Wednesday, December 28, 2011

No Excuses, Say Troglodytes at DOE

It's time to shut down Grace Dodge High School in the Bronx. So says the PEP, the rubber-stamp fake Board of Education that Mike Bloomberg set up to exercise the absolute power that is mayoral control in Fun City. Never mind that 25% of the school is either pregnant or a teen parent.

As usual, the DOE has sound reasons for its decision:

“The 2010-11 attendance rate was 77% compared to the Citywide high school average of 86%, putting Grace Dodge in the bottom 7% of all high schools Citywide in terms of attendance,” the documents read.

And, of course, being pregnant, or having a child at home is no good reason to be absent more often. There must be something wrong with the school, and it must be impossible to fix. Therefore the school must be closed. After all, if the pregnant teens and parents were only shipped off to another building, they'd certainly improve their attendance. Maybe that bracing 90-minute bus ride is just the incentive they'd been lacking.

As usual, the DOE provided its sterling level of support. The first thing it did was give it a principal whose resume reads like a personification of the kiss of death. Then, in their infinite wisdom, they chose to deny the School Leadership Team's request of a child care center. After all, those slackers would likely place their kids in it and then hang around McDonald's all day, drinking milk shakes and taking on those calories that so worried the visionary Joel Klein.

Sure, there's no data to back up that theory, but there's no data that suggests closing schools improves anything either. Those pointy-headed intellectuals are always bandying about how Mayor Bloomberg's policies have produced no decent results whatsoever, even by his own standards, but the important thing, according to every DOE talking head I've met, is that they're willing to do something. Why is everyone always whining about why they need to do something effective?

Mayor Bloomberg is always willing to close schools, no matter who he has to blame for it. It may be the teachers, it may be the students, and it may even be those pesky, big-mouth parents. The important thing to remember is that, under mayoral control, nothing whatsoever is his fault, and that he will accept no excuses for why, after a decade of power, nothing whatsoever has improved. And if that's not good enough, he's got a building full of people at Tweed, talking in echo-filled rooms where no one can hear anything, and each and every one of those people backs him, and at a damn good salary too.
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