March 25, 2013
Around Town By Neal Tepel
New York NY – UFT President Michael Mulgrew has proposed sweeping changes to limit mayoral control of New York City schools and to restore a system of checks and balances to public education. The changes would have to be approved by the state Legislature.
The UFT school governance recommendations include: The mayor would appoint five of the 13 members of the Panel for Educational Policy, a reduction from the current eight-vote mayoral majority.
The comptroller, public advocate and speaker of the City Council would each appoint one member. The borough presidents would continue to each appoint one member. Panel members would serve staggered, three-year terms.
The chancellor would be selected by the mayor from a field of three candidates chosen by the PEP. All candidates would have to meet state standards without a waiver from the state’s Commissioner of Education. Chancellors would serve two-year, renewable terms.
President Mulgrew said: “By objective measures like the racial achievement gap or the college readiness rate, and by public disenchantment with the governance of the schools, it is clear that mayoral control in its current form has not worked. Even though the current mayoral control law expires in 2015, we will be talking with legislators who share our concerns about the importance of putting in place as soon as possible a new governance structure. We need a system that will link parents and the community to the schools that are crucial to their children’s future.”