Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mr. Bloomberg's Neighborhood

I'm struck by the simplicity of Fred Klonsky's blog post, visually contrasting Mayor Bloomberg's block, pictured at left, with that of his daughter in Brooklyn. Almost no words, yet it says everything. It's like comparing an Eva Moskowitz charter school to the public school in the rest of the building. Or comparing the vast majority of city schools to the hundred-million dollar building being prepared for charter boss Geoffrey Canada, who clearly knows Mayor Bloomberg's New York. After all, he gets a half-million a year while the principal of the most crowded public school in the city takes home a fraction of that.

And Mayor Mike made the egregious error of showing his real feelings this week. Where was that regular guy, "Mike," who appeared in his campaign commercials? Where was that character who jovially spoke the worst Spanish I'd ever heard, with no shame whatsoever? He was gone.

In his place was some character who ridiculed the struggles of everyday New Yorkers, some callous manager who had no regard for those he managed. He looked an awful lot like the guy who's been running the school system eight years, the guy who nominated someone totally unqualified to continue doing so, the guy who nominated a second with educational experience to support her, got her in, and then announced she would make all decisions by herself anyway.

Not surprisingly, New Yorkers tend not to like this character any more than teachers and public school parents do. It's one thing to be officious and imperious, but quite another to let everyone know it. Bloomberg's downsized sanitation department is a disaster, and it's now apparent to all.

It's fairly clear that he plans to use that same template with the schools. For anyone curious as to how that will work out, try getting your car out of a side street in Flatbush.
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