Dear Commons Community,
The NY Times is reporting that New Yorkers are broadly dissatisfied with the quality of their public schools, and most say the city’s school system has stagnated or declined since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took control of it nine years ago according to a poll taken in August. Mr. Bloomberg has made improving the schools a focus of his mayoralty but only 34 percent of those polled approve of how the mayor is handling education.
The article comments that “Mr. Bloomberg reorganized the system and poured money into it, satisfaction slowly grew. It appeared to peak in 2009, when nearly one-third of registered voters said they were satisfied with the schools, and 57 percent with Mr. Bloomberg’s handling of them, according to Quinnipiac University polls.
But in 2010, a recalibrating of state test scores sent the city’s soaring passing rates nearly back to 2003 levels. Then Mr. Bloomberg made what the public may have judged as his biggest gaffe, naming Cathleen P. Black, a publishing executive with no education experience, as the schools chancellor. Even though Ms. Black was dismissed in April after three months, the effects on public opinion linger, analysts said.”
Two residents interviewed commented:
“Bloomberg treats the schools and the education system like a business,” said Liette Pedraza-Tucker, 41, a film editor from Brooklyn. “But schools aren’t a business. Kids need nurturing, not to be treated like adults.”
Robert Kemp, 74, a retired bank officer from Queens, said: “What they’re teaching is too narrowly focused. It’s all ‘Let’s pass tests’; it’s not about turning out educated kids.”
Click the Graph to Enlarge!