Outgoing Bloomberg Officials Reflect on Last Day at City Hall

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The Bloomberg countdown clock. (Photo: Twitter/@rachelhaot)

Outgoing Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott began his final day on the job this morning with an early stop at City Hall, where he took one last look at the mayor’s famous countdown clock, which today notes zero days left on his administration’s watch. Continue reading “Outgoing Bloomberg Officials Reflect on Last Day at City Hall”

Dennis Walcott Doesn’t ‘Buy Into’ Criticism of School Closures

dennis walcott closings Dennis Walcott Doesnt Buy Into Criticism of School Closures
Dennis Walcott (Photo: Getty)

Mayor Bloomberg’s education policies have come under fire in recent weeks due to the closing of several city schools. After the mayor’s preliminary budget presentation today, Department of Education Chancellor Dennis Walcott defended mayoral control of city schools and said he doesn’t “buy into” criticism the city hasn’t been transparent enough about school closures.

“Mayoral control has worked, it’s worked well, and we are continuing to improve and refine it to make sure it’s even better,” Mr. Walcott told PolitickerContinue reading “Dennis Walcott Doesn’t ‘Buy Into’ Criticism of School Closures”

Manhattan BP Scott Stringer: 'The Incompetence of The Department of Education is Simply Staggering'

 Manhattan BP Scott Stringer: 'The Incompetence of The Department of Education is Simply Staggering'
Scott Stringer (Photo: Facebook)

Manhattan Borough President and possible 2013 mayoral candidate Scott Stringer blasted the New York City Department of Education at a press conference today following the publication of a New York Times report documenting the DOE’s failure to claim millions of dollars in federal Medicaid reimbursements for services provided to students with special needs from 2006 to 2010. Mr. Stringer called for hearings investigating the missed reimbursements, which he described as a missed opportunity to curb school budget cuts and evidence of widespread problems at the DOE.

“This calls out for state and city hearings immediately, there’s no time to waste. This agency has been going down this perilous path for many years, but nobody could have imagined that, when it came for reimbursement, they would fail so miserably. I am shocked and I am outraged,” Mr. Stringer said.  Continue reading “Manhattan BP Scott Stringer: 'The Incompetence of The Department of Education is Simply Staggering'”

Mayor Bloomberg Readies for 'Outrageous' School Bus Strike

mayor bloomberg bus strike Mayor Bloomberg Readies for 'Outrageous' School Bus Strike
Mayor Bloomberg (Getty)

Mayor Bloomberg briefed reporters this afternoon on a potential school bus strike that would affect over 152,000 city students. Workers from Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181, which includes 75% of the city’s school bus drivers, are warning of an immediate potential strike if the city doesn’t agree to their contract negotiation demands. At the press briefing, Mayor Bloomberg outlined steps the city will take if bus drivers walk off their job and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott called the strike “shameful.”

Continue reading “Mayor Bloomberg Readies for 'Outrageous' School Bus Strike”

Carnal Knowledge: New Mandatory Sex Ed Classes Have Some Hot And Bothered

sexed Carnal Knowledge: New Mandatory Sex Ed Classes Have Some Hot And BotheredYou remember what it was like, sitting in a special classroom, maybe one with couches instead of desks. The boys typically congregated to one side and the girls to the other. And the teacher—not your regular teacher—went around the room and made everyone say the words “penis” and “vagina” without laughing, while your best friend sat across from you flicking his tongue between two of his fingers.

Yes, that adolescent rite of passage known as the school-sanctioned sex ed class will arrive in New York City schools next year, albeit with stakes far more serious than misspelling “fallopian”: it comes accompanied by the kind of media maelstrom reminiscent of the culture wars of 20 years ago. (Jocelyn Elders, is that you?) Continue reading “Carnal Knowledge: New Mandatory Sex Ed Classes Have Some Hot And Bothered”

Schools Chancellor Walcott And Former Assemblyman Spar Over Sex Ed Program

dennis walcott Schools Chancellor Walcott And Former Assemblyman Spar Over Sex Ed Program
New York City Department of Education Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott (Getty)

A group being led by former State Assemblyman Michael Benjamin says a new sex ed program mandated by Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Department of Education involves field trips to abortion clinics and visits to “a sexually-explicit website.” City school officials tell the Observer there isn’t any specific sex ed curriculum and deny the site in question appears in their recommended materials.

Continue reading “Schools Chancellor Walcott And Former Assemblyman Spar Over Sex Ed Program”

Morning Read: Jurors Asked Their Opinion of Bloomberg; Mayor Gives His to U.N.;Deputies Living Large and Living Elsewhere

In violation of an executive order, deputy mayor Robert Steel seems to live in Connecticut–The Daily News busted him there wearing “golf shoes, shorts and a preppie sweater.”

…And OEM Director Skip Funk apparently lives in Florida.

Mario Cuomo is the lead investor in a group hoping to acquire a bank which would then create a new line of lending aimed at struggling municipalities, setting up a possible conflict of his interest with his son.

The NYPD placed an undercover cop at a Ground Zero Mosque protest last year.

Jonathan Lippmann is calling for a less punitive approach to juvenile offenders, sending some to family court first.

Dennis Walcott announced that the city would open 50 new middle schools in the next two years.

At the United Nations yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg spoke about the city’s public health efforts, and “he took full advantage of the opportunity to brag, to indulge in his inner scold and to give a plug to Bloomberg Philanthropies and his alma mater, Johns Hopkins, for their work on public health,” Anemona Hartocollis writes.

Common Cause is breaking with other groups calling for an independent redistricting commission in favor of strict criteria over how lines are drawn.

Justice Department lawyers are asking a federal judge to move up the date of New York state’s primary election because local election officials have failed to mail ballots in time to military personnel and other Americans overseas.

Prospective jurors in the John Haggerty trial are  being asked their opinion of Mayor Bloomberg.

About 50 of Manhattan’s most popular restaurants are being forced to explain how they comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Walmart foes predict an influx of superstores if the retail giant is able to get a toehold in NYC.

Texting while driving tickets are going up.

A look at what it would actually take for Barack Obama to lose New York.