It's not surprising Bloomberg wants to plant a million trees. After all, he's probably chopped down a million trees already to fill every New Yorker's mailbox full of his lovely literature touting his environmental record.
Last month, the NY Times published an Op-Ed by Diane Ravitch titled "Mayor Bloomberg’s Crib Sheet." Ravitch challenges the mayor's "unimpressive" record on education. Here are some excerpts:
New York City showed almost no academic improvement between 2003, when the mayor’s reforms were introduced, and 2007.
[S]tate scores have soared in recent years, not only in the city but also across New York state.... Our state tests are, unfortunately, exemplars of grade inflation.
To further raise the graduation rate, the city does not include as dropouts any of the students who were “discharged” during their high-school years.
Not every school problem can be solved by changes in governance. But to establish accountability, transparency and the legitimacy that comes with public participation, the Legislature should act promptly to restore public oversight of public education. As we all learned in civics class, checks and balances are vital to democracy.
Diane Ravitch, a research professor of education at New York University, is the author of “The Great School Wars: New York City, 1805-1973.”