Mike Bloomberg on Education

Independent possibility for President

Slash bureaucracy; reward principal & teacher excellence

From the beginning, we’ve pursued major education reforms that put ‘children first.’ That commitment has been the engine driving everything we’ve achieved in the past six years: Raising graduation rates by 20%; increasing reading and math scores by double digits; slashing the bureaucracy; funding schools more generously--and more equitably; rewarding principals and teachers for excellence; closing the shameful achievement gap between ethnicities.
Source: 2008 State of the City Address Jan 17, 2008

End the shameful practice of social promotion

Four years ago, I proposed ending the shameful practice of social promotion for 3rd graders in our city. Not everyone liked that idea, you may remember. But our 3rd graders rose to the challenge--and then, when we expanded the policy to 5th and 7th graders, they rose to the challenge, too. Now I will ask the City’s Panel on Educational Policy to end social promotion next school year in the 8th grade.
Source: 2008 State of the City Address Jan 17, 2008

No more tinkering at margins: cut bureaucracy; add charters

When I came into office, New York’s school system was failing--badly. And that means we were failing our children. Tinkering at the margins for decades had done nothing. In New York, we needed to get at the source of the problem--the inefficient, ineffective, and unaccountable Board of Education. With support from school leaders and parent leaders, we won control of the system--and that’s when the hard work began.

We ended social promotion; we lengthened the school day to provide extra help for struggling students; we worked to expand the number of charter schools; we cut the bureaucracy and re-directed that money into the classroom; we even raised our teachers’ salaries 43% [and instituted] a new program of merit pay for our principals.

Source: Speech at “Ceasefire! Bridging The Political Divide” meeting Jun 18, 2007

Replaced school board with direct mayoral control

Bloomberg’s first mayoralty coincided with a major shift of authority over the city’s public school system from the state government to the city government. From 1968 until 2000, New York City’s schools were managed by the Board of Education, which was comprised of seven members. Only two of the seven were appointed by the mayor. In 2000, the local boards and Board of Education were abolished and replaced with a new mayoral agency, the Department of Education.
Source: Wikipedia.org entry, “Michael_Bloomberg” May 2, 2007

No social promotion; more after-school

Under Bloomberg, test scores have risen and the City has obtained a higher percentage of funding from the state budget. Bloomberg opposes social promotion, and favors after-school and summer-school programs to help schoolchildren catch up, rather than allowing them to advance to the next grade level when they may be unprepared. Despite often tense relations with teachers’ unions, he negotiated an average raise of 15% for teachers in exchange for givebacks and productivity increases.
Source: Wikipedia.org entry, “Michael_Bloomberg” May 2, 2007

Strengthened cell-phone ban in city schools

Bloomberg has enforced a strengthened cell-phone ban in city schools that had its roots dating to a 1988 school system ban on pagers. The ban is controversial among some parents, who are concerned with their ability to contact their children. Bloomberg’s aides noted that students are distracted in class by cell phones and often use them inappropriately, in some instances sending and receiving text messages, taking photographs, surfing the Internet.
Source: Wikipedia.org entry, “Michael_Bloomberg” May 2, 2007

Focus on increasing high school graduation rates

As a result of the school reforms New York City has made, more students are graduating from our public schools than at any time in decades. Graduation rates have risen steadily and substantially during the past two years, surpassing every comparison gain in the rest of the state, and setting our students up for success. But we can not be satisfied with this progress, and we will continue working to give every New York City public school student a real chance to graduate and be successful.
Source: Press Release, “City Graduation Rates” Apr 25, 2007

Other candidates on Education: Mike Bloomberg on other issues:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010