Mayor Bloomberg is under pressure to apologize for insulting public school parents who oppose his education reforms.
In his weekly WOR radio appearance, Bloomberg responded to a question about why parents fight the city's efforts to close struggling schools that are often in poor, immigrant and minority neighborhoods.
"There are some parents who ... never had a formal education, and they don't understand the value of education," Hizzoner said.
"The old Norman Rockwell family is gone. Some of these kids don't have parents. There's nobody to stand up for them."
This week, the NAACP and the teachers union sued to block the closing of 22 struggling schools with support from some parents.
It's the third year in a row the union has sued to block closings.
The last two lawsuits have been successful.
"How dare he and how disrespectful of him to think we don't have the brain power - whether we have a Ph.D. or an eighth grade education - to know what we want for our children?" said public school parent Zakiyah Ansari, who joined the lawsuit.
Public Advocate Bill De Blasio said Bloomberg should stop treating parents like "problems."
"As a public school parent I believe that the mayor should admit he made a mistake and apologize," he said in a statement.
Bloomberg faces wide opposition to his education policies from parents.
A Quinnipiac poll found just 20% of voters with children in public schools approve of the way the mayor is running the schools.
Teachers union president Michael Mulgrew yesterday joined the chorus of voices defending public school parents.
"Does the fact that they disagree with the mayor's agenda mean they don't understand education or care about their kids? I don't think so," he said in a statement.
A mayoral spokesman offered no apologies yesterday, defending Bloomberg's efforts to replace "persistently failing" schools with successful ones.
"The central pillar of this mayor's life in public service has been fighting to fix longstanding inequities in the education system and give every student the opportunity to attend good schools," Marc LaVorgna said
Norm's story about how they gave Mistress Eva Moskowitz all the good space at PS 241 ought to dispense with the LaVorgna pushback that the mayor is simply fighting to fix longstanding inequities in the system and give the opportunity for every student to a attend a "good school."
In the PS 241 case, the students in the charter school got all the good space and resources, the children in the traditional public school got put into the basement next to the boiler.
In almost every charter school location story, that's exactly what happens - the charters are given the cream of the resources, the space, even the students, and the traditional public schools are left to fend for themselves.
The reality is that the central pillar of this mayor's public life has been ideological - he has worked to destroy the traditional public school system and replace it with a quasi-privatized system where as many operations as possible can be outsourced to private contractors and companies, close as many traditional public schools as possible and replace them with as many charter schools as possible, implode as much of the old system structure as possible so that it becomes nearly impossible to rebuild any semblance of the system that once was in place, and impose as much of his authoritarian will and policies onto students parents and teachers as he can without, you know, pulling off a Beer Hall Putsch.
When 78% of public school parents are opposed to his policies and only 20% approve, the reality of the mayor's policies have not gone unnoticed.
People know that Bloomberg sees them as problems for not going along 100% with his policies.
Bloomberg as corporate oligarch is used to getting his way 100% of the time.
Perhaps we should stop giving corporate oligarchs who are used to getting their way 100% of the time total power to run a school system with no accountability measures?
The mayor's comments about the parents who oppose his policies are just the latest example of that.