As our Rachel Monahan reported this week, "The teachers union and the NAACP filed suit Wednesday to block the city from closing a record number of struggling schools this year. The suit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court challenges the closing of 22 public schools and accuses the city of not living up to a deal to provide support to 15 of those schools saved by a similar, successful lawsuit last year."
Said Bloomberg when asked about the suit today, according to our Erin Einhorn:
“I don’t know why they’re doing it now. They’re just trying to create the maximum havoc and disruption and create fear among parents...
"If you’re gonna have that lawsuit, they could have had it a long time ago and I’m not even sure what it is … but the bottom line is I’m confident the courts will let us go ahead. If you think about it, we are trying to close schools that are leaving our kids without an education and they’re fighting to keep those schools open. I don’t know how irresponsible you can possibly be. You go to the parts of the city where the pedagogical problems are the worst, where the results are the worst in some of these schools, and people want to keep ‘em open when there’s a chance that we could improve?"
Fighting to save schools that Bloomberg has systematically starved of resources, money and space is "irresponsible"?
What is irresponsible is an autocratic mayor who pits traditional public schools and charter schools against each other in the yearly "Space Wars" battle to the death, has cut individual school budgets half a dozen times while leaving the central office Tweed budget intact, is getting ready to lay off 4,278 teachers while spending $550 million on technology upgrades to schools, and never saw a no-bid contract to an outside consultant he didn't want to defend while he shuts 20 firehouses and 100 senior citizen centers to save money.
That's what is irresponsible.
New Yorkers are seeing through this jive.
The mayor is at 36% approval.
People don't like him and they don't like his policies.
NYC public school parents REALLY don't like him or his school policies.
So the mayor can try and deflect blame onto the UFT and the NAACP all he wants.
Given his refusal to use available money to stave layoffs, given the chaos that is going to result in the system when 8%-10% of the teaching force disappears to layoffs and attrition, given the further chaos that will be caused by the moving around of other teachers in the system to schools that see a disproportionate amount of layoffs, if anybody is being "disruptive," and creating "maximum havoc," it's Bloomberg.
But people know that.
The poll numbers bear that out.