Mamie Till Mobley

"There was an important mission for me, to shape so many...young minds as a teacher. God took away one child but...(gave) me thousands. And I have been grateful for the blessing." Mamie Till Mobley

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gov. Cuomo taps Katie Campos princess of school reform advocates to secretary of education post

The last time I saw Katie Campos,  executive director of Buffalo ReformED, she was at a meeting of the District Parent Coordinating Council pushing a petition for a parent trigger bill she developed for New York State similar to the one passed in California. Yet,  a month after Gov. Jerry Brown sworn in as the new governor on January 2011, along with the state Board of Education mostly his appointees put the brakes on the law working instead on a "clean-up legislation."
"Under the law, if 51% of parents in a failing school sign a petition, they can trigger a forcible transformation of the school—either by inviting a charter operator to take it over, by forcing certain administrative changes, or by shutting it down outright.Schools are eligible for triggering if they have failed to make "adequate yearly progress," according to state standards, for four consecutive years."

So it was surprising how fast Campos tried to  get the DPCC to vote on giving Buffalo ReformED the go ahead to push the legislation through Albany.  I reviewed her petition and asked who wrote it, Campos responded, "I wrote it." The petition was written on a form that had the logo of both DPCC and Buffalo ReformED which I thought interesting, showing how Campos' group operates in the community to draw these parent organizations into the privatization web. Now,  Katie Campos  made headline news on Friday after Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed her as secretary of education in his administration. Although Campos only has a bachelor's degree in political science for such a big title to influence educational policy making in Albany, she had the right connections. She  worked for Assemblyman Sam Hoyt,  was former public affairs director to New York Charter Schools Association and development director to Democrats for Education Reform a political action committee.
But the public wonders how Gov. Cuomo justifies these titles and salaries for staff with undergraduate degrees yet hollers for a salary cap on school administrators with much more credentials and responsibilities than his appointed underlings when his budget calls for major job cuts. And along with Campos, Gov Cuomo just appointed four other to senior positions while threatening to lay-off thousands of state workers.
In her new $70,000-a-year post as secretary of education and advisor to Gov. Cuomo on educational matters, Ms. Campos will have the opportunity to push through her pet  school reform project, the first of course, a parent trigger bill.
Photo credit: Sam Hoyt for a New Buffalo
L/R:  Katie Campos, education reform advocate, Eva Moskowitz, CEO of Success Charter Network, Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, and  Jim Manly, Principal of Harlem Success Academy 2 and Sam Hoyt.

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Whitney Tilson (3rd background)

Whitney Tilson (3rd background)
"Let’s be honest: we need a lot more well-off, well-educated white folks with a personal stake in both charter schools and education reform in general if we’re going to take reform to the next level, both politically and operationally.Whitney Tilson, hedge fund manager and major funding angel for the school privatizing Democrats for Education Reform, thinks there’s not enough rich, educated white folks.( Preaprez) click photo to his blog.

Arne Duncan

Arne Duncan
U.S. Secretary of Education, click photo