Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Rate Mayor Bloomberg "F"

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, obsessed with rating everything and everyone but himself, may be learning that only 23% of NYC high school grads are college ready. Naturally, he'll interpret this to mean the teachers are underworked, overpaid, and in need of being fired at will. The truth is this has much wider implications.

What it really says is that the test prep, test now, test later mantra of Bill Gates, Eli Broad, Michael Bloomberg and the other zillionaire educational experts is utter nonsense. Gates can roll out Finland as the model, but the fact is they don't use standardized tests there, they---get this---rely on teacher judgment. They don't vilify them, threaten them, hold them to ever-increasing AYP and other impossible standards. Of course, I can't imagine only 23% of their high school grads are college-ready.

Figures like these indicate that the 10 year corporatization of NYC schools has been an abysmal failure. We all know what Michael Bloomberg likes to do to schools he considers failing. Well now his system of mayoral dictatorship has been in place for 10 years. It clearly does not serve our kids. It's time for him to be accountable, man up, take responsibility, or whatever expression billionaires use when the screw up royally.

The only fair solution is to phase out Tweed and replace it with new, smaller academies. We could have one for the arts, as kids are not automatons, created simply to take tests. We could have one for hands-on science, so that we could once again have NYC entries in the Intel science contest. Perhaps we could have another for history, which Mayor Bloomberg and his cronies are so hell-bent on forgetting.

To change things around, lets put teachers and parents in charge, so people who really care about kids can help them, rather than promoting unproven, ineffectual, and pointless programs initiated by self-appointed education experts like Michael Bloomberg. In view of his utter failure to accomplish anything of value over a decade, what advice would you offer the mayor?
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