When the New York Times runs an editorial blaming Mike Bloomberg for losing hundreds of millions of dollars for the city, like they just did, people ought to notice. When I think of some of his major screw ups, like City Time, his taxi medallion scheme (that's left the city budget scrambling to cover a billion dollars Mikey had counted on but aren't there) his burial of World Trade Center remains in the Church Street pavement and the Staten Island landfill and how people who get into my taxi especially out of towners are saying idiocies like "Bloomberg, he's a pretty god mayor, isn't he?" it makes me want to vomit right there in my taxi. It makes me think about how the media would be playing these items if the mayor were Freddy Ferrer, Bronx Democrat of humble origins and I think I know the answer: they would have David Dinkinized him from the get go, made it impossible for him to govern and run him out of town. And as I have demonstrated Dinkins has been given a world class bad rap when he should be up there with Fiorello LaGuardia.
David Dinkins saved New York City from the fate of Los Angeles in 1992, He's been given a bad rap by people who ought to be praising him to the skies and maybe even kissing his feet. Oh I forget, he's Black and a Democrat.
The Teacher Evaluation Fight
Published: January 18, 2013
The Bloomberg administration’s failure to reach an agreement with the New York City teachers’ union on the details of a state-mandated teacher evaluation system by the Thursday deadline has cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars in state money. The State Education Department notified the city on Friday that it would face even harsher penalties if it failed to promptly establish a timeline and budget for complying with the law.
Under a 2010 state law, which was passed by the Legislature in a bid to win nearly $700 million in competitive grants from the federal government’s Race to the Top program, the state was required to create a new teacher evaluation system. The old system, which everyone agreed was terrible, relied on spotty observations by administrators and found an overwhelming majority of teachers “satisfactory” whether or not they were performing in the job.
The new system rates teachers as “highly effective,” “effective,” “developing” or “ineffective.” Those rated as “ineffective” for two consecutive years can be dismissed through an expedited process. The state law requires that 60 percent of a teacher’s score be based on subjective measures like classroom observation and 20 percent based on students’ academic improvement on state tests. Another 20 percent is to be based on locally approved measures of student achievement, to be decided with the union.
According to the State Education Department, 99 percent of the state’s nearly 700 school districts managed to negotiate new evaluation systems by the Thursday deadline, thus avoiding sanctions that could lead to a loss of state aid. New York City, by contrast, mounted a disastrous negotiation process that failed at the 11th hour, leading to the loss of $240 million in state aid and endangering more than $250 million in federal grants.
To avoid that disastrous outcome, Mr. Bloomberg and the union will need to return to the bargaining table and get this deal done as quickly as possible. If the two sides fail to arrive at an agreement very soon, the state should continue turning up the pressure on every front, to make sure that the city complies with the law and that its schoolchildren get the credible teacher evaluation systems they clearly need.