School Armageddon is upon us. Or even worse, a planned economy.
Today we find out if Mayor Bloomberg’s doomsday predictions come true about what will happen if the state senate fails to renew legislation granting the mayor full control over city schools.
Last week, Bloomberg thundered that letting the law expire — or worse, toying with even a single word of the law — was akin to putting Joseph Stalin in charge… “If the Senate passes something that differs by one word or more it is saying to the city: We want to resurrect the Soviet Union, we want to bring back chaos.” Those, like Democratic conference leader John Sampson who has suggested changes might be in order, said Bloomberg, are “just saying to the parents, the students and the future of our city – ‘We’re going to destroy you.’ That’s the only possible explanation.”
Actually, since school is out, the dreaded old community school boards don’t have a single elected member, and the borough presidents are hardly likely to buck the mayor in appointments to any new board of education, the unraveling of mayoral control is likely to take a little longer.
And, as Newsday’s Dan Janison reminds us, the mayor has a bit of a record at hyping the consequences about not doing exactly as he says: “Not to be callow, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg has cried wolf on so many legislative deadlines in recent years that even if he’s right this time, you might not know it. The city was to have “no future” if there was no West Side Jets stadium and no Olympics, he said. We’ll choke to death on exhaust if the Legislature does not give him a toll to enter Manhattan, and we’ll breathe pristine air if it does, he said. The city will suffer economically if he is barred from seeking a third term in office, which he’s now doing, he said.”
Meanwhile, those unhappy with the Bloomberg-Klein alliance that has presided over city schools since the legislature passed mayoral control back in 2002 are getting ready to celebrate its demise — however brief it may be. As Gotham Schools reports:
“A group is planning to celebrate the end of mayoral control with a
party in the park next to the Department of Education’s Manhattan
headquarters, beginning at the perhaps-premature hour of 4:30 p.m. The
law does not expire until midnight.
The event’s organizer, Nicola DeMarco, told me he expects between 25
and 50 people to join him at the party, which will conclude at midnight
when the group tries to symbolically evict Schools Chancellor Joel
Klein from Tweed Courthouse.” Image (cc) krispdk.