Posts tagged "Mayor Bloomberg"
May 15, 2013
When former comptroller Bill Thompson took the stage at the United Federation of Teachers conference on Saturday, he joined fellow mayoral candidates in criticizing Mayor Bloomberg’s education record.
But Thompson, the former president of the city’s Board of Education who ran against Bloomberg is 2009, took a more measured approach when putting together his formal education platform. He outlined the platform today in a policy speech at New York University, becoming the first candidate to set out a complete education agenda.
Thompson’s platform — which skimmed over some important issues — reflects ample criticism of Bloomberg administration education policies. He reiterated a commitment to avoid school closures, promised to “lead with teachers” rather than threaten them, vowed to involve parents in policy making, and pledged to reduce schools’ emphasis on testing.
But it also signals that Thompson would expand, not end, many of Bloomberg’s school policies. (more…)
May 13, 2013
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn fought hard to distance herself from the Bloomberg administration during a mayoral debate hosted by the teachers union on Saturday, but she could not escape being the only candidate to be booed by union members angry at the mayor’s education policies.
When UFT officials asked the mayoral candidates at the teachers union’s spring conference whether they believed the next chancellor needs to be an educator, Quinn’s answer stood out from the chorus of “yes” responses.
“Not necessarily,” she said.
It was not a new stance for Quinn, who has said for months that she believes a qualified non-educator could successfully lead the school system. But when she cited as someone who fit the bill U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, whose agenda overlaps with Bloomberg’s, she drew loud boos from the crowd.
It was a major misstep for Quinn, the Democratic frontrunner, as she worked to hit the right notes during the United Federation of Teachers’ mayoral debate, which came a month before the union — one of the city’s most powerful political forces — plans to endorse a mayoral candidate for the first time since 2001. (more…)
May 2, 2013
Mayor Bloomberg said today that a deal to give teachers retroactive raises to make up for five years without a new contract would cost billions and cripple the city’s financial stability.
“It’s just something the city can’t possible afford,” said Bloomberg, who made the remarks while presenting a $69.8 billion spending plan, the final proposal of his administration.
Retroactive raises for the more than 100 municipal labor unions and organizations with expired contracts is a looming issue for the city’s fiscal future and in the mayoral campaign to replace Bloomberg. Bloomberg has refused to negotiate new deals if it means the inclusion of the raises, which would total 4 percent for the city’s 80,000 teachers.
He estimated today that costs from retroactive teacher raises would be $3.8 billion in 2014 and $1 billion every year after. Raises for all city workers would cost a combined $7.8 billion in 2014 and $3 billion in subsequent years, he said. (more…)
May 2, 2013
Mayor Bloomberg’s final budget, which he is unveiling today, is likely to include new details on how changes to the city’s state school aid will affect the Department of Education.
In January, when Bloomberg made his preliminary budget proposal, the city faced losing $250 million because it had not agreed on a teacher evaluation system with its union. Bloomberg said the bulk of the cuts would come from individual schools.
But wrangling in Albany resulted in the city’s state school funding being revised upward, even though the teacher evaluation penalty was not technically rescinded. That means the Department of Education’s budget might be in the best shape it has been since the start of a series of recession-induced budget cuts in 2008.
But the funding picture for other programs and departments that affect children is likely to be less sunny. Bloomberg’s initial budget proposal included steep cuts to after-school and child care programs, just as he originally proposed last year. (more…)
April 18, 2013
Unlike his boss three years ago, Chancellor Dennis Walcott stuck to Emily Dickinson’s original script today while reading to a crowd on national Poem in Your Pocket Day.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg brought the springtime literary event to New York City in 2002 in conjunction with National Poetry Month. He has made a tradition out of plastering his own verses all over the city in celebration of the event — at awards ceremonies (2011), on Times Square billboards (2012), and, this year, in the pages of Metro New York.
In 2010, Bloomberg again read a poem of his own creation, but drew inspiration from Dickinson’s “‘Hope’ is The Thing With Feathers.”
