David Bloomfield surprised some of his fellow critics of the Department of Education back in March when he testified before the City Council in favor of a slightly modified form of mayoral control.
But now that Mayor Bloomberg has won the right to run for a third term, Bloomfield, a Citywide Council on High Schools member and Brooklyn College professor, has changed his mind about maintaining mayoral control, he writes on his new blog:
I still believe my reasons for keeping mayoral control of the [Panel for Educational Policy] with power of removal are valid, but giving this Mayor continued ability to steamroll his education policies through the PEP would be blind to the present reality. The recommendations for change, though, might be constructive in order to restrain Mayor Bloomberg’s unfettered discretion. As a general matter, I currently favor rescinding mayoral control as an unfortunate but necessary response to the Mayor’s and Council’s term limits decision.
Bloomfield tells me he can’t think of any individual who’s gone public as changing his position on mayoral control because of Bloomberg’s term limits grab.
But others have predicted it would happen. At the Brooklyn Charter School Night last week, Anthony Weiner, a state congressman and mayoral hopeful who supports mayoral control, said he worried that Bloomberg’s term limits grab would undermine support for mayoral control among Albany lawmakers. Liz Benjamin of the Daily News reported in September that Mayor Bloomberg was confronting a “Sophie’s Choice dilemma,” because seeking a third term could hurt his chances at preserving mayoral control, a key legacy point.