In case anyone has been visiting Mars lately I'll try to bring you up to speed on the state of affairs in New York's Department of Education. When the last Commissioner Steiner couldn't resist the money being offered him by the lucratively soulless EduBiz world he gave into temptation and jumped ship. Before committing himself to the highly salaried flotsam and jetsam bobbing for consultant fees though, he was careful to anoint his little sidekick John King to carry on in the mission of the corporate privatization of public education in NewYork. King was welcomed by the hapless, flatulent, toothless group of handshakers we know as The Regents and there was never any chance to review other candidates as this deal was done like a number 2 bubble sheet.
Before long it appeared John King was lonely in the Kingdumb. Not really - they say he preferred to eat lunch by himself while studying data rather than interacting with humans - but if we're doing that Adam and Eve thing we'll just say he was lonely. And so the Governor and his minions fashioned a help mate for young King. They took the spine from a Poli Sci text and breathed some Democrats for Ed Reform dust over it. Then Sam Hoyt did an incantation over the thing and on the third day it became the Assistant Secretary of Education aka Katie Campos formerly of BuffaloReformEd by way of DemocratsforEdReform. Good thing she has all that magic up her sleeve since the poor thing hasn't ever spent 5 minutes teaching anything in a classroom. She doesn't have any background in education either, no master's no spiffy Ed.D. as they all have at City Hall so they can walk around calling each other and being called "Doctor." even though we all know better... No, Miss Campos, ironically, has but a bachelor's in political science which I guess fits since her only qualifications for the job came through her political connections. But she is CUTE. So I guess that's good enough.
Fast forward to the Governor's "Commission" who will harummph their way around the state finding outrage, panic and crisis beneath every stone they turn. This august group is made up of hedge fund managers, bankers, lawyers, here is a description I found on a blog called Ed in the Apple : (the Parsons embellishment is mine)
The twenty-five members of the commission, chaired by Dick Parsons, (disgraced Citibank fuckup and career scumbag) range across a wide spectrum. From the CUNY and SUNY chancellors, Commissioner King, State Senate and Assembly Education Committee chairs, financier Sanford Weill, Bank Street President Elizabeth Dickey, charter schooler Geoffrey Canada to a number of foundation folk to a superintendent and a few parent reps. Lacking is a real, live teacher … we have 400,000 or so in New York State to choose from …is disturbing.
Yes friends you read that correctly. ZERO teachers on the commission. And now that we have a privatizer/policy expert, is that redundant ? and a commissioner who spent a whopping 3 years in a charter school classroom, plus a 26 body commission that lacks a single teacher, what's left?
Ahhh yes the cherry on the charter school sundae, another Secretary, no, wait, wait, I got it - a DEPUTY Secretary of Education. And this guy -- look him up yourself if you want I am so sick of these people I don't even want to give his name -- started out where else ? But as a member of WTFA, the Michelle Rhee/Wendy Kopp madrassa for little privatizers who wade into the wacky world of ed for a short time then go to law school, rehab or directly into policy writing. After his painlessly short time with "the children" Mr. WTFA went directly to the Mayor Rockstar of Privatizers, Corey Booker who is desperately working to make sure Newark's schools fail and can be sold to corporate hands. He then bounced around a few more places, policy you know, none of that coarse and common, boots on the ground classroom nonsense for these bright lights. And now he's been safely installed among the rest of the collectibles in Prince Andrew's museum for the end of Public Education in New York State.
I would especially like to kick Carl Paldadino in the nuts about now as Carl's loose cannon of a campaign and his general craziness are the only reasons any sane person would have voted for Andrew Cuomo. But just as Andy and his pals are so eager to develop a formula that finds competent teachers incompetent, I hope lil Mario realizes we all ready have all we need to put him out of a job. Does this guy really think he's going to get union support when he runs for the White House in 2016? Does he still think any teacher is going to allow their union to give him a penny ? Look up that little saying about Karma Andrew, cause yours is coming and you're going to be found "ineffective."