By Ben Velderman
NEW YORK – Mayor Michael Bloomberg has officially lost in his bid to revamp 24 of New York City’s most dysfunctional schools.
Last year, Bloomberg closed the two dozen failing schools, fired all the employees, quickly reopened the schools, and made staff members reapply for their previous positions.
It was a bold and historic effort to turn around bad schools, but it was immediately reversed by a state Supreme Court judge.
Justice Joan Lobis ruled the city’s action violated the teacher union contract. Lobis ordered the city to re-hire the teachers, which was done.
Under Bloomberg’s direction, the city appealed the decision, which it officially lost on Thursday. A state appellate judge upheld the Lobis’ ruling, calling one of the city’s key arguments “unpersuasive,” NY1.com.
After previous losses, Bloomberg always promised to try again, notes NY1.com. But the mayor’s term ends in just over six months. He apparently has fought the good fight and lost – this time perhaps for good.
Bloomberg’s successor will almost certainly be a lapdog for the United Federation of Teachers, the local teachers union.
That means these miserable schools will be allowed to fail New York City students, parents and taxpayers for many more years.
That’s a blemish on Bloomberg’s education reform record, which has been otherwise quite impressive. But it’s mostly a major loss for New York City students and the adults who care about them.