Wednesday's massive Working Families public schools rally forced Mayor Bloomberg to preemptively rush out with a new parental engagement staffer at the Department of Education.
Chancellor Klein reacted to the rally by performing an ostrich-like maneuver, planting his head firmly in the sand:
"I don't accept your numbers," said Klein. "There were about a thousand people but there weren't many parents there. And I've met more parents in these last months to talk about these issues."Klein's mood won't be improved by reading Andrew Wolf's column in the almost-always supportive NY Sun:
The Working Families Party and the teachers union president, Randi Weingarten, a powerful influence in Albany, have formed a coalition of local elected officials - including Comptroller William Thompson Jr., a possible 2009 mayoral hopeful, and a bevy of City Council members - that is calling for an education overhaul of its own making. Although not all in the group are seeking a complete rollback of mayoral control, many say the system needs to change drastically.or from this piece of friendly-fire from the Charter Schools Association:
People are indeed fuming. I've been getting emails from all sorts of people who attended this week's Working Families Party/UFT rally, most of whom are arguing that dismissing the collective anger as the mere political work of the unions isn't doing the frustrations justice. Even the Bloomberg administration, which from day one has proudly thumbed its nose at any suggestion that public support is necessary in school reform, seems to understand the gravity of what is playing out right now.All this prompted Daily News columnist Bill Hammond to blog late today: "How far [h]as the worm turned on mayoral control of New York City's public schools?"
It doesn't have to be this way. All parents want is a seat at the table. They're ready to talk; they just need Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein to agree to listen.
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