Monday, August 07, 2006

News Flash--Bloomberg Says He's Doing a Great Job

In an op-ed piece in the LA Times, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley discuss mayoral takeover in LA.

There's a brief reference to rising test scores, which is moderately impressive if you ignore concurrently declining test scores, but the piece consists of largely vague and unverifiable statements about non-specific improvements.

We have brought back standards, empowered principals, improved safety and created innovative programs to support struggling students and schools. In addition, we have been able to allocate resources far more efficiently and effectively, shifting money out of the central bureaucracy and into the classroom.

Neither of the two mayors can be bothered to give specific examples how they achieved any of these things. From my vantage point at a 250% capacity high school, I'd like to have seen them.

From what I've read, Bloomberg greatly cut bureaucracy, then turned around and extended it. Klein, his able stooge, cut wasteful professional development (meriting rare applause), then reinstated and expanded it (earning yet another Bronx cheer).

Any reform proposal can always be criticized as less than perfect.

It's odd, then, that they seem to have described it as the greatest thing since sliced bread. When I got up at one of many PR meetings that masqueraded as professional development, and asked one of Klein's flunkies why they had not addressed the fundamental dysfunction of our system, he responded "Well, we had to do something."

I find that a remarkably unimpressive retort. You could have done something effective.

I don't see anything in this piece about quality teachers, decent facilities, or smaller classes. That's not surprising, because Mayor Micahel Bloomberg has openly refused to contribute dime one to the CFE lawsuit that would provide these things.

Mayor Bloomberg prefers shortcuts, gimmicks, and sleight of hand. Stadiums are expensive, and you'll never get them built if you fritter away dollars on kids who don't matter.

Thanks to Schoolgal
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