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Mayor Bloomberg was extremely defensive at today's news conference, where he announced plans to open 54 new schools. He became agitated at reporters' questions linking planned school closures with the school opening announcement. C'mon, Mayor Bloomberg, how can you not link the two? Did he really expect to come out like a knight in shining armor? Did he not expect questions and criticisms? In nine days, the Panel for Educational Policy will vote on whether to close another 26 schools and reopen them immediately under different names. Today's announcement certainly wasn't going to serve as a positive distraction.
Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced today that 54 new schools will open in the upcoming year. That brings the number of schools opened under the Bloomberg Administration to 589. Of the 54 schools slated to open this fall, 30 will be run by the district and 24 will be charters.
The announcement comes the same day several possible candidates for mayor criticized Bloomberg's education policies. Former City Comptroller Bill Thompson, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer agreed Bloomberg's vision of closing failing schools and replacing them with smaller ones is dividing parents and teachers.
The Mayor's Office says Department of Education data support Bloomberg's vision. The DOE reports English Language Arts and Math scores "are substantially higher at new schools than at those they replaced."
Are you celebrating the opening of 54 new schools in the fall? What's your reaction to the fact that 24 will be charters? Should the next mayor also have control of the public school system?
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Where were all of these hot shots before. Once again we are insulted and parents and teachers have been trying peacefully to get there message across in a diplomatic way and they ignored everyone at all of these so called eventful meetings. We all know that they were all a farce because the answer was always pre-arranged in their favor.
I'm very glad this mayor see a vision. Our vision is that he along with this Quinn and all of these other good for nothing jokers leave as soon as possible.
EXAMPLE: HOW ABOUT THE ACTIONS OF THIS SILLY GOOSE THAT HAS THE TITLE OF BOROUGH PRESIDENT ACTING LIKE A FOOL AT CONEY ISLAND. BUT WHY ISN'T HE IN JAIL? DIDN'T HE TAKE TRIPS ON THE CUFF?
IN MY BOOK, THAT'S STEALING.
I WOULD LIKE YOU ALL TO KNOW THAT I AM SINGLING OUT THIS USELESS DE BLASIO AND THE AG THAT NEITHER ONE OF THEM HAVE THE DECENCY TO RETURN AN ANSWER TO E-MAILS.
I GUESS MAYBE MANY OF US DON'T BELONG WHAT I CALL THE SECRET SOCIETY.
If Bloomberg went to one of his new schools or one of the older ones, it is certain that he would flunk out. He and Walcott would flunk out.
The NYC school administration has to be the goofiest and most inept organization ever.
Port Richmond, SI
Of all the new schools started during the Bloomberg Administration - how many are still open? How many are successful? How many have seen the same fate as those they replaced?
Most of the new schools they are opening, are being opened in the bldgs where the current schools is being closed. Are they going to pump more money into these schools, better programs, materials, etc? Unless they do, these schools too will become victims of the data system.
The next Mayor should not have full control of the public school system. We need a system where every borough, each district, has input into their own schools. Not one where 1 person dictates what is going to be done in each of the schools across this vast city.
Jessica, Staten Island
Bloomberg's shuttering of schools represents a complete and utter failure of his education policy which he has implemented with the intend of phasing out public education and establishing semi-private charter schools throughout the city.
Felix Bay Ridge
We can only pray a quick end to mayoral control.
Very misleading. Bloomberg opened 598 schools? That is a lot of buildings. The statement should read reorganized the school system and after 10 years under Mayoral control the school systems is worse than it has ever been.
I'm just counting the days until anyone but Bloomberg is mayor. Any of the candidates or perhaps a highly intelligent chimpanzee would do a better job than Bloomberg.
No, I don't believe in mayoral control of the schools. First, it's too big a job for someone with so much already on his/her plate. Second, there are absolutely no checks and balances here--the mayor has been a king with unlimited power. Finally, unless the mayor knows something about education, he/she has no business being in charge of it.
22 billion dollars spent, and class sizes are still huge! Schools have emotional meanings for people; Bloomberg acts like this is a game of checkers.
Shelley from Park Slope
BLOOMBERG IS A PHONY. HE ASK FOR CONTROL OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS MORE THAN 10YEARS AGO AND ASKED TO BE BLAMED FOR ANY FAILURES YET HE STILL BLAMES EVERYONE BUT HIMSELF.
Who primarily attends NYC public schools, in terms of ethnicity?
The remark on how much was spent to operate the public schools, sounds as if bloomberg was saying "we are already spending more than we should".
Tell me again, who has had control over the NYC public school system? How long?
