Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mayor Mike Finds New Locales for Public Schools

While stadiums, museums, and private schools find space in the city somehow, NYC's 1.1 million schoolkids are being set up for relocation in the brownfields of NYC. Leonie (of Class Size Matters) and regular poster Patrick have heard denials of such plans.

Why then, would a press release like this one show up?

Next week the City will ask the City Council to approve its plans to build

four schools on a contaminated property in the South Bronx. The proposed

property, referred to as the Mott Haven Site, contains many dangerous

toxins buried underground including mercury, lead, and the suspected

carcinogen benzene.

While the City has a plan to clean the site, independent environmental

engineers have raised significant concerns about aspects of the plan, and

have suggested that more could and should be done. To date the City has

displayed an unwillingness to address these issues to the satisfaction of

community members from a community already overburdened by health

issues related to asthma and cancer.

Furthermore studies show that exposure to certain chemicals, including those

found at the Mott Haven site, are linked to learning disabilities and other

adverse health effects.

Funny, ain't it? They claim Pataki blocked CFE, when they did. They claim to have reduced class size, when they haven't. They focus on higher test scores in fourth grade, and ignore the lower ones in 8th.

Yet they have nothing but good PR. If my union had 10% of Bloomberg's canniness, teachers would all be able to quit their second jobs, and possibly their third ones too.

And perhaps the highest class sizes in the country would be a mere unpleasant memory.
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