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Monday, April 7, 2008

Bloomberg compares himself to Martin Luther King

See the article in today’s NY Sun in which Bloomberg and Klein complain about the lack of hearings and public process as regards the proposed change in the state law on teacher tenure.

Their outrage is a bit hard to stomach, when not a single one of their flawed educational policies has had any real public input, whether it be the constant reorganizations, the continual forcing of charter schools into regular public schools, the evisceration of districts, the disempowering of parents and school leadership teams, the overemphasis on standardized tests including paying students for high scores, the unfair “fair student funding” scheme, or the highly unreliable school grading system.

Even more astonishing is that at the same time as he is proposing indefensible budget cuts to our schools, the Mayor would dare to compare himself to Martin Luther King on the anniversary of his assassination.

On Sunday, while visiting a church in Crown Heights, Bloomberg said: "We are doing the things, I think, that if Dr. Martin Luther King was running the NYC school system, he would have done. And I think that if you were running the New York City school system, you would have done."


Bloomberg and Klein continually portray themselves as great civil rights heroes at the same time that they refuse to make the sort of fundamental changes that would dramatically improve opportunities for NYC children – for example, by reducing class size, which is one of very few reforms that has been shown to narrow the achievement gap.

See these responses from State Sen. Bill Perkins from Harlem and Council member Leticia James from Brooklyn:

Mr. Perkins, who said he received phone calls yesterday from constituents concerned by the remarks, called the comparison to King "arrogant" and "an insult." He said the claim was insulting "especially when you realize that, within the community, there's a great deal of anger and disappointment at how the schools have been functioning under this administration."

Mr. Perkins added: "Parents have felt left out of the process, and they've felt that the schools are not measuring up. ..."

As Letitia James concluded, "To invoke Dr. Martin Luther King's name, given that a significant number of the schools in Crown Heights do not have computers, do not have science labs and math labs, is really an affront to the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King."

1 comment:

JR said...

This is an amazing blog. As a public school teacher I'm pleased to see someone speaking out on these issues. Thank you.