Thursday, January 05, 2006

Pondering a Takeover

According to the LA Times today, Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa met with the superintendent of the city's schools, and they may or may not have discussed the mayor's potential takeover of the school district. I haven't heard much about Villaraigosa since he was elected (the Economist says he hasn't done much), but he seems determined to follow NYC's mayor on this one. I'm not seeing a lot of progress as a result of Bloomy's reforms, and I suspect that the upcoming middle school ELA tests will confirm at least the dismal state of the city's middle schools. Only a handful of my 8th graders have been able to write a coherent, gramatically correct article for the after-school's newsletter. And these kids are so tired of thinking and being pressured about tests all year that I think they won't even perform as well as they could.

1 comment:

EdWonk said...

I've been monitoring Villaraigosa's attempt to overthrow the elected (and accountable to the people) school board for some time. His scheme is to appoint the board members and the superintendent thus assuring their complete accountability and loyalty--- to him.

I feel that this would be a situation tailor-made for cronyism, (which along with its related pests of nepotism and favoritism) already infest public school systems all too often.

California has a strong tradition of locally elected school boards. Villaraigosa's first attempt to pass the special legislation needed for his coup-d'etat failed to gather sufficient support in the legislature for the special law that would be needed.