Reading to a crowd of students and other poetry fans in Bryant Park, Walcott picked the same poem — but stuck to the words as Dickinson intended. (more…)
April 2, 2013
As some of the biggest news in New York City politics unfolded this morning, Mayor Bloomberg was focused on a story that hasn’t changed in more than a decade
He called a press conference to tout this year’s crop of new schools — 78 in all — at the same time as several elected officials were being arrested for trying to sell a slot on the mayoral ballot.
The 78 new schools, 26 of which are charters, represent the largest single-year total for an administration that has opened more than 650 schools since 2002. As the last new schools to open under Bloomberg, they also represent the uncertain future of the administration’s signature policies: closing low-performing schools and replacing them with new ones. (more…)
March 13, 2013
The New York Times has realized the biggest lesson that we took away from 2012: Mayor Bloomberg can’t always get what he wants.
But it neglected to look toward Bloomberg’s Department of Education for proof.
Days after a legal ruling that blocks Bloomberg from carrying out his sugary-drinks ban, the Times tallied other recent instances when Bloomberg’s grand plans have been stymied. From the story:
Adverse rulings have become a recurring impediment for a mayor accustomed to getting his way. Courts or administrative regulators have blocked the Bloomberg administration from mandating fuel emissions standards in New York City’s taxicabs, expanding street-hail car service beyond Manhattan, and changing eligibility requirements for homeless people seeking shelter.
Add “closing struggling schools” to that list. It was just three months into Bloomberg’s third term when a judge ruled that the way the Department of Education proposed school closures had broken the law. (more…)
February 15, 2013
The city’s $46.6 billion teacher pension system sold its shares in the firearms industry yesterday, becoming the country’s largest retirement fund to divest from publicly-traded gun manufacturers since December’s elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Comptroller John Liu announced today.
But the vote to do so wasn’t unanimous — and the single dissenting ballot came from a member appointed by the city’s most powerful gun control advocate: Mayor Bloomberg.
Ray Sarola, acting as a fill-in for Bloomberg appointee Carolyn Wolpert, voted against divestment during an executive session meeting last week, a spokesman for the Teacher Retirement System said. Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grimm, of the Department of Education, missed the vote but said yesterday at the board’s monthly public meeting that she opposed divestment as well. (more…)
February 14, 2013
Listening to Mayor Bloomberg’s final State of the City address, delivered today, one would not know the mayor has spent the last decade closing schools, fighting with the teachers union, and touting high test scores.
Although Bloomberg opened the shorter-than-usual education portion of the speech by noting that the city’s high school graduation rate has risen faster than the state’s, he did not utter the words “failing schools,” “the United Federation of Teachers,” or “test scores.”
He also did not bring any new education ideas to the Barclay’s Center, the Brooklyn stadium where he delivered the speech.
Instead, he focused on the new schools he plans to create during his last year in office — including eight designed expressly to boost college readiness among low-income black and Latino students — and tougher standards that the state has already adopted.
Bloomberg worked to manage expectations about this year’s state test scores, the first based on exams aligned to the new standards, known as the Common Core. State officials have warned that proficiency rates are likely to fall, but Bloomberg had not until today acknowledged that his final test scores are likely to drop in his final year in office. (more…)
January 29, 2013
Following up on his promise to detail school budget cuts required by the collapse of a teacher evaluation deal earlier this month, Mayor Bloomberg today described how he plans to reduce costs in the Department of Education’s central administration.
The rest of the $250 million funding will cut come from schools, Bloomberg said during a press conference in which he announced the first city budget revision to reflect costs incurred from Hurricane Sandy.
In addition to the cuts that Chancellor Dennis Walcott outlined in an email to principals on Monday, Bloomberg said he would restrict hiring centrally and eliminate vacancies in areas such as administration, human resources, budget, and help desk staff.
He said the city would also cut non-personnel costs–the costs of running an office that don’t include staff salaries–in administrative and field-based offices by 90 percent, and reduce spending on contracts for services such as youth development, professional development, and anti-bullying programs. (more…)