Sunday, October 26, 2008

Children First

Diversity is the latest apparent victim of the rampant overcrowding that typifies Mayor Bloomberg's "Children First" program. You know that program--first put them here, then put them there, then in the corner, on the windowsill, in the closet, on top of each other, and everywhere else. If that fails, bring in a few trailers and dump them out back.

Is this de facto segregation?

Schools like PS 199 on the upper West Side have seen their black and Latino population decline. At PS 199, the figures have fallen from about 30% in the fifth grade to about 10% in kindergarten. PS 150 in Tribeca saw a similar drop from 32% to 7%.

You see, there's just no place to put these kids. I'm proud to say, though, that my school accepts absolutely everyone from absolutely anywhere. In fairness to Mayor-for-life Bloomberg, I doubt diversity or lack thereof has anything whatsoever to do with any calculations on his part, or that of the Tweedies. There's just no place to put these kids.

There's no place in their buildings, and there isn't any in mine either. And that is the problem. Twenty years ago the city would've rented an annex to house the overflow in a school like mine. Now they just shovel em' in and dump 'em anywhere. And that is simply unconscionable.

It's unfortunate that the media has yet to come to this conclusion, or doesn't care about it, or is stuffed too far down in Mayor Bloomberg's admittedly deep pockets. But it's obvious to anyone who spends any time in real city schools.

For this, Mayor Bloomberg merits not a third term in Gracie Mansion, but a first in prison.
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