It is impossible to consider our system of education without understanding the political nature of the machine. The School Board is an elected body and therefore is driven by a particular affiliation and attitude.
In Rochester, Malik Evans, President of the Board, Vice-President Jose Cruz, Commissioner Cynthia Elliott, and Interim Superintendent Bolgen Vargas all have a common political bond, Assemblyman David Gantt. And, while Assemblyman Gantt has done a great many positive things for this community, it is important to recognize the like-mindedness of those who make decisions for our district.
Assemblyman Gantt has advocated for and continues to be a proponent of mayoral control, a business based model of leadership whose goal is to achieve profitability through institutionalized coercion and control. It has been proven that mayoral control does not enhance the successful education of children but maintains a status of profit for those engaged in the business of education through the privatization of schools and the sale of educational and testing materials.
There is no question that Commissioner Elliott supports the idea of mayoral control and, as Gantt supporters, it is logical to assume that Evans, Cruz, and Vargas are similarly envisioned.
This commonality of purpose of our elected officials is, and has been, educationally destructive to our children. Running our educational system like a business has turned our children into non-thinking widgets who have nothing more to offer society than a work force mentality that has led to the destruction of the very humanity for which education was purposed.
When we consider the qualifications of those we elect to govern our school district we must take care to know and understand their belief systems in order to determine whether or not the decisions they make will be in the best interest of our children.
Currently, this community is seeking a new superintendent of schools. We have taken the time and made the effort to make our requisites for the position known. We must now make sure that our elected Board heeds our recommendations and does not fill the position with one who suits their political purposes.
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