NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD? "LEADERSHIP" TRAINING ACADEMY
It was supposed to be the best thing since
apple pie. But the
New York City Leadership Academy, a training
center for New York City principals, has not met the expectations
generated by its creators. The Academy was apparently a
brainchild of the Partnership for New York City, the unelected
"mayor's" office that enjoys an incestuous relationship with the
once-august New York Chamber of Commerce. The Partnership for New
York City has
been at the forefront of a rather elitist approach to education in the
city, first espousing the proliferation of charter schools, and then
supporting the dissolution of local school boards and placing the New
York City public schools under a single manager who answers only to the
mayor. The Academy, which the city is using as a source of
trained principals to
replace those in under-performing school districts, is itself
underperforming. It turns out that the Academy's trainees have not all
made a great hit at
the schools they have been assigned to, according to an article in
December 20, 2005 editions of The
New York Times.
The Partnership positions itself as wearing the real
in New York City government, a city which it deems too important to
leave to the
management of elected officials and to that outmoded form of government
called "democracy." The Academy it helped create, is, of course,
private nonprofit whose work is subsidized by private funds. In other
words, New York City is once again accepting the charity of
"benefactors" who can run things outside the purview of the electorate.
For the same reason, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg runs the
metropolis for a salary of $1. Of course, this is billed as a benefit
to New Yorkers, who don't seem to be aware of tradeoffs such as the
awarding of air rights over railroad tracks to preferred bidders at a
amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. Bloomberg is a buddy
of David Rockefeller, founder of the Partnership, and he received an
award from another of David's pet projects, the Museum of Modern Art,
just before he was elected to his first term as mayor. The award
name. And the paint-by-numbers art work for which Bloomberg received
the award....hmmmm.......wait! Let me do a little fact checking on that!
Back to the Academy. If you have ever had the
opportunity to take a whiff of the Rockefellerite establishment, you
will immediately grasp that the Academy is basically a factory that
produces clones that tow the line, something like cookie-cutter
elitists. No wonder Academy trainees have received a mixed
reception among the "real" people who pay bills and scrape to get by.
In the first place, principals adjudged "poor performers," most likely
people of color, had to be booted so there would be
room for the Rockefellerite clones, predictably white-butted lackeys.
Then, these principals had to be carefully trained so they would
be reliable "in your face" types. Highlighted in The Times article was a brief
history of one of these "principals," Adrienne Lloyd:
Take the case of
Ms. Lloyd, who worked as a teacher and an assistant district attorney
before joining the Leadership Academy. Tabio Da Cruz, the
teacher's union chapter leader at J.H.S. (Junior High School) 8, said
that at first he had
high hopes for Ms. Lloyd, who surprised him by calling him at home to
introduce herself before school started.
They started to
spar, he said, after she closed a union-run training center in the
building. Tensions rose, he said, after she started calling teachers at
home after they called in sick. "If you were calling out sick, she
would ask you: 'Are you sick? What's your temperature? Are you sure you
can't come in? Can I have someone come pick you up and bring you
here?'" he said. "It seemed like she was open to ideas in the
beginning, but all of the sudden it was my way for the highway; if you
don't like it get out."
The article states that Ms. Lloyd was
transferred to another school, and that she told The Times she was currently on a
Admittedly, we have not interviewed Ms.
Lloyd, but her
management attitude reflected in The
Times article likely reflects the culture of the Academy.
Nonprofits like the Academy relieve responsibility
from the electorate (the way a thief relieves someone of their wallet)
and place it in
private hands using public money. Such is the modus operandi
of the Partnership, one among a flotilla of nonprofit "thynk tanques"
that basically manipulate pubic policy in this country from the
According to The
Times article, Kathryn S. Wylde, president of the Partnership,
sits on the Academy's board. She is quoted in the article as saying
that the Partnership contributed $30 million in funding to the Academy.
The article puts funding for the program at $70 million, and indicates
that part of that funding, and one would guess perhaps much of the
remaining $40 million, is from the city. Thus the Partnership gets to
implement its idea of what education should look like by leveraging 40
additional billions from its $30 billion, which is how these private
like to expand their power. Remember that that $30 million, if it had
not been shielded as a contribution to a nonprofit, would have been
taxed at a rate as high as 50 percent. The average taxpayer
makes up for this shielded portion, or $15 million. Thus, taxpayers
pony up their millions for an elitist institution that by keeping a low
profile, makes itself highly resistant to public input.
It used to be said that the communists claimed to be
selling the West the rope they will use to hang it with. Likewise, it
appears that the Partnership is selling New York City the rope with
which to hang its educational infrastructure, while siphoning public
funds into the pockets of its own constituency, such as the hand-picked
candidates for the Academy.
Times will do a follow-up article on the nature of the training
at the Academy and the racial constitution of its graduates.
Otherwise, Elissa Gootman and David M. Herszenhorn have hit a bull's
eye with this article.
After writing this column, I briefly browsed the
Partnership's web site at www.nycp.org, and upon reading it, became
ill. Under "About Us," it states:
for New York City was formed out of the merger of two
organizations: the New York Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the
New York City Partnership.
No, far more likely, this was a clandestine and unfriendly
takeover of the 200+ year old New York Chamber
and not a
"merger." I'll leave it to those with stronger stomachs to leaf through
the entire site.
By the way, if you think this local phenomenon has
nothing to do with our country's foreign policy woes, think again.
Paging through "Our Founder" at the Partnership web site, you will see
that it touts David Rockefeller's influential ties to the foreign
establishment that brought us the Patriot Act and the Iraq War, among
other fantastic productions of the current U.S. administration.