Flexibility, Philadelphia, and Bloomberg calls Cuomo’s bluff
February 01, 2012
The AP reports that the U.S.
Education Department scolded states that had applied for the first round of
NCLB waivers for not ensuring to ED’s satisfaction that schools would be held
accountable for student performance. As Mike
wrote last week, the folks in Washington are all about flexibility—until
it’s time to be flexible. If Duncan & Co. keep this micromanagement up,
education may yet become a campaign issue for their boss.
Apparently sick of stalled negotiations with
the union over teacher evaluations, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is
asking Andrew Cuomo to revamp
state law to make firing low-rated teachers easier. Turns out New Yorkers
will find out whether the self-styled “lobbyist for the students” in Albany is
serious about fixing schools sooner rather than later. And whether he can get
anywhere with a famously union-dominated legislature.
Philly “Chief Recovery Officer” Thomas Knudsen, a
newly-appointed turnaround whiz from the corporate world, was warned by the
city controller last week that he needs to cut $400,000 from
the district budget—each and every day through June. Districts in tough straits
have turned to MBAs for help before, but it will take painful and fundamental
changes, not just business acumen, to fix the situation in the City of