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October 30, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

Reading List: The Marist Poll, Bloomberg – The Education Mayor?

* Bloomberg asked Lance Armstrong to ask Daily News reporter Celeste Katz if she will vote for him on Tuesday:

* A Marist Poll released today shows Bloomberg leading Thompson by 15 percentage points. An internal poll the Thompson campaign released last night showed Bloomberg leading by only 3 to 7 percentage points.

* Meredith Kolodner reports that a study by the Dept. of Education shows charter schools performing worse than public schools, and is doing a poor job of reaching out to special-education children and English language learners. Mayor Bloomberg has called for the state to lift its cap of 200 charter schools.

* Yoav Gonen reports in the Post that the National Center for Education Statistics, which compared state testing standards between 2005 and 2007, found that New York has set its benchmarks for student proficiency in math and reading well below of a gold-standard national test. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said states are setting the bar too low and are “lying to our children when we tell them they’re proficient but they’re not achieving at a level that will prepare them for success once they graduate.”

* Elizabeth Benjamin reports that SEIU 1199 is officially staying neutral in the mayor’s race, despite opposing Bloomberg’s term limits extension and voting in favor of giving Bill Thompson the WFP nod this summer. Another union staying neutral? The UFT — just when the teachers’ contract is set to end.

* David Chen: “A Mayor Thompson would be likely to focus on quality of life concerns, like water rates or parking tickets. Major decisions on schools, housing and other issues would probably be an exercise in consensus, with more participation by advocates and citizens.”

* Suzannah B. Troy is capturing some of the protests today, and interviews Brenda Stokely:

Filed under Education, In the Trenches, News, Reading List, term limits · 2 Comments »

October 2, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

Reading List: High Spending, Low Results in Education; Bloomberg Lobbys Against Gowanus Superfund

* Andrew Wolf writes that though there has been a significant increase in spending in New York City schools during the Bloomberg years (79% in six years), student performance has barely moved and test scores have been inflated.

* RWDSU President Stuart Applebaum released a statement to comment on the anniversary of the day Mayor Bloomberg decided to overturn the will of the people by extending term limits. He writes, “Between the money Bloomberg is spending (even though it is his own) and the way he overturned term limits; New Yorkers must realize that our democracy in this city is at stake.”

* Bloomberg said he wants to open 100 new charter schools if reelected, but charter advocates say that plan will require a lot of money.

* The Daily News reports that the federal government is looking to designate the Gowanus Canal as a Superfund site, a name given to hazardous waste sites to be investigated and cleaned by the feds. Mayor Bloomberg has personally called EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to lobby against the designation and wants to find developers who could pay to clean the site and develop the area. Critics of the mayor’s move say this should be scientific decision, not a political one.

Filed under News, Reading List · 1 Comment »

September 30, 2009 @ 6:18 pm

Reading List: Thompson Scoffs and Bloomberg Responds to Criticism with a Republican Endorsement

* “I found it comical and almost a little tragic that Mike Bloomberg did an op-ed talking about parking and about tickets today, when he’s the one who has really helped to create the major increase in parking fines and penalties across the city of New York. It’s almost like the mugger who beat you up and takes your money, and then is kind enough to take you to the emergency room afterward. That’s exactly what he’s done.” — Mayoral hopeful Bill Thompson responding to Bloomberg’s post editorial about possible plans for parking reform in the City Room.

* Bloomberg isn’t ignoring all fellow GOP candidates running in November. The mayor has endorsed Republican Bob Capano who is running against popular Democratic Councilmember Vincent Gentile in the 43rd District. The Post reports the endorsement is likely the result of Gentile’s criticism of “Bloomberg for raising property taxes and being out of touch with the needs of outer borough homeowners” and using a previously published photo of Bloomberg’s ritzy mansion in a mailer to get his point across.

* Haven’t had enough of Joyce Purnick talking about Mayor Bloomberg? You can see her tonight with former Mayor Ed Koch at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan.

* Gotham Schools reports that Mayor Bloomberg would like to lift the cap on charter schools. Bloomberg unsuccessfully lobbied to lift the cap in 2005.

* Some advice for Thompson from Teachable Moment.

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