Democratic mayoral nominee Adrian Fenty is planning to meet next week with D.C. School Superintendent Clifford Janey as Fenty considers a plan to take direct control of the District's ailing public school system.If I was a betting man I'd say that Fenty will find stiff opposition for these changes from both the School Board and the DC Council.
Fenty has also planned a meeting with officials from New York City, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a city that has been credited with improving test scores and graduation rates using a similar model.
Fenty is scheduled to meet with Janey on Tuesday.
Bloomberg took over the New York City schools six months into his tenure, established a city Department of Education, hired a chancellor and reduced the city's boards of education to advisory panels.
The Mayor-to-be also doesn't like the School Superintendent's recently released plan for facility closings and upgrades.
"Our schools are in need of significant and dramatic change. We can't wait for years to come. We've got to be very aggressive," he said.
"I think that's the role of city administrators, council members, the mayor-elect and maybe even the president of the school board is to push the superintendent faster. You know he's got the right vision in a lot of cases, but the people aren't going to wait any longer for the schools to be repaired," Fenty said.
The D.C. Council passed a $3 billion plan to repair and build new schools over the next 15 years, but Bobb said the city should build high quality schools quickly.
"I think it's the single biggest issue facing the new administration," Bobb said.
Officials said the pressure from Bobb and Fenty raises the stakes for Janey because if they think reforms are not on a fast enough track, at some point Janey's job could be in jeopardy.