Thursday, January 21, 2010

Litmus Test

The surest sign of merit in a policy proposal in New York is that the public employee unions oppose it.

We already knew Mayor Duffy's concept for leadership of Rochester's schools is wise, and the best hope for the system's victims, the schoolchildren.   Tuesday's protest at City Hall merely underscores it.

The schools establishment won't tolerate any change.   Every proposal for it implies criticism of the way the schools now work -- or, more accurately, don't work.

The Mayor addressed the protest squarely.   "I don't see anyone protesting a 39% or 40% graduation rate," he told WXXI radio.   Nor, he continued, did he see anyone protesting other obvious failures of the City school district.   And to WHAM-TV Duffy observed, "...[T]his is about a system that is funded as well as any system could be funded, about $23,000 per student, and is producing, at best, a 50% graduation rate."

Not everyone who sincerely wants the City to prosper supports the Mayor's concept.   But everybody does who cares whether the City prospers and understands what's necessary to make it happen.

A leader of lesser character could easily punt:   "Sure the schools are a mess.   Not My Department."   Instead, with wisdom and courage, Mayor Duffy is taking on the schools establishment and the unions that feed on it -- collectively, the most powerful and reactionary special interest in the State of New York.

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