Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bloomberg uses school issue to pander to blacks

From the Daily News:

Mayor Bloomberg tells black voters he wiped out political favoritism that gave "white" schools more money than "minority" schools - but education experts say his facts are sloppy.

Even a deputy mayor admits his comments go too far.

"He may have overstated it to emphasize the point that a lot of schools in poorer communities did not get as much as they should," Dennis Walcott said.

At issue are remarks like those Bloomberg made in a Bronx church Sunday when he said that when he came into office, "minority schools generally were funded two or three thousand dollars less per capita than the white schools" because of "political power."

The "white schools," Bloomberg said, "knew how to call their city councilperson or whoever" to get "more money."

It was a system, he said, he set out to fix by distributing funds based on how many students are poor and how many need extra help with English or disabilities.

But experts say he mischaracterized how schools were funded before - as well as the reason.

Historically, the city's per-student funding was affected by everything from enrollment - crowded schools get less per student than half-empty ones - to teacher salaries.

"Schools with more experienced teachers got a lot more money," said Michael Rebell of Columbia University's Campaign for Educational Equity.

Since experienced teachers tend to prefer richer schools, this - not access to power - is what drove inequities.

The inequalities were not as stark as Bloomberg suggests.

City data released when Bloomberg changed school funding two years ago showed that schools getting below-average funds were spread out all over the city and included both rich and poor.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bloomberg has sent in a new hitman (new principal from his inner circle) to destroy Francis Lewis High School, which has kids from every race and every ethnic background. He is destroying a once-very-successful high school. It's quite obvious that FLHS is being targeted; FLHS is running a 14 period day (until 6:48 PM) while Bayside has a normal 9-period day and Cardozo has a 10-period day. Shame!! Francis Lewis, originally built for 1800 kids, now has almost 5,000. Do the math!!

Lino said...

"Since experienced teachers tend to prefer richer schools, this - not access to power - is what drove inequities."

Not as simple as that.

I taught at Julia Richman HS for two years in the early 80s.

Some of what I, and the other faculty dealt with:

Staircases with all lights smashed and covered entirely with graffiti. The janitors went around with a bucket of bulbs in the morning and swept up the broken remains later.

Two -huge- gyms whose lockers and shower rooms were so badly vandalized, they were useless.

Fire was popular there. The floor of the 65 ft stage was replaced due to a "student"set fire. While I was there, two bookrooms were burnt out. One could not use the hallway bulletin boards because they would be set alight (all had scorch marks). Two nice marble drinking fountains located outside the auditorium balcony doors were crooked due to "students" stuffing newspaper into the floor in an attempt to burn down the place.

Only TWO student restrooms in each wing of the complex were usable...the others were all sealed due to drug and "other" activity.

Most of the elegant inset panels on the 1920s classroom doors had been kicked-in and replaced with nailed on plywood.

On my third day I arrived just in time to see a chair crash through a sixth floor window and land on second ave. BOE let out a contract to place grills on all outside windows.

While there was only one gun incident (to my knowledge) knives were a big problem and even the Police would not enter the building unless there were three or more together. It was Ok for us to work there..but NY's "Finest"?

Prior to going co-ed and being "integrated" -in 1966 this had been a prestigious all girls high school.

I had not attended public high school so, these two years were quite an eye opener and really tried my liberal precepts, some of which did not survive.

Bottom line; Most teachers want to survive their careers and feel they have accomplished something by the time they retire. Not at all surprising that many will head for the sticks when given the chance.

Lino

italian girl said...

"Bottom line; Most teachers want to survive their careers and feel they have accomplished something by the time they retire. Not at all surprising that many will head for the sticks when given the chance.

Lino"

You hit the nail on the head, Lino. And many are heading for the sticks. And BloomKlein want it that way. They have created a system where teachers won't last more than a few years due to all the micromanaging and senseless harassment, keeping costs down for the city. A revolving door of educators is the WORST thing that can happen to a school. But of course if Klein and Bloombucks were educators, they would know that.

Anonymous said...
"Bloomberg has sent in a new hitman (new principal from his inner circle) to destroy Francis Lewis High School,..."

A likely graduate of the "Leadership Academy". Many "gems" have been coming from there.

PizzaBagel said...

They [BloomKlein] have created a system where teachers won't last more than a few years due to all the micromanaging and senseless harassment, keeping costs down for the city.

It's Bloomberg's corporate mentality. I used to work at a "major" insurance company. Over time, it became Dilbert-esque with its nonsensical meetings -- not to mention cutthroat upper management. Needless to say, I finally read the writing on the wall and got the heck out of the place. My former colleagues weren't so lucky, and many were downsized or otherwise eliminated with bad reviews. They were extremely knowledgeable persons who were terminated just to bring in some fresh blood and contractors -- i.e., those who were less of a burden on the bottom line benefits-wise.

This November let's send Bloomberg packing in a similar manner.

Anonymous said...

The African American community is going to turn out the voters en- masse to cast for Bill Thompson.

Unless Bloomberg gets a good ink job before November he'll never make it look like he's a billionaire that's suddenly gotten religion and become a friend of Black New Yorkers.

Anonymous said...

hey ! where are these white schools ?
we're still looking for all those good American schools the foreigners keep sending their kids to. You know their old story--"we're only here till our kids finish school"" bs ??? right ?