Try to say more later, but for now if you follow urban education don’t miss the latest iteration of Bloomberg – Klein education reforms in New York City (pdf). You’ll see something that looks like weighted-student funding though not exactly and you’ll see something that looks a lot like the Robert Gordon Hamiltonian teacher evaluation idea. And that might not be a coincidence since he works for Klein now…Still, there will be plenty to argue about (though no real privatization!) and arguments sure to come…but overall it’s not a bad blueprint for the direction things are going and worth checking out.
Obviously, mayoral control by itself is not a panacea. The mayor must be willing to lead, to make tough decisions and to put the interests of children first. But in the absence of mayoral leadership, too often it’s politics as usual in urban school districts.
Nothing is more important to cities, indeed to our nation, than ending decades of neglect and dysfunction in our public schools. To do that will require leadership. Mayors are our most important city leaders, and they should be at the helm of this most important city responsibility.