Beth Fertig is the contributing editor for education, covering the New York City public school system for WNYC on air and online at SchoolBook.org. She has covered education in the city for more than 15 years. Beth is the author of Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test (FSG Books) which grew out of a radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students. Follow her @bethfertig.
"A Benevolent Dictatorship"
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Students from PS 33 in the Bronx attended the State Senate Education Committee's hearing on mayoral control of the schools, as part of their social studies class. The students didn't seem to know what the debate was about but seemed happy to take a field trip. Those who testified were much more engaged, though. Jacob Morris, co-director of the School Leadership Team Empowerment Alliance, told lawmakers the mayor had created a 'benevolent dictatorship' without enough community involvemen. He called for strenghthening local school boards. But Felice Lempore, Principal of the Urban Assembly School for Careers in Sports, recalled how the old local school boards engaged in favoritism and said he's confident mayoral control is working and has led to higher scores.