31 March 2009

Your School is Run by the Mayor??

Arne Duncan says that more schools need to be run by big-city mayors. His job success depends on it! If we don't get more intertwining between government and schools, he'll have failed as education secretary! Eeek! We need strong leadership in schools... there is too much turnover in schools where the mayor is not in control of every aspect of our lives.

Bet you under Duncan, the trains will run on time, too.

Now, look. I get that the government has a reasonably compelling interest in assuring that its citizenry is educated and all that stuff. It has a reasonably compelling interest, too, in assuring that the popcorn you buy at the market isn't laced with arsenic and asbestos (crunchy! mmm) and that the prescriptions you buy from your local pharmacy are at least tested on the Easter bunny before being released to the general public. My apologies to the Easter bunny.

But really.

We need the MAYOR in charge of the school? I mean, yeah, I'm all for local control of schools... but do we need our town's MAYOR in charge instead of the school board and the superintendent? You know, the people I'm voting for locally anyway? I'd like to vote my mayor in on the basis of his ability to negotiate good contracts on my garbage pickup, patch the potholes on my street and make sure my city's Spring on the Square has a good parade. The parade is pretty important, and we wouldn't want anything like "running the schools" to distract him.

Not to mention my *last* mayor, who turned out to be a bit of a flake after he took office. Goody for him that he wanted to fight icky oil-change places from taking the building in the center of town (you know, a service people need?). He wanted something more upscale to move in. I guess he was hoping for a poodle-grooming place that paints doggie nails or one of those upscale boutiques with a French name and boas in the window. Well, the oil change guys didn't fight him and moved on... bye...

Guess who moved in?

Porn shop. With bondage videos and spank-ware, located directly across from the McDonald's "Playplace" (not going to make crude joke here... eeew). And the porn shop had lots of great expen$ive lawyers to challenge city code. The mayor rolled over and let it happen. Yeah, the new place does have boas in the window, and a French-sounding name, so mission accomplished, I guess. Sorta.

I'm not sure, but I think somehow this applies to schools... hmmm...


  1. You would think the mayor would have found a way to keep the porn shop out. Maybe he's on the take!

  2. Yeah, that would be really gross if he enjoyed his "kickbacks."

    Please tell me I didn't write that.

  3. Yes, Mrs. C, you wrote that!

    I agree with your post, but I will say this: better the mayor than the President! The closer to the school, then theoretically of course, the school will get more practical and common sense leadership than some politican or his commitee thousands of miles away.

    Like I said, I agree with your post, but the reality is that parents have virtually no power in the schools, despite the lip service school board members give us.

    The state legislatures set the agenda, and the boards carry them out. When they don't, the legislatures have the ability to force them by controlling the purse strings. Public school is not run by the public. And certainly not by the parents. The term "government schools", which I am hearing used more and more, is a much more appropriate phrase.

  4. Hmm... if we had a local mayor with absolute dictatorial control, maybe that WOULD be better than some socially liberal wacko bureaucrats bemuddling everything for everyone far away in Washington... maybe...

    I guess it would change what I would look for in a mayor, though. I may come off as a bit simplistic, but I think a different sort of person would be good at keeping schools well-run as opposed to city planning.

    And I'm thinking that even the mayor would be bound by the silly rules the superintendent would be. Maybe I'm wrong in assuming that. :]


Non-troll comments always welcome! :)