|July 9, 2009|
|Mayor Bloomberg Gets 'F' for Phony Public School Ad|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is spending boatloads of money in his re-election campaign. |
A big chunk of that change is earmarked for ads touting the billionaire’s achievements in education — though the knuckleheads in New York State’s dysfunctional Senate may undo that progress if they continue their hissy fit in Albany.
Mayor Mike crows about eighth grade math scores being up 42 percent and reading scores up 28 percent. Awesome.
Bloomberg says his demands for “accountability” and a “safe learning environment” are among reasons for the upbeat report card.
That’s why this blogger was a bit mystified upon opening a campaign brochure called “Mike Bloomberg’s public school progress report.” The centerpiece of the brochure showed Bloomberg chatting with two young girls standing in a school hallway. Lo and behold, there stood my daughter’s classmates shooting the breeze with Mayor Mike, standing in the hall of their school, Xaverian, a private Catholic high school in Brooklyn.
Emma and a few female classmates were volunteered by administrators of the Genesis middle school program at Xaverian to appear with Bloomberg. They were told to bring a change of clothes apparently because a Catholic school uniform wouldn’t cut it in a plug for progress at NYC’s Dept. of Education. The kids weren’t told they were going to be “stand-ins” for public school children. They were told they had a chance to be on TV in a Bloomberg ad. TV face time is a powerful incentive for any 14-year-old girl.
Also, Team Bloomberg needed some girls for the shoot because Xaverian is an all-boys school. NYC public schools, as is the private Genesis program, are co-ed. Some freshmen Xaverian boys are background material in Bloomy’s brochure.
Bloomberg’s campaign has the brochure ad on TV. [Ms. McCauley has a supporting role in that spot. She walks up and down a flight of stairs to depict activity in the building that already had dismissed students for the day.]
Mayor Mike plans to spend whatever it takes in the campaign to slaughter NYC comptroller Bill Thompson, the sacrificial lamb who is expected to be placed on the altar by NYC Democrats. At the very least, Thompson and NYC voters deserve truth in Bloomberg’s advertising.
NYC educates 1.1M students in its 1,499 schools. One of those buildings could have provided a safe ad production environment for Bloomberg. It would have been nice to have a couple of PS super-achievers share the spotlight with the Mayor.
Bloomberg’s ad gets an “F.”
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