Critics of Mayoral Control See an Opportunity in the Mayor-Appointed Board of Ed

The new Board of Education that Michael Bloomberg assembled may be his own worst enemy in restoring mayoral control of the city’s schools, critics of mayoral control hope.

A few minutes after Bloomberg introduced the new group as “temporary” and a “band-aid” yesterday, I asked Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., as he left City Hall, if the rationale for mayoral control could be undercut by a successful board.

“It may,” he said.

Diaz added, “I would like to go back to mayoral control, but with some tooth in it. I don’t think the mayor should have such an exaggerated majority of eight of out 13 members; there should be more empowerment from parents.”

Randi Weingarten, the president of the teachers union, which was eventually won over by the mayor in his efforts to extend mayoral control, saw a similar potential for that particular opposition.

“If [the new panel] works out really well there will be some people that make that argument,” she said.

But Weingarten said the current board, while it forces more conversation between the borough presidents and mayor, doesn’t  “have the built-in stability of resources that we had under the 2002 law and it doesn’t have some of the other checks and balances.”