February 6, 2009

Klein compares Bloomberg to Putin

No, he didn't, but at the mayoral-control hearing in Albany, according to the indefatigable Elizabeth Green,

Klein defended himself passionately, arguing that mayoral control is a democratic governance structure, not an authoritarian one, as some members painted it.

The logic here is weak: under that view, a plebiscite dictatorship is democratic because every few years the head honcho could be kicked out of office. 

I think there are multiple reasonable approaches to the policy question, such as UFT's "you need two (more) righteous people to save Gotham" proposal of giving the mayor a plurality on the main policymaking body (so the mayor and chancellor would have to convince 2 out of the other 8 members) or something that would give an independent body subpoena authority and the responsibility and right to issue reports on the schools.

But the gist is to inject public accountability beyond the one-person constituency of Joel Klein. I'm a little curious why advocates of mayoral control don't grasp the fundamental irony that you don't create accountability by removing it. There are multiple ways of addressing the messiness of urban politics, but if the appointed chancellor has spent several years ignoring parents, he's getting his natural comeuppance today.

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Tags: Elizabeth Green, Joel Klein, mayoral control, Michael Bloomberg, New York City
Posted in Education policy on February 6, 2009 1:59 PM |