Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Anybody Betting On This?

Hell of a time to come outta retirement but I think this issue bears some scrutiny. While I am glad Larry got a ticket to take in the big Paladino hearing I am less than optimistic about the outcome. It's been said elsewhere that state ed commissioners are slow to pull the plug on board members over local disputes, the dynamics of this case are going to diminish those odds from slim to somewhere around infinitesimal. Not because Paladino has the right to spew any kind of bigoted hateful bile he wants -- though some will say he has exactly that right -- but because Mary Ellen Elia and Carl Paladino play for the same team in the larger scheme of things. 

Remember, before Elia took her brown parachute from Hillsborough School District in Florida and leaped into the loving arms of Meryl Tisch, she'd been dancing with Bill Gates's millions and toeing the ed reform line with lots of testing and lots of talk about 5% of the teaching force being fired on Gates's say-so. She is no friend of public education and no friend of teachers. In case anyone is suffering from a case of mid June brain flatulence, let me remind you she shares quite a bit of common ground with Carl and Lars Quinn and their unflappable drink fetcher Patti Pierce. Like a lot of my fellows I honestly believe removing Paladino from the board would be an addition by subtraction. But if I were somehow forced to lay money on it I'd have to bet on Carl. 

As local lawyer to the stars and the vexed who are able to pay, Paul Cambria said today, there are many options available to Elia between doing nothing and giving Paladino the hook. When someone of Elia's ilk is forced into a corner as she has been in this situation you can rest assured she's going to choose the path of least resistance. I am thinking she's going to do the Commissioner's version of the Principal "putting a letter in his file." Whatever form the censure takes you can be sure it will be toothless and pointless but somehow will allow her and Paladino's detractors to save face. She can say his behavior didn't meet the threshold for removal but it did warrant a strongly worded letter. Paladino can say "See I toldjas." And everyone else will say "There now he doesn't look so smug. Three or four more of those letter and he'll be out on his ass."

In the wacky world the ed reform class has made of public education it's fair to assume expectations on teachers will be unreasonably high while those on reform friendly administrators and foot soldiers like Elia will be virtually non-existent. As Christopher Hitchens an avowed atheist said of his impending death from esophageal cancer, I still don't believe. But I do like surprises. 
Surprise us all, Mary Ellen.  


  1. Sean,

    You are getting plenty of respect out of me here in Jersey. Sorry I can't speak for the Buffalo community.

    Abigail Shure


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