Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Don't Build It So They Won't Come
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (our hero for appointing Patrick Sullivan to the PEP - see the upcoming video of Patrick at last night's meeting in the posting after this) has released a report showing that with the building boom in Manhattan, there has been no provision made for schools. See the details over at Norm's Notes.
The one school they planned for fell through
What kind of income does it take for a family to buy an apartment in Manhattan today? Bloomberg assumes most will go to private school. Wouldn't it be cheaper to provide say a $10,000 subsidy for each family to help them pay for private schools? Oh, I forgot. That's a voucher system. The real BloomKlein plan was to use the proposed Jest Stadium on the west side as a 70,000 seat school during the day. It would have worked, though lunch duty would have been a bitch.
Here's a better idea. Don't build it so they won't come. No schools and we can make Manhattan a child free zone.
On a more serious note, I was speaking to a parent with a child at PS 3 in the West Village who is very happy with the education there. She says it has been a very diversified school with students from other areas of Manhattan. A number of people she knows like the diversity. But now the DOE is forcing them to limit to the neighborhood and the school is becoming segregated- meaning white. Another plank in Joel Klein's "Shame of the Nation" speeches to the black community.
Half the teaching staff is very experienced and excellent she says -- a great balance and giving lie to the attitude at the DOE that long-time teachers are to be hounded out of the system. But now won't these salaries count against the school's budget? More shame!
She says the parents have been raising enormous amounts of money (the "newer" people have been willing to bid $10,000 for a quilt) to cover art, music, etc. - something that poor schools can't do and something Klein should talk about in his "shame of the nation" speeches when he goes to poor areas selling his program. She is wondering whether they will now have to use this money to keep their experienced teachers.
Let's see: BloomKlein- those great civil rights activists in the tradition of Martin Luther King:
More segregated schools. A big drop in the number of black teachers. Less Gifted & Talented than before. Shame.
As parent activist Lisa Donlan from the lower east side commented to me last week -
They broke everything and fixed nothing.
Coming later: More breaking and not fixing - school psychologists protested at the PEP last night. Tales of horror and loathing. Of course, Klein said it was the first he heard of it. And I got pics of him running over to say hello to UFT's Michael Mendel, who introduced him to UFT Staff Director Leroy Barr. Aha! Collaboration. Michael was there to hammer them on the tenure issue but I had to leave before he spoke. Dave B (the real one) came in to pinch hit.