Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Presto Chango

What on earth is the point of Bloomberg's turnarounds? Why is he closing 26 schools, renaming them, and taking in all the same kids?

The first reason is fairly obvious--to humiliate and inconvenience thousands of teachers by forcing them to reapply for their own jobs. This will certainly be a miserable experience for all of them, whether or not they succeed in getting their jobs back. That's how folks like Bloomberg build morale. As a side bonus, the numbers of ATR teachers are likely to explode. Though it's an incredible and idiotic use of city money and their time, he can use them as a convenient scapegoat while dragging his filth through the NY papers.

Another reason, I'm told, is this--if XYZ high school needs to make a certain graduation rate next year so as not to be closed, all we need to do is change the name to ABC high school, and voila! They don't need to meet that standard anymore! Michael Bloomberg has magically arranged for them to meet some lower standard and he isn't "accountable" anymore.

Of course, even if he were accountable, he could always blame those darn unionized teachers. They want classrooms instead of trailers. They want blackboards instead of hammers and chisels. Look, here's one demanding a computer instead of an abacus! Is there any end to their gall?

Smoke and mirrors. Bloomberg's got nothing more to offer. The turnarounds will not improve the education of the kids who live in those neighborhoods. It insults the heritage of these schools, and the neighborhoods that they're in. But Bloomberg doesn't care. Because now, even though fewer kids graduate, he may be able to meet arbitrary standards that are now lower than they'd have been otherwise.

It's endlessly ironic that this mayor has staked his reputation on education, he knows nothing whatsoever about it, and doesn't even care to learn. He's expert at PR, and it appears nothing else matters.
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