Only one of the new 54 schools is going to be in Staten Island!! Do we get to pay only 1/54 of City taxes? Is it a wonder that we once tried to secede. Staten Island students do not have the same opportunities and scope of school placements as do the other boroughs.
West Brighton, Staten Island
If one would look in retrospect. The board of education was. A cost effective system. They were also, dedicated educators and advocates of family values. What you have today is less parental participation. And a mayor who is failing to address the real issues; Family degradation. Teachers are educators not parents. Family values come from parents. If we are to have a successful school system we need educators who care about children and family . We can't run the school system like bloomberg media. Bring back 65-court street. And the educators that cared about children needs and family.
Joy flushing queens
The Mayor and School Chancellor are a disgrace to New York City. Where are these kids going and are rich kids only allowed in these new schools? No Mayor should have this much control. Bloomberg is a bully!
The chancellor is a puppet who is hired by the mayor so no matter what the mayor controls the school.
After Bloomberg (whom I NEVER voted for), I am convinced that no future Mayor should have control over anything except his or her bladder.
Under Mayoral control there has been 6 restructurings in the last 10 years. Help me to comprehend how one can gauge success when the rules of engagement change in the middle of the game? How can teachers and administration expect to teach when the standards and requirements seems to change every 6 months? It seems as though the powers that be are setting up public schools to fail, while Charter Schools are in the line to take over.
Its about time the mayor and the schools chancellor start taking charge and responsibility about the failure of our schools. But I am highly skeptical of how any school can succeed just by opening new ones and changing the name of the school.
To open new schools, the city needs several new administrator's and teachers. If the city didn't have enough money to give our students what they need now, where did they get administrator money for next year.
Unfortunately there is an unequal balance of power in a system an already broken system.
Barbara - Flushing
The problem is that our mayor says he is closing schools that don't work but is simply re-opening them without changing anything. It may not please the public opinion but the facts are that you can teach kids well but like anything ...practice makes perfect, if kids are not going home to their parents and getting what they need at home there is no way they cannot be successful. Put the pressure where it belongs, put the "consultants" where they can help. Helping the parents work together to make the kids feel not only better about their work, their life but also making them more responsible. It is proven that a child learns the most from their peers and family members. What we need to do is change the climate from which our kids are living all day so they feel differently about their education.
Opening new schools is a fear tactic as it doesn't change anything in the building. The reason why you see the change in stats with African American and Hispanic students in those new schools is because they pay people to teach teachers how to target those students to make data look like it is moving. Change needs to be from home and in school.
It's a scam. Politicians are rated in percentages; the more schools he opens the bigger the pool.
Education Major from Corona, Queens.
The mayor should NOT have unchecked control of schools. His Panel for Educational Policy is a national joke. When I think of all the time and money wasted so they can hold meetings, ostensibly listen to feedback and then rubber stamp the boss's every whim, I see red...it's a sad charade. I am not celebrating the opening of all these schools, since many are charters that take up needed space in regular school buildings and others will exist because B'berg capriciously shut down their predecessors. I do support the need to create more schools to serve a ballooning population of students, but I want those schools in new spaces opened and run by DOE (maybe paid for by developers!), not farmed out to some business that has its own rules and is barely accountable to anyone.
I want the DOE to fully support and nurture the schools it has and to understand what neighborhood schools mean to their communities; I also want them to plan far enough ahead with school seats and educational services and resources that match the needs that are coming their way. All of that seems to have been lacking in the last few years. This admin has caused community divisions and has disenfranchised and enraged all but a small minority of parents.
Sure, the hedge-funders still dig him, but where do their kids go to school?
If I had children of school age I would send them to charter schools because I know that parents of poorly behaved kids or parents who aren't concerned about their kids, are not going to be applying to charters for their kids. Unfortunately, this system of weeding out the best, leaves a whole lot of kids in failing schools who will then corrupt the schools they will next attend when their schools close. What society plans to do with all these problem children will determine our future.
Renee from Briarwood
Consider Bushwick Community High School, which is one of the few schools that takes in 17 year old students with NO credits. This school is now up for closure! Where will students like this go when this school closes? Closing a school tears communities apart by stunting the relationships that teachers, students, parents, and staff have worked so hard to build! After ten years of Bloomberg's control, what do we have to show for it? 22 billion spent and we are STILL ranked 2nd to last among large cities in student progress on the NAEPs (National Assessment of Educational Progress). Second only to Cleveland.
