Posts tagged "blast from the past"
July 3, 2012
The city Department of Education is politically motivated, riddled with waste, and making policy choices that won’t lead to improved student achievement.
Those claims are frequently lobbed by longstanding critics of the Bloomberg administration’s education policies. But now they are coming from a chief architect of the Department of Education’s current structure: Eric Nadelstern, the number-two official until he retired in January 2011.
Nadelstern designed the department’s network school support structure upon the premise that principals should mostly be left alone, as long as they deliver performance results. When he left, Nadelstern said he was confident that his deputies would carry on the work they had been doing with him.
But in a working paper about the network structure published late last week by the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a research group associated with the University of Washington, Nadelstern says the department has lost its way. Instead of thinking about what would be best for students, officials have considered what would be best for Mayor Bloomberg, he says. Rather than trusting principals to make the right choices for their schools, officials are mandating instructional changes. The department is frittering away federal funds centrally rather than distributing them to schools. And instead of using the network structure to support schools, the department is using a “ruthlessly efficient structure for micromanaging” them, he writes.
All together, Nadelstern says the changes have him lying awake at night with worry. ”A new mayor will probably mean a new chancellor. With equal numbers of superintendents and networks, it is not hard to envision how easily the city’s schools can be returned to a geographically organized system of local districts,” he writes.
The portion of Nadelstern’s paper that assesses the Department of Education’s current state is excerpted in full below, followed by the complete paper. (more…)