Saturday, November 15, 2008

Radio interview blasts holes in DOE's reported 'successes'

November 14, 10:31 AM

by Lorri Giovinco-Harte, New York City Education Examiner

We sometimes forget that the mayor of New York City owns one of the largest media outlets in the world. This has caused many critics to question how much influence Mayor Bloomberg has over information that is reported about his office, performance, and the agencies which are under his control.

We've seen how deeply the mayor's influence runs in relation to his determination to eliminate term limits. Tom Robbins at The Village Voice refers to Bloomberg's 'Velvet Coup' in quietly influencing important media outlets in his bid. Robbins writes:

Forgive me. Mike Bloomberg would never shut down newspapers or use brutal thugs against dissenters in order to hold onto power. He doesn't have to. He buys them.

Many argue that this influence extends to information that is reported about the school system which Bloomberg also controls. Parents, educators, and students often paint a very different picture of the 'successes' which are touted in some local papers. This morning, The Daily News ran an editorial which extolled the virtues of the mayor and chancellor, proclaiming:

There must be unrelenting, sustained leadership of the kind applied by Bloomberg and Klein.

The article discusses the vast improvements in graduation rates and test scores that have occurred under Bloomberg's control.

Twenty fours hours prior to this publication, however, two educational advocates engaged in a radio interview which painted a very different picture.

Parental advocate, Leonie Haimson, and educational advocate, Norm Scott, were guests on WBAI's morning show, Wake Up Call in which they refuted many of the reported statistics and improvements touted by the Bloomberg administration about the public schools.

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