With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mayoral control? More reasons why not

"At the end of my tenure, if only seven mayors are in control, I think I will have failed." Arne Duncan
Duncan has made mayoral control of the schools a centerpiece of his school reform initiative with Chicago's Mayor Daley and New York's Bloomberg his role models. But there's plenty of evidence to show why such autocratic control fails in practice. The latest has Daley, faced with a City Hall budget crisis, shifting his trusted machine administrators onto the the public school payroll into high-paying, non-educator jobs while hundreds of teachers are being laid off. CPS under mayoral control has become the new patronage hiring hall.

This from today's Catalyst Notebook:

Mayor's Troubleshooter Barbara Lumpkin lands $154,000-a-year job with Board of Education. (Sun-Times)

Lumpkin is the City Hall equivalent of a utility infielder. She has also served as Daley's city comptroller, budget director and city treasurer following the conviction of Miriam Santos...In 2005, her name turned up on city documents as one of four officials who signed off on some of the 14 pay raises over eight years -- three within two months -- granted to former gang member-turned convicted Hired Truck czar Angelo Torres.

This, according to the Sun-Times:

During a brief stint as city treasurer -- before Santos was released from prison and re-claimed the office only to turn around and plead guilty -- Lumpkin downplayed as "routine" $445.6 million in transaction errors that cost a top employee his job and deprived taxpayers of $102,428 in interest and penalties. To plug a $475 million budget gap -- the largest since Daley's 1995 school takeover -- CPS is raising property taxes by $43 million and cutting 450 more jobs. Some of them may be teachers.

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