Friday, August 6, 2010

The arrogance of power

Klein--"I'm above the law. I know Ravenel Boykin Curry IV"

Mayor Bloomberg's hand-picked schools Chancellor Joel Klein, is bigger than the law. He laughs at law. Giggles at union contracts. Guffaws at the very idea of community input. On Wednesday, Klein announced he would use his little-known "emergency powers," to do an end run around state law and take space away from a program for autistic children in order to expand his patron's favorite Girls Preparatory Charter School. 

State law forbids such a move without consultation with parents. According to the N.Y. Times:
Parents of students affected by the move brought the case to the state commissioner, complaining that the city had given them no information about where the autistic children would go. In his ruling on Monday, Mr. Steiner agreed, saying that the city had to hold new public hearings before moving students, a process that would effectively put off any change for at least a year. 
When State Commissioner Steiner ruled that Klein's charter expansion was illegal, Klein responded by invoking the little know emergency clause which permits the DOE to act unilaterally when it is, “immediately necessary for the preservation of student health, safety or general welfare.”   

Silver's response:
“The school governance law is crystal clear that the Department of Education must consult with parents in a meaningful way when they are considering co-locating a school in an existing school building.  This is really a breathtaking end run around both the law’s requirements and the right of parents to have a voice in a decision that will impact the lives of their children. Unfortunately it’s the kind of arrogance that too many parents have come to expect from Chancellor Klein when it comes to having a voice in their children’s education. This is blatant abuse of the Chancellor’s emergency powers.” (The Lo-Down)
It's worth mentioning that Girls Prep is the darling of billionaire hedge-fund operator and DFER patron, Ravenel Boykin Curry IV of Eagle Capital Management. The school's curriculum appears to be little more than test-prep with hefty contracts going to Open Court Reading Program, and Saxon Math.

Check out this piece of satire, "Klein Declares Martial Law" on NYC Public School Parents blog.

1 comment:

  1. Nico Toscani: Are we the fucking Romans?


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