Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bloomberg, small schools, testing

"They want to be bold, reformers..."

There's lots of great discussion and debate going on over at the SmallSchools Listserv, about N.Y. Mayor Bloomberg's school reform.

Multi-billionaire Bloomberg, who just spent $103 million to get re-elected, has his own version of small schools and charter schools. At issue: Are they being done at the expense of the majority of students in city schools? Despite their record of excluding lots of kids with disabilities and special needs as well as non-English speaking immigrants, some argue that there's still an overall benefit because the number of good small schools has increased. Sign on and join in.


There's no question about Bloomberg's love of standardized testing. He and Chancellor Joel Klein have taken the high-risk, standardized test to new absurd levels and have made testing their signature strategy.

Dan Brown,
author of The Great Expectations School: A Rookie Year in the New Blackboard Jungle, nails it here on Huffington.
It's a shame that opposition to this regime has been demonized as a defense of a status quo. President Obama and Arne Duncan (with their Race to the Top testing-based incentives), and Michael Bloomberg have all bought into the idea that boldness and reform are synonymous with firing teachers based on test scores. They want to be bold, they want to be reformers. They're doing it the wrong way.

Bloomberg has now spent more than a quarter of a billion dollars of his own money in his three campaigns for City Hall, more, than anyone else in the United States.

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