When politicians trample on education

Kimberly writes:

If you can read this, and you care about children, please help. Please consider running for appointment to the NY State Board of Regents, or finding someone to propose to be appointed. Regent Saul B Cohen has retired. So, a Regent is needed from the 9th Supreme Court Judicial District, the area of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester.

Some people like politics, some people don’t. Gandhi said that politics engulfs us all like a large, black snake. One thing that seems easy to agree on, is that the dirty part of politics — money games, power games, the ambitions of politicians and business people — would be better to be kept as far away from education as possible.

But, not so.

We see in New York City that the rich, businessman Mayor has felt the need to appoint a rich, private-school-culture, business woman to take care of the children of the poor and working class in the city. And, the NY State Board of Regents has condoned it with a waiver. And, a judge has affirmed the decision.  (See story below).

So, now, how do we slow the trend?

I hope that some people will focus on the NY State Board of Regents. They allowed this to happen with their waiver. The group of people on the Board of Regents should be guardians and caretakers for our children. Though, the Cathie Black decision shows they are not. The Board of Regents recent cutback decisions shows they are more about money and bottom line than children. And, the recent meeting of the Board of Regents was rife with business-speak, power games, and oppressive decisions.

Wonder if parents can put the NY State Board of Regents and the new Governor to the test on how much they care about children, and if they can keep dirty politics out of education? Let’s see who Governor Cuomo appoints to the board of Regents. Will Cuomo do a Bloomberg-like maneuver and put on some slick business person with no education background? Someone whose clear goal is reorganizing, playing money and power games with other-people’s-money, and making sure the rich are not too inconvenienced with the burden of public education? Or, will Cuomo take the time to find someone who has a public education background, who cares about children, and who can focus on something besides meeting funding criteria deadlines on federal government grants?

I hope that Cuomo will make a good appointment. Though, I don’t hold out much hope. A teacher’s union activist explained that there was no educator on Cuomo’s transition team, only a charter school businessperson.

So, as a back-up plan, perhaps the people who genuinely care about the children in the education system, I would like to see people put up candidates for suggested appointment. Let some parents’ groups, or teachers unions suggest people with good resumes who it would be helpful for Cuomo to appoint.

And, after the Cathie Black mess, and what comes next on this specific appointment, the people of New York State should consider how to either abolish the NY Board of Regents, or turn it into something where voters elect members, and the voices of students in the system are at least heard.

If anyone is interested in “running” for the appointment to the Regents, please feel free to comment here. Or, write to me, and I will try to help. Another idea would be to send your resume, or the resume of an educator/administrator you admire to Governor-Elect Cuomo.

Kimberly Wilder
Education reformer
Campaign worker


(excerpt from) AP/Wall Street Journal on-line
Judge clears way for NYC schools chancellor
December 29, 2010

NEW YORK — A judge has cleared the way for publishing executive Cathie Black to head New York City’s public schools.

Black is slated to take over from Schools Chancellor Joel Klein on Monday. But opponents filed three lawsuits challenging her qualifications for the job…

On Wednesday, Acting Justice Gerald Connelly in Albany denied their petitions.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Norman Siegel said his clients were disappointed in the ruling.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the decision. He said Black is ready to get to work.

2 Responses

  1. I can’t run for the position, but I hope they get someone decent! Thanks for the information.

  2. […] A new music…US drone attacks are… on A Flood of Drone Strikestheteachingwhore on When politicians trample on…Donna on Riverhead Jail in Suffolk Coun…Green Party certifie… on Hofstra Debate: […]

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