Friday, December 04, 2009
The Daily News headline boasts of a boom in new classrooms, but doesn't give a whole lot of detail as to how big the boom is. I've read estimates that Queens needs 33, 000 seats for high schools alone. The article then tells of a 71 million dollar building that will provide 150 seats. The other buildings are given only dollar values--158 and 23 million--for a total of 181. I'm guessing that's another few hundred seats.
The city is also leasing what appears to be a former Catholic school. I'm going to go ahead and wildly speculate it will provide considerably fewer than the 32,000 some-odd seats the high schools will need.
This, frankly, is irresponsible journalism. While one guy is quoted stating this part of Queens needs a few thousand seats, it behooves the writer to find out how many seats Queens really needs, and tell the readers what this expansion represents. While this omission may please the News editorial staff, it doesn't really give the public the info it needs. With 33,000 seats needed in high schools alone, the city is trotting out a few hundred seats and finding a cheerleader in the local tabloid.
Gratifying though this story may be to those who'd gleefully deny reality, the cosmetic addtion of seats amounts to a drop in the bucket. Fortunately for anyone who's closely followed what the mayor's been doing to public education, a bucket is precisely what's needed.