I am not a fan of the closing on these schools and reopening of new ones in its place. I currently work at one of these schools and the Bronx and for the most part it is a superficial face lift to appease the masses who desire change. Yes, it does make things more manageable but when you have the same principles and teachers the service of education remains the same, ineffective. Schools used to be a safe haven for students where educators were dedicated to teaching and facilitating in a manner that appeased all the needs of the entire classroom including those with special needs. At my school it is not uncommon to have teachers who miss more days then their best students. Also not uncommon is a complete disregard for teaching or engaging students in the classroom. No other profession do we reward ineffectiveness. When there are teachers who play on their cell phones during class on a regular basis we need an over sweeping change not an structural change that quote on quote looks good. If the community could see the facilitation or lack there of there would be an uproar followed by a true sadness.
Each school that is "Co-located" means that it is likely a school without its own auditorium,gymnasium, science lab,music & art room.The figure is purposely misleading-a Big Lie that is meant to fool the public. One floor in a school building is not a school.....When Bloomberg piously invokes the children as the rationale for all his "creative destruction" he fools nobody except perhaps himself....He took a dysfunctional system and he made it much,much worse.............
Dave , Brooklyn
We are now listening to the hoorays from the Mayor and the Chancellor about the opening of 54 new schools in the fall which 24 are Charter Schools -- did we expect anything else? Charter Schools are Mayor Bloomberg's only vision for Educational Reform of The New York City Public School System. It has always been about Charter School expansion -- always. Closing schools and reopening schools with new names seems to be just a fancy way to get rid of teachers and principals. If this is the goal, I guess Mayor Bloomberg truly is vindictive and small-minded. He might be business savy but he is petty. This explains why certain DOE Officials at Tweed -- his appointees are still employed.
For the next mayor, I personally agree with Former Chancellor Klein and his "StudentsFirstNY" group. They are insisting that the mayoral candidates come straight out and start expressing exactly how they will run The New York City Public School System. I couldn't agree more. We all should know the real story before going into that voting booth.
This may actually force Christine Quinn to finally admit that she is for Mayor Bloomberg's school closure policy and educational reform policy.
Upper east side
Calls by Mayoral candidates for changes in current policies like school closings - while they still support Mayoral Control - are completely empty. Without real checks and balances, and legislated participation from key shareholders like parents and teachers, our public education system will continue on its tone deaf path failing the vast majority of kids.
When Bloomberg took over the BOE and renamed it the DOE he claimed that he wanted to model all schools after the District 85 schools (the district that was in charge of all the failing schools), simply because it was so successful. Teachers in these schools worked an extended day and were paid more than teachers in other districts to encourage good teachers to work at failing schools. The schools were infused with money for special reading and math programs and smaller class sizes. All Bloomberg did was to negotiate a new contract with the UFT where all teachers worked an extended day for no extra money. He did away with the power of the superintendants and the districts so that all money is given directly to the principals (some of whom can't manage their own lives, never mind a school). Principals were given all power with their own budgets and there really isn't any accurate way to trace what they do with the money they are given...especially with grant money or federal funds earmarked for special education students. He also set it up so that there is no accurate way to tell how good a school really is. As long as a school meets its AYP, it is not a failing school. Therefore a school in Jamaica where 35% of students are reading at grade level is a B school and a school where 75% of the students are reading at grade level is a D school (because the school did not meet its AYP) and is a failing school. When a school is closed, it gives the new principal the right to hire brand new teachers at half the cost of experienced teachers. Bloomberg's system is truly a corporate model where statistics are used anyway the guy at the top wants to use them.
I grew up in the public education system during Guiliani's mayorship. It's astounding to compare my experience in the classroom with what children go through now. On Staten Island, for example, I know that at PS69 teachers are forbidden to correct grammar and spelling. How can we trust a man who is in control of our system but does not emphasize the fundamentals of educating out children?
Ivy from Staten Island
I have 2 words about mayoral control and new charter schools opening ; UNION BUSTING. This is the only reason at Bloomburg is shutting the schools down. What we don't talk about is that charter school teachers are not unionized workers. How about that???
It's got nothing to do with the kids!!
I believe that Mayoral control is a good idea ,which should be adjusted. Grading schools should be utilized to inform and create a plan for improvement. However I donot agree with holding teachers solely responsible for low scores, teachers struggle with situations in the classroom, for example, children with behavior issues who create distractions which hinders their own learning process, and the learning process of their peers. Teachers implement lesson plans which are not grasped by children due to many distractions in the classroom. I also believe that some teachers can benefit from training on a yearly basis in order to teach them different techniques to teach our children, parents should also be included in these trainings .I completely dissagree with firing teachers since the amount of teachers that we have are scarce and the numbers may continue to drop if aspiring teachers become concerned about the risk of loosing their jobs due to these erroneous and unjust standards, the solution to our societal educational issues lies in the joint action of the Mayor, principals, teachers, parents and children.
Carmen from Far Rockaway,