such as the Gates Foundation to dictate school reform strategies in exchange for new private monies. (Aaron "Skoolboy" Pallas at Gotham Schools)

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