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Union Calls for a Return to the Bad Old Days

"We're calling on all mayoral candidates to fully reject the UFT's proposal to end mayoral control of NYC schools."

Statement from StudentsFirstNY Communications Director Chandra Hayslett: 

With it latest missive calling for the end of mayoral control of the schools, the union has made it clear that its vision of progress is to return New York City to the days of patronage, graft and corruption, with a system that has no accountability whatsoever and in which fewer than half our kids graduated high school. We call on all of the mayoral candidates to fully reject this proposal. 

Let's take a walk down memory lane and remember just a couple of the examples of patronage, graft and corruption that fueled a system that failed our kids:

Discord Undermines Efforts to Repair and Build Public Schools | New York Times, 07/27/1999
A fire that was touched off by a welder working in a Brooklyn vocational school briefly trapped 150 students last year. The construction work was not supposed to begin until school was done for the day, but school administrators and construction officials could not agree on when classes were actually over.
Read the full article. 

In School District, Corruption Fed by Ethnic Division | New York Times, 05/17/1999
They called him ''Wild Bill'' Rogers, and for 20 years he was the law in the schools of Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn.
Read the full article. 

School District Under a Spotlight: Upheaval, Scathing Criticism and Parent Watchdogs | New York Times, 12/29/1996
Behind the upheaval that rattled central Harlem's school district over the last year were two major changes in an educational bureaucracy that had been virtually insulated from scrutiny.
Read the full article. 

Students Lag in Districts Where Patronage Thrives | New York Times, 05/13/1996
Michael DiBisceglie was a teacher and drug-program coordinator when the local school board in Brooklyn's Bushwick section made him principal of Public School 106 in 1980. A board member who thought Mr. DiBisceglie was not qualified for the job remembers the lobbying pitch from his biggest supporter on the board: "Why can't you vote for him? He's my son-in-law."
Read the full article. 

Powerful Aide Is the Focus Of Board Fight | New York Times, 06/11/1996
On his first full day as president of the Board of Education, William C. Thompson Jr. said yesterday that one of his top priorities would be to figure out what precisely the secretary to the board, Bruce E. Gelbard, does -- even though the two have worked only a few doors apart for the last two years.
Read the full article. 

5 Bronx School Officials Are Indicted in Absentee Ballot Fraud | New York Times, 04/25/1996
Prosecutors charged yesterday that high-ranking officials of a school district in the Bronx conspired to file hundreds of fraudulent absentee ballots in the 1993 school board election to assure victory for candidates they believed would help them keep their jobs.
Read the full article. 

18 NAMED IN GRAFT TIED TO PROJECTS FOR SCHOOL BOARD | New York Times, 05/20/1994
Federal prosecutors charged yesterday that the division of the Board of Education that maintains schools and leases space remained rife with corruption, five years after it was stripped of the power to build new schools because of earlier scandals.
Read the full article. 

School Board's President Resigns; Dinkins Moves Fast on Successor | New York Times, 06/21/1991
Mayor David N. Dinkins moved yesterday to place a more commanding presence in the top leadership position on the New York City Board of Education by announcing the resignation of its president, Dr. Gwendolyn C. Baker, from the board.
Read the full article. 

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