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Ko’s team bleeds members as Education Dep’t chief resigns

Tang tendered his resignation to Mayor Ko Wen-je on Tuesday, citing his “completion of scheduled milestones” and desire to return to university teaching, according to the department, which did not announce the resignation until Sunday.

In an open letter to Education Department staff, Tang said he would return to his professorship at National Chengchi University on Oct. 1, when his resignation is due to becomes effective.

“Education is my life’s work, and education administration is just one of the ways to provide education service,” Tang wrote.

“I will try to work hard for education through other means in the future.”

He said that since taking office in 2014, he had helped stabilize the course of education policy in Taipei by completing his biggest mission, namely assisting the city in its disputes with the central government over implementation of the National Twelve-year Basic Education System.

Tang’s resignation, the latest in a series of departures by senior Taipei officials, came a day after that of Department of Legal Affairs Commissioner Yang Fang-ling (楊芳玲).

In an open letter to her staff, Yang said that “a political appointee should know the right time to leave when he or she cannot agree with the supervisor’s vision.”

Local media have speculated that Tang and Yang quit in disagreement with the mayor’s decision to reinstate former Taipei Municipal Zhongshan Junior High School music teacher Hsiao Hsiao-ling (蕭曉玲) and to reimburse her nine years of back pay.

The school fired Hsiao in 2008, citing “conduct unbecoming a teacher.”

Hsiao, who in late 2007 sued Mayor Hau Long-bin over education reform policy she said would permit the city government to select textbooks, contented that she was sacked for political reasons.

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the school in an appeal launched by Hsiao; however, the Control Yuan still censured the school, the Taipei City Education Department and the Ministry of Education over what it said were flaws and a lack of neutrality in the handling of Hsiao’s

removal.

Yao Li-ming (姚立明), Yang’s husband and Ko’s campaign director in the 2014 mayoral election, said that Ko’s reinstatement of Hsiao had been the “last straw” for his wife.

Asked whether his handling of the Hsiao case had led to Yang and Tang’s resignations, Ko said every decision has positives and negatives and that sometimes one has to make a choice.

He added that the Hsiao case was a political issue that could not be solved merely by legal means.

He also said that the city government had checked with the Ministry of Justice over the procedural soundness of his decision in the Hsiao case.