Sunday, May 07, 2006

No Steps Forward, and Two Steps Back

Well, it's 2006, but Mayor Bloomberg has decided to stand fast on his largely unenforceable cell phone ban. Teachers and parents know there's nothing quite like setting rules no one will follow. That's a sure-fire method to command no respect whatsoever.

Every kid will be able to plainly see when "random searches" are in effect before setting foot in their schools, and every kid will know not to bring cellphones on those days. Naturally, others will also know not to bring guns on those days.

Planning to re-enact Colombine on Tuesday? Due to Mayor Bloomberg's innovative initiative, you may have to put it off till Wednesday. Another great victory for mayoral control.

Mayor Bloomberg has publicly declared, however, that if he fails to confiscate a single gun, that will prove the program is working. That's like a teacher declaring "If I fail to pass a single student, that will conclusively demonstrate my approach to teaching is excellent."

Chancellor Klein, who signaled a willingness to compromise the day before the announcement, is suddenly firmly behind this idea. Since the chancellor is now no more than a pawn of the mayor, why is he even needed? Both the Daily News and the New York Post can vilify teachers at least as well as Klein, and virtually anyone could throw together a hodge-podge of odd untested methods and call it a curriculum.

The teachers' union urged that students be allowed to carry phones in school, but not use them...

The mayor was dismissive of the teachers' union. "You wonder sometimes whether they're stopping to think," he said yesterday. "I think most teachers would argue that there should not be any of these devices."

On this astral plane, more teachers will wonder how, since Mayor Bloomberg never, ever consults them about anything at all, he would have the remotest inkling what any of them are thinking.
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