Sunday, November 28, 2010

Who Is In Charge?

In 1980, Ronald Reagan to allay fears that he was not ready for the presidency came thisclose to tapping former president Gerald Ford as his vice-president. Ford, as part of his pre-condition to accept the nomination wanted a "co-presidency" and control of all executive appointments. Reagan than nominated George H.W. Bush as his VP. The lesson, you need someone in charge.

From 1961 to 1962 the Chicago Cubs did not have a manager. What they had was known as the "College of Coaches." These coaches rotated as managers of the team at one time or another during the season and invariably there was no discerning pattern, philosophy of the team. The Cubs record in these two years was 123-193. No one was in charge.

In the Brady Bunch, Greg and Marcia had convinced mom and dad to allow them to babysit the rest of the kids whilst Mike and Carol went out on the town and Alice was out with Sam ostensibly to help him with a meat problem. Needless to say, mayhem soon took over the Brady household. Greg insisted he was in charge, Marcia insisted it was her.

In 2010, New York State Education Commissioner David Steiner decided that no one would be in charge. He gave an out to Herr Mayor, His Holiness, and Mystic Ruler, Michael "Zod" Bloomberg. His out? Put an education person as second in command, a co-chancellor if you will, in the form of Shael Suransky.

I just don't see how this can work out. Truly, who is the subordinate? Yes, I know, both Cathie Black and Shael are ultimately subordinate to Bloomy, but they are human. Both have ambitions, both want to be heard, both will have factions. Both want to be heard and have their point come across. Who will the drones at Tweed suck up to?

The New York Times listed the responsibilities of Shael, but it seems this is what a chancellor should do. What exactly are the Talking Cathie Doll's duties?

No one can win this. There can only be losers. And the worst part is the ultimately, yet sadly the children of New York and their families will pay the ultimate price. Why? Because of the adults. Bloomberg, because he is impervious to hearing what the people want, The Talking Cathie Doll, because she is so self absorbed and can't see the forest through the trees at how she is already disdained, and Suransky for he has no qualities, that he allows himself to be led around by a leash. All three of these so called adults lack any humility.

But lest we forget David Steiner. He and only he could have put a stop to this. He didn't. He failed the students and the families of New York City. Four, count them, four members of his panels recommended that The Talking Cathie Doll not be granted the waiver. I would hazard to guess that these four were not the ones with ties to Bloomberg, but miracles do happen and I could be wrong. But Steiner has dropped the ball. What recourse does anyone have with Steiner? None, sadly.

It seems I have left out our governor elect Andrew Cuomo. Andy put it so eloquently when he said, "Mayoral control means that the mayor can pick anyone he wants to." Yes, that is true. But would you say the same thing if Bloomberg had chosen Super Dave Osborne? The president gets to choose who he wants for cabinet positions and the Supreme Court. But there is this thing called senate confirmation. Check and balances. Something we lack here in the City of New York.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

is it really up to the Mayor, alone??? That seems to be a flawed system.