This morning in the NY Times, without framing her discussion in the values of the corporate reforms of the Bloomberg administration, Ginia Bellafante examines the educational philosophy, background and style of the new chancellor of the NYC public schools, Carmen Farina.
Yesterday I criticized NY Times coverage as biased toward Mayor Bloomberg’s so-called reforms and suggested reading the NY Daily News for fairer coverage of education issues in New York City. I am pleased to see today’s objective profile of Farina in the NY Times, though I continue to suggest consulting both papers for education news.
Bellafante describes Farina as “both fierce and dexterous,” a principal and administrator who practiced kindness, firmness, and doggedness. Farina “opposes… myopic systems of learning in which real knowledge becomes a casualty of test knowledge, and what she calls ‘the gotcha mentality’ of the Bloomberg years, when teachers and principals were often abandoned instead of being given whatever support they might need to improve.” She quotes Farina: “Even the worst principals work hard. When we support them, then we can hold them accountable.”
According to Bellafante, Farina believes that “children build reading skill by reading books that they love and that engage them.”
Farina talks about bringing joy back into the schools of New York City. How delightful.