Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fwd: NYC Public School Parents - 3 new articles

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"NYC Public School Parents" - 3 new articles

  1. The Taking of the White House 123
  2. Bloomberg on Joel Klein and whether he would replace him
  3. Bill Thompson on charter schools and turning around failing schools
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The Taking of the White House 123

July 8, 2009 (GBN News): Mayor Michael Bloomberg is secretly working with former City Council member Eva Moskowitz to put a charter school in the White House, GBN News has learned. According to sources at City Hall, Ms. Moskowitz, who has been aggressively expanding her charter school empire in Harlem by taking over space in existing schools, will use similar tactics in the Executive Mansion.

To assist in this effort, Mr. Bloomberg has reportedly enlisted the services of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. The sources said that this week's massive cyber attacks, which have crippled many Government web sites, are indeed, as suspected, the work of the North Koreans. Their intent, though, is not military, but rather an effort to distract the White House and Secret Service while Ms. Moskowitz moves classroom equipment into the Lincoln Bedroom.

While on the surface it may seem surprising that the North Korean dictator and Mr. Bloomberg would collaborate on such an endeavor, the Mayor and Mr. Kim actually have much in common. Both, after all, are eccentric autocrats with a taste for the arts, and both benefit from a tightly controlled, adoring press. And because Mr. Kim so admires the way Mr. Bloomberg controls the city schools, the Mayor persuaded James Liebman to resign as DOE Chief Accountability Officer, in order to build a similar accountability system in North Korea.

It is unclear what role, if any, Education Secretary Arne Duncan has played in this plot. He is said to think highly of the NY City school reforms of Mr. Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein, and has aspired to replicate them nationwide. A White House charter school would seem to be right in line with this goal. However, he might also risk alienating his boss, if President Obama finds that a charter school in his midst hampers his ability to do his job.

On the other hand, some feel that this is just what Mr. Bloomberg intends. If he can do to Mr. Obama what charters do to public schools, the Mayor may end up displacing the President in the functional equivalent of a coup.

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Bloomberg on Joel Klein and whether he would replace him

Working Families Party debate, July 2, 2009

Question: "Obviously the school system is one of the most controversial issues in the campaign. Some people would say that the Chancellor has become a lightning rod – instead of bringing in constituencies, and working with them together to transform the school system, he has had a tendency to alienate them.…is there something that can be done to reduce these frictions – I not going ask you if you're going to replace him..."

Bloomberg: "I am not."... "Number one , I don't think this is going to be controversial in the campaign – my understanding is that Bill Thompson said he is in favor of mayoral control of the schools….if you brought to a vote in Albany would overwhelmingly pass in Senate as it did in Assembly; no rational person would want to roll back the progress we've made in improving graduation rates"... etc. .

"Joel Klein comes from a city family… he grew up in public housing, he was the first one in his family to go to college…he understands. Is he tough and hard in making decisions; yes. And that's why the school system has worked.

Could he have better social skills? We all could I suppose. His job is not to be a nice guy, his job is to deliver results.

If you ask Randi Weingarten or Ernie Logan, they would tell you that while they battle with Joel all the way, this school system has worked because of him, Dennis Walcott, everybody else….We got the right guy."

Bill Thompson on charter schools and turning around failing schools

Working Families Party debate, July 2, 2009

"I do support charter schools, but they serve only about 25,000 students. That leaves more than one million who aren't in charter schools.

.... When we look at what we did, a model called Chancellor's schools; we capped the size of the school, created a rigorous curriculum, focused on teacher training, literacy, etc.. intensive teacher training and the schools improved. And we involved parents. We need to bring them in."

(He fails to mention the most important reform in the Chancellor's district -- a dramatic reduction in class size for grades K-5)

".... not everything is standardized tests. We must bring back art and music to schools and we create well-rounded students."

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