State education officials ripped Mayor Bloomberg's reforms of the city's school system, saying the mayor's education reforms have turned some of the city's failed public schools into "warehouses" for poor-performing students, writes Ben Chapman at the New York Daily News.
After visiting Automotive High School in Brooklyn, where just 1 % of students graduated ready for college last year, Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, Merryl Tisch, slammed the mayor's long-standing policy of closing troubled schools and replacing them with new ones.
"They've closed a lot of the large schools and they've warehoused thousands of kidsâ¦ When I say warehouse, I mean warehouse â¦ These kids don't have a shot."
"No one's in the class and kids are wandering around the hallway. I couldn't tell me for the life of me what the instruction was," said Tisch.
Critics say that low-performing students are being left out of the 528 new schools, opened under Bloomberg since he took office in 2002. But city officials insist that's not the case.
"I strongly reject any notion that these schools âwarehouse' students," said city schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.
"In fact, no one has done more to close warehouse-style schools and drop-out factories than the Bloomberg Administration."
The state awarded $60 million to the city in September, intended to be dished out to 33 struggling city schools to help them turnaround in the next two years. Automotive High School is one of them.
State education commissioner John King visited a half-dozen of the schools with Tisch and said the state may discontinue the funding if things don't improve at the schools by early next year.
"It would be irresponsible for us to continue to let the money go if there is no change," said King.
This comes after Bloomberg signed a $5,000 check last month in aid of Kira Orange Jones' election campaign to the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
State filings also showed that Bloomberg, whose media empire had already made him a billionaire before he became mayor of New York City, had contributed $100,000 to the Alliance for Better Classrooms in New Orleans.