Stop Bloomberg’s Serial School Killing
It is clear to anybody who is paying attention that Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s stewardship of the public school system is not only a failure, it is an abject failure. In a recent poll, 57 percent of those who responded said just that. Only 24 percent, fewer than one in four, see his stewardship as a success. The facts show that those who say Bloomberg and his school plan have failed are correct. While graduation rates are up, state records show that few of those who graduate are ready for either higher education or the workplace. While reading scores are up marginally, the record shows that those improved scores came at the expense of other, equally important but not tested subjects such as science and social studies and that they came only because standards were lowered to allow more students to reach Level 3. Over the past five years, one of our two comprehensive high schools has closed, as has one elementary school. Another of our high schools is scheduled to close next year. The DOE voted last week to close another of our public schools along with a charter school. Those schools are closing because of what the city calls “persistent educational failure” proven by test scores. If the scores are suspect, however, how can the DOE close schools based on those scores? The planned closings should be stopped now, while there is still a chance to turn the schools around and make them productive. By the time Bloomberg leaves office in 2014 it will be too late to remake the havoc he has caused. Let’s step back and declare a moratorium on school closings before it is too late.