2010-03-26 / Letters

Do They Really Care?

Dear Editor,

Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Klein keep telling us how interested they are in our city’s schools, but more telling is what they do. Some of the top schools in the country are in New York City. How many schools exceed Stuyvesant or Bronx Science? Is there a public high school that has sent more students to careers in the theater, motion pictures, or music than LaGuardia?

When was the last time you heard our education leaders hold these (large) schools up for praise? Could they achieve the results that they do

Letters if they were smaller? Indeed, has the mayor or chancellor ever attended a performance at LaGuardia? So what stimulates this anger?

I attended a performance of Victor Herbert’s “Naughty Marietta” yesterday at LaGuardia. It was not quite up to Broadway standards, but it was far superior to any other high school performance that I’ve heard. The orchestra far exceeded what I’ve heard at SUNY Binghamton, though again, not quite to the standards of the NY Philharmonic.

Five or six years ago, when the all city middle school band played for the chancellor, he couldn’t be bothered to thank them when he got up to speak.

Instead, when the failure was pointed out to him (repeatedly), he directed the person in charge of the band to send out a letter for him.

Are these the people who should be leading the largest, and what was once the finest, school system in the nation? I would suggest that they are not.

If we must have a lawyer running the show, at least Harold Levy knew something about education. But after eight years, the Bloomberg and Klein policies have clearly failed. Eighth graders have spent their entire school careers under their management but fail to perform significantly better than their predecessors.

Sure, it’s possible to replace a “bad” school with one that has better performance by rearranging the stu- dents, but this just shifts the problem.

That’s what they “ did in Rockaway. They moved two dozen or so trouble makers from Far Rockaway High School to Beach Channel High. Far Rockaway is better and now they want to close Beach Channel. It requires competence to make the whole system better.

Perhaps we should find an educator to lead our system.


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