Is there any Room Left? Finding Openings for Influence at New York City’s Community Education Councils

By Marco Castillo.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Over the past decade, an increasing number of urban centers have placed their school systems under mayoral control. While much of the attention of academics has been focused on the effects of mayoral control on school and student achievement, less scholarly attention has been focused on how these mayor-controlled school systems seek to address the issue of public participation within these centralized systems. In this paper, I study how New York City has sought to address issues of democratic participation in the administration of its mayor-controlled public school system. This study explores the functioning of New York City’s Community Education Councils as avenues for public participation in the New York City public schools system. The paper explores the styles and patterns of functioning of these mechanisms and the avenues through which they are able to contribute to improvements in the quality of education policy and administration. Through a focus on cases of effective action, this study seeks to identify and develop principles and practices that can contribute to the successful operations of such participatory bodies operating in this and other mayor-controlled urban public school systems.

Keywords: Public Participation, Mayoral Control, Education Policy, Bureaucracy and Democracy, Citizen Participation

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.183-198. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.602MB).

Dr. Marco Castillo

Assistant Professor, Social Science, New York City College of Technology - CUNY, Brooklyn, NY, USA

My doctoral degree is in public administration from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School. My academic focus centers upon urban public school system reform. I am particularly interested in studying mayoral control as an avenue for improving urban public education. Previous to my entry into academia, I worked as a legislative policy analyst for New York City’s legislature, the New York City Council. In this position, I performed research and analysis relating to city agencies and programs, assisted in the preparation of public hearings, and aided in drafting legislation and oversight reports. I also hold a Masters in public administration from New York University’s Wagner School and a Bachelor’s in philosophy from Queens College of the City University of New York.

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