By Sol Stern
Fwd: The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
December 3, 2004
How did New York City's experiment in school reform, once so promising, become such a mess? Author Sol Stern explains in this third edition of Fordham's new Fwd: series of short articles of interest to K-12 education reformers.
[Sidebar: It's hard to know why the mayor's promise to put a back-to-basics reading program into the schools morphed into its very opposite.]
Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave his first hint about his plans for reforming the New York City school system on Martin Luther King Day in January 2003. I was heartened as much by what Bloomberg didn't say as by what he actually said, and I applauded him in the pages of City Journal. I noted that Mayor Bloomberg didn't offer a single excuse for the disastrous state of the city's schools. Nor did he attribute that failure to poverty or racism. Breaking with 50 years of liberal political rhetoric about "insufficient funding" of public education, Bloomberg owned up to the fact that an operating budget of more than $12 billion (about $12,000 per student) ought to be sufficient to provide decent schools for the city's 1.1 million schoolchildren.
[Full article here or here]
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