Wednesday, February 17, 2010
That's what Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz told the crowd assembled outside Brooklyn Tech before the January 26th PEP meeting. And his words were prophetic. Though Mayor Bloomberg's goon squad closed 19 schools, including rapidly improving Jamaica, it's just renewed the charter of Opportunity Charter School.
Opportunity is a special school in that it admits half special education students. That's admirable, as few (more likely none) of its peers fulfill such a mission. In fact, all of its peers ought to, and all of the so-called small schools ought to as well. But under Joel Klein, charters receive preferential treatment, so 19 neighborhood schools go down, and a charter with scores to rival them stays up.
Thus Joel Klein has granted a chance for a charter, but your neighborhood and its schools can go to hell. That's the watchword of the administration that defied the twice-voiced will of the voters to impose term limits. That's the mantra of the mayor that outspent his opponent 14 to 1 and squeaked through the polls with nothing like the overwhelming mandate the papers predicted.
This mayor loves private schools, and wanted to devote a whole island to their recreation, taxpayers be damned. The next best thing is charter schools, which almost universally reject unions and rights for teachers. They merit no special treatment, but get it as a matter of course from a mayor and chancellor who don't give a golly goshdarn about working people.