Wow, what a week. We here at SBSB wish to welcome yet another guest blogger and honorary member of The Crack Team to these pages. This guest has guest blogged in the past, here and here.
I must say this guest blogger is very insightful and intelligent. Qualities in which the DOE sorely lacks.
I think there is much to be learned from the NFL Referee fiasco, and that it is quite comparable to the situation in our schools.
In the NFL we had one of the largest businesses in our country trying to minimize costs by refusing to recognize the importance of referees. Nobody who has bought an NFL game ticket recently faults the league for trying to save on costs. We fault the league for failing to recognize or understand the special skill set of their employees. The arrogant CEO, who cut his teeth in offices and not on the football field or sidelines, completely failed to recognize the special skills of his employees. He thought they could be replaced with a group of clones. It was only when his job and the future of his organization was on the line that Roger Goodell decided to admit that he had made a mistake and vastly undervalued the skills of those employees.
That situation is very much like the situation in New York City Schools. We had a CEO take over in 2002. He was so certain that he understood everything about teaching and education that he didn't even hire an educator to be his COO. He hired a lawyer. For a decade now we have endured management that neither understands nor values the work and the special skill set of teachers. Unfortunately, unlike the NFL when this mismanagement threatened the organization, two factors kicked in. Mayor Bloomberg used his media connections to deceive the people about the state of schools, and he spent $100 million to get reelected. Even outspending his opponent at a ratio of 12:1 barely won this CEO reelection. Unfortunately he learned nothing from all that. He continues his war on schools with increasing class sizes (every year since 2008), political attacks on teachers and the teachers' union, budget cuts and top down one way management reminiscent of the Pentagon in the 1960s. (He doesn't use body counts, he uses test scores and as the coverup of recent cheating scandals proves he doesn't care how he gets them.)
I find two truths in all this:
Roger Goodell, with all his faults, would be a better CEO than Michael Bloomberg for our schools
Mayor Bloomberg is the Agent Orange of our city schools, and it will take decades to clean up the mess he is perpetuating in our schools to this day.