New York

Board of Education meeting today for first time in 7 years

It's all happening: The newly recreated Board of Education is meeting today at noon, inside Tweed Courthouse, the headquarters of the city schools administration. As we reported last night, convening the board is the first step to getting the new, post-mayoral control governance system up and running. The media advisory I received underscores the confusion that is sure to rule today: The event is billed as an emergency meeting of the Board of Education, but the logo in the e-mail is the multi-colored one used by the Department of Education. We know three of the seven people who will be sitting on the board when it meets: We reported yesterday that Dolores Fernandez, a former college president and critic of the mayor's policies, is Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr's pick. Scott Stringer of Manhattan is appointing his counsel, Jimmy Yan, on an interim basis and Brooklyn's Marty Markowitz picked his chief of staff, Carlo Scissura, according to the New York Times. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall is announcing her pick right now and Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro will name his nominee at noon. Mayor Bloomberg hasn't yet said who he'll choose to fill the two seats he controls. Update: The DOE just sent out the full line up and there are some interesting choices. First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris (Mayoral appointee) Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler (Mayoral appointee) Dr. Dolores Fernandez (Bronx appointee) Carlo Scissura (Brooklyn appointee) Jimmy Yan (Manhattan appointee) Deputy Borough President Edward Burke (Staten Island appointee) Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development Dennis M. Walcott (Queens appointee) Here's the announcement that just came from the communications office at "NYC DOE":
New York

Critics of 2002 law hopeful Senate will pass a compromise bill

New York

Theoretical Board of Ed that may exist tomorrow gets 1st member

<em>Courtesy of the Bronx borough president's office</em> No one can accuse Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. of being unprepared for the possibility that mayoral control will expire tonight. Diaz just named his potential appointee to the theoretical Board of Education. That person is Dr. Dolores Fernandez, a professor of urban education at CUNY's Graduate Center who retired as president of Hostos Community College in 2008. Fernandez's appointment will become effective at midnight tonight if the 2002 mayoral control law expires and the Senate does not pass a law to replace it. Diaz said in a statement today that he is "a supporter of some form of mayoral control." Asked if Diaz would recommend that his appointee to the board vote to retain Joel Klein as chancellor, John DeSio, a spokesman for the borough president, would not comment yesterday. "He has mixed opinions on the chancellor," DeSio said. Fernandez could not immediately be reached for comment. In a release put out by Diaz's office, she said: "For me, it is an honor to be thought of by Borough President Diaz to represent The Bronx on the Board of Education. I look forward to serving our borough, and its children, in an admirable and professional way." Between 1988 and 1990, Fernandez was deputy chancellor for instruction and development for the Board of Education. She served under chancellor Richard Green, the system's first black chancellor, who died suddenly a year into his tenure of an asthma attack, leaving the school system in disarray. Fernandez has a Master's in Education and a professional diploma in Educational Administration. The full press release follows.
New York

At City Hall, mayoral control is the ticking elephant in the room

The NYCLU and Sikh community members demanded protection against discrimination at a press conference this morning. They said their push could be helped if mayoral control is revised. Mayor Bloomberg refused to take questions on mayoral control at a press conference this morning, and two school-related groups staged protests outside City Hall and Tweed Courthouse without addressing the 2002 law directly. That's despite the fact that mayoral control is set to expire in 12 hours if the state Senate doesn't pass legislation today. With the Senate still locked in a court battle, chances of a resolution look dimmer by the minute — and a reconstituted Board of Education looks more and more likely. Bloomberg said he will address the small matter of the deadlocked legislature at 12:30 today, at a press conference where he will virtually appear next to Governor Paterson, who is in Albany. Meanwhile, a group including the New York Civil Liberties Union and Sikh community members demanded more protection from discrimination this morning, in a protest outside the Department of Education's Tweed Courthouse headquarters. The group accused the DOE of not enforcing a regulation that is supposed to protect children from discriminating against each other in school. Donna Lieberman, executive director of the NYCLU, said the issue relates directly to mayoral control. The NYCLU has argued the current mayoral control law wrongly insulates the school system from following city law. "The refusal of the DOE to protect kids has to be looked at in the context of mayoral control," Lieberman told our Anna Phillips, who is at City Hall this morning. (The Assembly's version of a revised mayoral control law does not clarify whether the Department of Education must follow city law, as NYCLU advocated.)