Tuesday, August 14

The politics behind the Middle School Task Force

The Gotham Gazette analyzes the politics behind yesterday's Middle School Task Force announcement, concluding that the mayor is trying to coopt the City Council's efforts to improve middle schools and speculating that Speaker Christine Quinn is allowing him to do so in anticipation of her anticipated 2009 mayoral bid.

I can't imagine that Robert Jackson, head of the council's education committee, is thrilled about this dynamic, given his frequent criticism of the DOE for its refusal to address the issue of class size adequately and to make information available to his committee. But like everyone else who pays attention to schools in the city, Jackson knows that middle schools have always been a weak link in a strengthening system, and so I hope he's pleased that Bloomberg and Klein for once sound genuinely committed to taking the council's advice — even if they do inevitably try to spin the results as their own creation, as they have managed to spin the initative itself.

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