Monday, March 05, 2007

Atomic Wedgies

I'd like to give these titans some atomic wedgies. Classic Republican strategy: obfuscate reality, drive a wedge, divide and conquer. From today's Times' article by David Herzenhorn on Bloomberg's visit to a Queens congregation in Cambria Heights:
...."But in describing his effort to improve the schools as “the great civil rights challenge of our time,” Mr. Bloomberg, straying from his prepared text, suggested that disparities in school budgets — of as much as $2,000 annually per child in city tax dollars — were a result of racial discrimination, even though city data does not back that up.
“You all know which schools got more and which schools got less,” Mr. Bloomberg said, as the predominantly black congregation at New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Jamaica, Queens, murmured its approval. Mr. Bloomberg’s aides later said he was referring to political favoritism that resulted in some schools’ receiving more money.
Again departing from his written remarks, Mr. Bloomberg suggested that until recent changes by his administration, programs for gifted and talented students were “centered in Midtown Manhattan” — which his aides conceded was an exaggeration intended to underscore the point that few such programs had existed in low-income, largely minority neighborhoods.
At Mount Moriah A.M.E. Church in Cambria Heights, Queens, Mr. Bloomberg made similar comments. “For too long, we have concentrated our resources in a handful of neighborhoods,” he said. “We have to bring our resources to all neighborhoods.”
At that appearance, he called the school budgeting process “a disgrace,” adding, “It has just been done because some neighborhoods seem to have more political power than others.”

The chutzpah to declare that the funding formulas are racist. Next thing you know Mike will say he marched with Dr. King in Selma. It is what Bloomberg and Klein have done to the school system that is racist. The reading and writing curriculum spearheaded by Columbia is a bust in minority neighborhoods. Check out the "accomplishments" of Region 9 over the last few years. It isn't doing too well in the so-called silk stocking districts either. How come Superintendent Kathleen Cashin, who is somewhat the anti-Tweed, has scored success in minority neighborhoods? No matter how they massage the statistics scores have not improved across the board. Is that due to funding? Believe me, as one who knows the system, money is not the biggest part of the problem. The problem is the ridiculous programs and procedures that are imposed from above and leaders who are being trained to be soulless autocrats. God knows how much money is being wasted at Tweed on high priced managers and consultants who are completely out of touch with life in the classroom. Talk about racism? How about doing a color check on the composition of that crew?

No comments: