In about a week, the city will narrow down the current field to a smaller group of schools that will be given greater scrutiny. Last year, the number of middle, elementary and high schools that made the second cut in the closure review was about 40 of the city’s district and charter schools, which numbered about 1,750 at the time. Eventually that was whittled down again by about half.
Will there be more schools targeted for closure this year?
City and Department of Education officials say it’s probable – but it’s not because on Monday there was a big increase in the number of schools that received three straight years of poor grades on progress reports. Instead, people close to City Hall say it’s likely because the Bloomberg administration wants to make as much of an impact as possible in its last full year in charge of the school system, and also because there were schools it wanted to close last year but couldn’t after a judge blocked the closures.
I think the nuclear war analogy is apt here.
This is Bloomberg's last full year in office, this is the last time he can really blow stuff up.
He is not going to miss that opportunity.
When Bloomberg and Klein first came into power, their goal was to blow as much of the old system up as possible so that it couldn't be reconstituted again.
They weren't wrong to say that the old system wasn't working, but they were wrong on their plans to fix it - constant reorganizations, constant chaos, FEAR-based policies, and the like.
They've already changed things so many times, most people have no idea how the system is organized anymore.
Districts? Regions? Networks?
And the content of the curriculum, we've gone from the central office pushing RAMP UP to every school (and reading rugs and standardized bulletin boards measured by people from Central Office) to "We don't care what you teach, just get the test scores up!" to Common Core.
So many changes, many breathtaking in scope - and yet, at the end of the day, we have 217 schools labeled "failures" and on the docket for closing this year, and that's BEFORE the high school reports come out.
Bloomberg won't take the blame for any of this, of course, it's never his fault, so it must be the fault of the schools, teachers and administrators.
This is disaster capitalism in action - cause many calamities yourself, then blame others and privatize the whole thing as the remedy.
Don't be surprised if Bloomberg doesn't have every school that was listed for closure last year on the list again this year (as the DN says is the plan) and adds another hundred to the list.
Bloomberg is going to go out with a huge mushroom cloud over the NYC school system - and this is his last year to finish the destruction of the system that he started in 2002.