By Gary Buiso
Parents, teachers, administrators, lend her your ears: Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum says she is listening. In September, Gotbaum announced the formation of a Commission on School Governance, a body created to “independently make recommendations” about the future of the public schools. “What we are doing is trying to come up with objective recommendations — hearing what people have to say,” Gotbaum, pictured here, told Community Board 18 last week. The commission has a website, www.pubadvocate.nyc.gov/advocacy/schools containing information about its members and offering residents a chance to submit suggestions to the panel. The commission, chaired by Stephen Aiello, was formed using privately raised funds. Gotbaum said comments from the public are critical to the success of schools. “It’s very, very important. That’s how I know what’s going on,” she said. The goal of the commission’s site is to act as an independent study on the topic of school governance in preparation for the expiration of the current school governance law in 2009, according to the public advocate. The commission is expected to prepare a final report this spring, which will then be submitted to the State Legislature, which has the power to decide whether to retain mayoral control of the schools.