Making NYC’s Status Permanent: Why Albany Needs to Act NowDecember 6, 2023
The first of five public hearings in the Bronx last night gave New Yorkers the chance to weigh in on mayoral control of the schools. The current short-term lease on accountability expires in Albany on June 30, 2024. There are various alternatives to mayoral control, such as the old Board of Education and elected community school boards, but these are not as responsive to citizen input and have their own issues with representation and corruption. Mayoral control is essential as it allows the largest number of people to have a say in choosing the person who makes the most important policy decisions about the schools, including picking a chancellor. While some have suggested giving the City Council advise and consent over the selection of a chancellor, this idea has downsides and could give additional leverage to the teachers’ union. New York City’s schools have made progress since mayoral control was established in 2002, with graduation rates and test scores rising. Legislators in Albany should not revoke the authority to guide the public schools and should not force the people of the city to beg for an extension of this power. In conclusion, mayoral control is the best form of governance for New York City’s public schools.