Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

True Colors

video
from the nydailynews
Mayor Bloomberg blew a gasket on live TV Thursday as he prepared to voice support for gay marriage - berating a reporter in a wheelchair whose tape recorder accidentally started playing."Turn it off. It's a little too important for playing music," the mayor said, as a roomful of city and state politicians waited behind him.
"This is just too important to get disruptive, and maybe we'll just take everything outside."
For one minute and 36 seconds, Bloomberg stared at reporter Michael Harris of the Examiner blog until he could reach the recorder from his wheelchair and turn it off.
At one point, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn covered the microphone and appeared to whisper in Bloomberg's ear, "He's disabled."
"Okay, I understand that," the mayor replied. "He can still turn it off."
Harris said later that a photographer had jostled the recorder in his jacket pocket, making it play tape from a political rally the night before.
"It was in my coat which was a few seats over, so I couldn't reach it," said Harris, who was holding a camera and penned in by other photographers.
"I always turn my cell phone off. I couldn't figure out what it was."

He said he would offer an apology to Bloomberg if one was requested, but believed the mayor made too much of the distraction - and thought the mayor should apologize to him.
"I felt embarrassed that he singled me out like that," Harris said. "I think an apology would be the right thing to do. The mayor clearly was obnoxious in the way he reacted. Do I think I'm going to get one? No."
The episode was an odd distraction from the news conference to celebrate Gov. Paterson introducing a bill to allow gay marriage in New York.
Bloomberg arrived late to the event, stepping up to the podium after Paterson began speaking, and his body language was noticeably different from the smiling politicians and advocates around him.
He stood with his arms folded across his chest, gazing repeatedly at the ceiling while Paterson and other leaders spoke in support of the bill.
Paterson tried to make a joke when the tape began, telling Bloomberg, "Mayor, that's like your theme music."
"Okay, I appreciate that," the mayor replied. "Can we - something's playing? Can we just stop this and maybe we'll start again?"
Questioned a few minutes later about what transpired, Bloomberg said he would have done the same to any reporter whose electronics disrupted an event.
"I didn't reprimand him," the mayor said. "You have a responsibility to make sure you don't disrupt other people, and so does every other reporter that's there."
Harris was not there to hear Bloomberg's explanation. He skipped the mayor's question-and-answer session, saying, "I didn't want to further inflame the mayor in any way."

Randi Advises Vichy


Randi knows a different version of this tune as she uses it to school the Vichy French on the glory of collaborating
see ednotes online for a story on the "help" she provides for D.C. teachers
Weingarten Agreement to Schmoke as Mediator Means DC Teachers About to be Screwed
Rhee, Parker and Weingarten Agree to a Mediator
D.C. Chancellor Michelle Rhee, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, and Washington Teachers' Union President George Parker just announced that a mediator will help settle differences over the shape of their contract.
Kurt Schmoke, Dean of Howard University School of Law and former Baltimore mayor, will work to resolve "outstanding issues" on the table, according to an AFT statement.- Stephen Sawchuck at Ed Week.
Agreeing to Schmoke, part of the anti-union ed deformer crowd ( I received an email with his background yesterday but can't lay my hands on it,) would be like having Joel Klein mediate the UFT contract. But we told the DC teachers to expect nothing less from Weingarten. Watch them be handed a contract and given 10 minutes to read and approve it before the contracts are collected. Count your teeth before leaving the room.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mike's Crib sheet


