"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Boss Mike, State Audits, and Buying Control of Public Resources

Yesterday the NY Times had this story on the sweetheart deal underway for turning Randalls Island over to Manhattan's elite private schools. Well, let's be fair--the consortium of private schools would get control of the ball fields there two-third of the time, while the public schools would get them one-third of the time. That sounds about right, don't you think.

Bloomberg obviously has no problem with collecting cash from the big givers whose cash produces tax credits while buying them control of public facilities for their children who would not be caught dead in one of the testing chain gangs that Klein refers to as public schools.

And today the Times has this on an impending state audit for the $315,000,000 in no-bid contracts by the City's Education Department. Sounds like something Boss Mike might not be able to use on his resume for candidate-in-waiting-to-see-if-Edwards-gets-knocked-out for President.

The state comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli, is opening an audit of the City Education Department’s increasing practice of awarding contracts without competitive bidding. In the past five years such contracts have totaled $315 million.

To keep down costs, competitive bidding is normally required of city agencies. But although the Education Department is controlled by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, it is by law a state-authorized entity free from some of the more stringent city financial regulations. . . .

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