mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
Bloomberg Prances Through Education Disaster

Should New York City be applauded for its high spending on public education? At an average of $20,000-plus per student, many would say yes.

But results matter, and New York’s results are truly, shockingly bad. A recent CBS report claims that nearly 80 percent of NYC high school graduates don’t have the basic reading, writing, or math skills necessary to participate in the city’s Community College system. That’s 11,000 students with high school diplomas in need of remedial courses—at a cost of about $200 million dollars per year.

The City University of New York (CUNY) is trying to compensate with remedial courses, but filling the gaps in education is an uphill struggle:

“They get lost sometimes in the classroom and in CUNY Start [a program of new low-cost immersion classes] we give them a lot more one-on-one attention, small group work. It helps them achieve more in a short amount of time and so they’re able to get on with their credit classes,” Mason said. […]

Mayor Bloomberg has been an enthusiastic backer of education reform, so one might expect him to be hard at work on a solution to the embarrassing failure of his city’s schools to fulfill their most basic function. But true to form, the mayor has been focusing his attention elsewhere. In preparation for the implementation of his sugary beverage decree, the Nanny of New York is embarking on another “public health” crusade:

[Bloomberg] wants to stop New Yorkers from going deaf, so he’s put in motion an attack on ear buds, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported Wednesday. […]

Officials say an iPod reaches 115 decibels at maximum volume. Doctors say sound has to be below 85 decibels to be safe.

New York can now add another item to its mayor’s already problematic legacy: A generation of lavishly over-funded students who are nevertheless unable and often afraid to step into a college classroom. Those vying to succeed him in November should take note: Spend more of your time and political capital on educating children and getting finances in order. Leave the candy and loud music to their parents.

[Update: An earlier version of this post did not mention that the $200 million figure was a per-year figure. The mistake has been corrected.]

[Image courtesy of]

Features Icon
© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service