Tag Archives: media

Lipstick on a Pig

Source: NYC DOE

We like standardized tests almost as much as Bloomberg and Klein do, so we’ll give you a multiple choice quiz:

Question 1: Which of the following headlines — all triggered by the same Department of Education school ratings press release — is the most attention-grabbing?

(a) “Schools Get Report Cards From City Education Dept.”
(b) “With Standards Tightened, Far Fewer New York City Schools Receive a Grade of ‘A’”
(c) “Just 5% of city’s elementary/middle schools got Ds and Fs this year in new progress reports”
(d) “Progress Absent at Most Schools”
(e) “Grade shock: Regular schools top charters” Continue reading

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What’s the Deal at DCAS?

Mike Bloomberg's Press Conference

Martha K. Hirst has headed up DCAS, the city agency responsible for leasing office space, since Michael Bloomberg took office.  So when one of our readers suggested we look at a recent Daily News article that said that new Bloomberg deputy mayor and efficiency expert Stephen Goldsmith had identified 10,000 unused office spaces rented by City Hall, and was proposing getting rid of them to save bucks, we eventually Googled on Martha’s name.

We discovered that Hirst was out, replaced by Acting Commissioner Donald P. Brosen, with only a brief announcement by City Hall on July 14. Continue reading

Stephen Goldsmith, Unexpurgated

Stephen Goldsmith at Crain's Breakfast Forum

Contrast the two available videos that show deputy mayor Stephen Goldsmith’s response at the July 20 Crain’s Breakfast Forum to a question by Erik Engquist. Engquist asked Goldsmith what City Hall plans to do to close those fire houses that, according to Engquist, “don’t contribute to safety.”

We watched both versions: a tightly-edited professional video on the Crain’s New York Business website, and a longer, hand-held, and presumably unedited video, posted by reader Louis Flores. It showed that Crain’s skips some of the more controversial issues Goldsmith touched on. Continue reading

NY Media Ignore Major Charter School Study

For reasons we can’t explain, a June 29, 2010 study that showed “on average, charter schools had no significant impacts on student achievement in math and reading” drew zero attention from New York media — including education blogs.

The 15-state, 36-school study, funded by the U.S. Department of Education and conducted by the prestigious Princeton-based Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., was announced one day after the New York State Senate passed legislation raising the state’s charter school cap from 200 to 460 — a result of a months-long lobbying campaign by charter advocates.

Until the legislature’s approval, New Yorkers had been bombarded by TV commercials, print ads, and editorials and op-ed pieces in the Daily News, the Post, and the NY Times — all urging legislators to lift the charter cap to improve New York’s chance to win Federal funding in Round 2 of Race to the Top, the Obama administration’s school reform incentive program.

But critics suggested that the RttT eligibility goal was just cover for a well-funded opinion campaign aimed at pressuring legislators to increase the number of charter schools. Ultimately, the legislation incorporated several limitations, including a stipulation that new charters may not be operated by for-profit companies. Continue reading

The (old) news behind the news is that the News is behind the Mayor

Howard Wolfson photo: Newsbusters.org

As we have observed before, the Daily News is playing a crucial public relations role for the mayor during the charter revision process. Today, the News is doing damage control, trying to convince readers that Mike Bloomberg isn’t going to pull the charter revision commission’s strings, despite what his chief political strategist said Tuesday. Read today’s DN story by Adam Lisberg and see if you agree.

The headline, “Charter chairman to commissioners: Ignore City Hall and do what’s right,” says it all: Commission chairman Matthew Goldstein will protect the group from mayoral control. Next comes a memo Goldstein sent yesterday to his colleagues “as a reply to Mayor Bloomberg’s deputy Howard Wolfson,” who undermined the commission’s hope that the public would view it as independent when he “said Tuesday night on NY1 that the commission probably wouldn’t recommend eliminating borough presidents or the public advocate, but ‘certainly we will have the term limits issue on the ballot.'” Continue reading

The Times Has Spoken

Anthony Crowell, John Banks, Matthew Goldstein

You can be pretty sure that Saturday’s NY Times editorial condemning this year’s abbreviated charter revision timetable got the mayor’s attention.

The editorial directly criticized Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to rush charter revision in order to advance a couple of initiatives he’s especially interested in: term limits and non-partisan elections.

At first glance, these seemingly simple changes to NYC’s political process look like things voters could handle without long analysis and discussion. But political changes, even the simplest ones, can have unintended consequences. Continue reading

Press Coverage of Charter Revision Hearing

NYC Charter Revision Commission

Next-day coverage of the first public hearing of the 2010 NYC Charter Revision Commission was less than global. The most analytic piece may have appeared on silive, the news blog of the Staten Island Advance.

“Surprise sprung by Charter chair; L.I. attorney named to direct panel and Staten Island secession vet tabbed as research director,” was the silive lede. The story, by Peter N. Spencer, discussed the implications of charter chairman Matthew Goldstein’s choice of executive director Lorna B. Goodman and research director Joseph P. Viteritti for key commission staff roles. Continue reading