Friday, February 02, 2007

Mayor Mike's Magical Mystery Tour

I love the headline from today's Times: "City Tells Parents It Understands as School Bus Crisis Eases a Bit." There's a distinction between telling people you understand and actually understanding, but I don't see it in this headline. I wonder if that was intentional.

Education officials say the rules have existed for decades, but State Senator Carl Kruger, a Brooklyn Democrat, accused the Education Department yesterday of wrongly denying bus service to thousands of children based on a rule requiring them to live within a quarter-mile of a school bus stop.

He said the rule was not printed anywhere and accused the department of making it up.

“It’s a Catch-22,” Mr. Kruger said in a statement. “They’re saying you can’t take the bus because it’s too far from your home. But the only reason the bus is too far from your home is that the city took the route away.”

It's encouraging to see the public so up in arms about something regarding the public school system. I can't help but think that if they'd take the same approach to teacher quality, class sizes, and decent facilities, we'd all be in much better shape today.

The Daily News reports today that the changes were made, in typical Bloomberg-reform style, with little or no thought as to what the results would be:

In an attempt to get the millions of dollars in savings promised by a high-priced consulting firm, the Education Department rushed its school bus reorganization before it was ready.

After all the headaches, taxpayers will see only a measly $5 million go into city classrooms this year - far short of initial estimates, school officials conceded.

Well, that certainly justifies the 15.8 million dollar Alvarez and Marshall contract, doesn't it? It kind of makes you wonder how well hizzoner has planned out the new reorganization.

Likely he planned it just as thoroughly as the last one. Unfortunately, I don't anticipate it getting nearly the scrutiny of the bus debacle.

And that's a shame. It merits every bit of it.

Related: See reality-based educator

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