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One of the most troubling aspects of former city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein’s tenure was the creation of the Leadership Academy. This academy was designed to take people with little or no education experience and give them a crash course in how to be a school leader.
Unfortunately, what has occurred in the last several years is that people were placed in charge of schools not fully understanding what makes a school community tick and, in fact, may have been brought in to run the schools into the ground. Since Mayor Michael Bloomberg has implemented the corporate model in running schools, administrators are forced to view teachers and students as data. Individuals not familiar with education, who are now in charge of schools, use this data to measure and punish the people charged with educating our students.
These corporate-minded and often young administrators are not equipped to make good educational decisions for their schools and often do not. They resort to abusing staff, ignoring parents’ concerns and hiding in their offices. Are these the sort of leaders we want running our schools?
The wealthy folks behind the movement that Bloomberg and Klein have brought to New York City want to privatize our schools and break the teachers union. Their idea of a good education are schools completely filled with novice teachers who they can burn out and replace after a couple of years. They believe class sizes should be high, teachers need not have any teaching training and children need not have the benefit of a well-rounded curriculum, including science and the arts.
They also believe school leaders should be business people whose ultimate responsibility is to cut costs. This would explain the push to eliminate veteran — and expensive — teachers from our school system. The irony is that those same wealthy folks send their own children to elite private schools that boast of low class sizes, experienced teachers and rich curricula. Different rules for different people, it seems.
Inquire if your child’s school is being headed by a Leadership Academy graduate. If it is, be concerned. More often than not, they have been brought there not to bring the school community together but to tear it apart.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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