An excerpt from a nytimes editorial of 4/10/09
Op-Ed Contributor, Mayor Bloomberg’s Crib Sheet
By DIANE RAVITCH
ARNE DUNCAN, the secretary of education, has urged the nation’s mayors to take control of their public schools so that they can impose radical reforms. He points to New York City as a prime example of a school system that made sharp improvements under mayoral control.
Actually, the record on mayoral control of schools is unimpressive. Eleven big-city school districts take part in the federal test called the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Two of the lowest-performing cities — Chicago and Cleveland — have mayoral control. The two highest-performing cities — Austin, Tex., and Charlotte, N.C. — do not. Mr. Duncan came to New York City last week to urge the New York State Legislature to renew the law that grants control of the New York City public schools to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. That law, passed in 2002, will expire at the end of June.
Mayoral control of the schools is not a new phenomenon in the city’s history. From 1873 to 1969, the mayor appointed every single member of the Board of Education. The era of decentralization from 1969 to 2002 was an aberration, because the mayor had only two appointees on a seven-member board.
Yet no mayor has exercised such unlimited power over the public schools as Mr. Bloomberg. Previous mayors respected the independence of the board members they appointed. The present version of the board, the Panel on Education Policy, serves at the pleasure of the mayor and rubber-stamps the policies and spending practices of the Department of Education, which is run by Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.
Mr. Bloomberg’s allies say that the results of the current system are so spectacular that the law should be renewed without change. Secretary Duncan agrees: “I’m looking at the data here in front of me,” he said while in New York. “Graduation rates are up. Test scores are up ... By every measure, that’s real progress.”
It sounds good, but in fact no independent source has verified such claims.
On the federal National Assessment of Educational Progress — widely acknowledged as the gold standard of the testing industry — New York City showed almost no academic improvement between 2003, when the mayor’s reforms were introduced, and 2007. There were no significant gains for New York City’s students — black, Hispanic, white, Asian or lower-income — in fourth-grade reading, eighth-grade reading or eighth-grade mathematics. In fourth-grade math, pupils showed significant gains (although the validity of this is suspect because an unusually large proportion — 25 percent — of students were given extra time and help). The federal test reported no narrowing of the achievement gap between white students and minority students.
The city’s Department of Education belittles the federal test scores and focuses on the assessments given by New York State. And, indeed, the state scores have soared in recent years, not only in the city but also across New York state However, the statewide scores on the N.A.E.P. are as flat as New York City’s. Our state tests are, unfortunately, exemplars of grade inflation.
The graduation rate is another area in which progress has been overstated. The city says the rate climbed to 62 percent from 53 percent between 2003 and 2007; the state’s Department of Education, which uses a different formula, says the city’s rose to 52 percent, from 44 percent. Either way, the city’s graduation rate is no better than that of Mississippi, which spends about a third of what New York City spends per pupil.
Moreover, the city’s graduation rates have been pumped up with a variety of dubious means, like “credit recovery,” in which students who fail a course can get full credit if they agree to take a three-day makeup program or turn in an independent project. In addition, the city counts as graduates the students who dropped out and obtained a graduate-equivalency degree.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Seder Sidekicks Revealed


He'll Do Anything

He'll Do Anything...To Get Elected


from the nycpublicschoolparents blog
Talk about politicizing our schools….
Tweed won’t let people hand out leaflets for CEC candidates in school buildings because it is too “political”, but somehow Bloomberg is allowed to use school newsletters to recruit high school students for his re-election campaign. Reportedly, some schools have been persuaded to even offer course credits to students who work for his re-election!
Talk about killing two birds with one stone: Bloomberg is able to artificially raise graduation rates and obtain cheap child labor for his campaign with one fell swoop.
Reminiscent of the tactics he used to coerce organizations that received city money to testify on behalf of the extending term limits....it is increasingly clear that there are no limits to how far he will go to get his way.
Had this sort of corruption occurred in the days of the old Board of Education or Community school boards you would never have heard the end of it --- especially from the tabloids and mainstream media. But again the billionaire bully is able to break all the rules and get away with it.

Seder Sidekicks 2


Continuing with the thread of the previous post I managed to track down a still image of all the sidekicks attending the special Department of Education Passover Seder
ednotesonline shares his correspondence with a high placed nyc school supervisor re the troubling relationship that the newly appointed board regents, Merryl Tisch, has with Joel Klein
I am fascinated by the detail of your research and reporting! I feel fortunate to have you "in the trenches" reporting on everything- as I find many of your opinions right on target. I am only sorry that I am not retired so I could enjoy my freedom of speech – and perhaps write more and share opinions.
I was deeply troubled by the NY Times' very flattering piece on Meryl Tisch.
Though she seems like a nice lady and I have only seen her speak once, she is in the Mayor's pocket- she once was quoted as saying "I absolutely will support Mayoral Control as long as MICHAEL is going to be in charge". Then article talks of how she has shared several Seder suppers with Joel Klein and how she and her husband go on dinner dates with JOEL and his wife".
That would be like me as an accountant sharing Christmas dinner with my auditor every year.
The entire article is full of her connections to the wealth of a very limited number of people mostly very folks from the upper east side.. Seymour Fliegel is mentioned praising her-didn't he get a contract from JOEL to run the CIE PSO??? There is too much here that does not pass the smell test.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Seder Sidekicks

video
ednotesonline shares his correspondence with a high placed nyc school supervisor re the troubling relationship that the newly appointed board regents, Merryl Tisch, has with Joel Klein
I am fascinated by the detail of your research and reporting! I feel fortunate to have you "in the trenches" reporting on everything- as I find many of your opinions right on target. I am only sorry that I am not retired so I could enjoy my freedom of speech – and perhaps write more and share opinions.
I was deeply troubled by the NY Times' very flattering piece on Meryl Tisch.
Though she seems like a nice lady and I have only seen her speak once, she is in the Mayor's pocket- she once was quoted as saying "I absolutely will support Mayoral Control as long as MICHAEL is going to be in charge". Then article talks of how she has shared several Seder suppers with Joel Klein and how she and her husband go on dinner dates with JOEL and his wife".
That would be like me as an accountant sharing Christmas dinner with my auditor every year.
The entire article is full of her connections to the wealth of a very limited number of people mostly very folks from the upper east side.. Seymour Fliegel is mentioned praising her-didn't he get a contract from JOEL to run the CIE PSO??? There is too much here that does not pass the smell test.