School & District Management

N.Y.C. Mayor’s Makeover of City Schools to Continue

By Catherine Gewertz & Karla Scoon Reid — November 15, 2005 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York won a chance to expand his makeover of the city’s schools last week, as voters overwhelmingly chose to keep him in office for a second term. In Detroit, schools moved from appointed to elected leadership. And the Los Angeles Unified School District won approval to raise billions of dollars to ease crowded classrooms.

Those results highlighted the many education-related contests decided by local voters around the country Nov. 8.

School board elections in Atlanta and Seattle held the potential of significant shifts in the composition of those panels, but big changes largely failed to materialize.

ELECTION HIGHLIGHTS
Evolution Loses and Wins, All in One Day
Backers of Economic Integration Win in Wake County, N.C.
N.Y.C. Mayor’s Makeover of City Schools to Continue
San Francisco Voters Go on Record Against Recruitment
Foes Seek Cooperation After Calif. Showdown
N.J. and Va. Governors-Elect turn to Preschool Promises

Of the local races, New York’s assumed the highest national profile, but with little doubt about the outcome. The Republican mayor spent most of the campaign comfortably ahead of his Democratic opponent, former Bronx borough President Fernando Ferrer, and ended up winning 59 percent to 39 percent, a bigger majority than any Republican mayor in the Big Apple had secured in 68 years.

How much the perceived quality of the schools influenced New Yorkers’ votes was not clear. But in his campaign, Mr. Bloomberg repeatedly pointed to big gains in city and state test scores as resulting from the increased power over schools that he secured from the state legislature in 2002.

He had urged city voters to judge him on how much he improved schools in the 1.1-million-student system, the nation’s largest. (“Grading the Mayor,” Oct. 26, 2005.)

Mayor Bloomberg has not detailed his education initiatives for his second term, but priorities include bolstering middle school instruction; further diversifying high school options, and expanding vocational, gifted-and-talented, preschool, and after-school programs.

In Detroit, voters chose their first elected school board since the state of Michigan seized control of the 145,000-student district in 1999. Under that arrangement, the mayor had the authority to appoint six board members; the state superintendent of public instruction was the seventh member.

The 11-member board, which takes office in January, will include three former school board members.

Voters in that city also overwhelmingly approved a property-tax-levy renewal that generates about $95 million in revenue annually for the district, which has an annual budget of $1.5 billion.

Los Angeles voters decided by a ratio of nearly 2-to-1 to accept higher property taxes to finance a capital-improvement program in the country’s second-largest school district.

Building Plan

The approval of Measure Y will supply nearly $4 billion for the 747,000-student district’s seven-year plan to build 185 schools and shore up the condition of hundreds of others. Measure Y and three previous bonds will provide, together, $14 billion to a rebuilding plan worth a projected $19 billion. Backers hope the effort will ease overcrowding and take many schools off their multi-track, year-round schedules.

“The voters have made an unprecedented commitment to fulfill decades-old promises that we made to our students,” said Glenn Gritzner, a special assistant to Superintendent Roy Romer.

In Atlanta, all nine of the school board seats were up for election. Incumbents, including one who ran unopposed, retained six of them. Newcomers will fill the other three seats that came open when incumbents declined to run again.

In Seattle, a local political-action committee, whose donors included deep-pocketed executives of big business, backed three candidates for the seven-member school board in what they said was an attempt to bring a sharper focus to its policies.

But only one of them—a former president of a parent-teacher organization—won that open seat. A former City Council member won the other open seat, and an incumbent retained one seat.

Related Tags:

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Personalized Learning Webinar
No Time to Waste: Individualized Instruction Will Drive Change
Targeted support and intervention can boost student achievement. Join us to explore tutoring’s role in accelerating the turnaround. 
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools
Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Video Tools Don't Have to Distract. Five Tips Show School Leaders How to Harness Them
Newsletters and announcements don’t always do the trick. Principals can use videos to improve their relationships with students.
4 min read
Image of a woman recording herself.
fizkes/iStock/Getty
School & District Management Quick Hacks: How Schools Can Cut Costs and Help the Environment
Schools can take advantage of tax credits and grants offered in the climate change spending package Congress passed this year.
3 min read
Newly installed solar panels stretch out along the north side of Madison-Grant High School near Fairmount, Ind., on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017.
Newly installed solar panels stretch out along the north side of Madison-Grant High School near Fairmount, Ind., on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017.
Jeff Morehead/The Chronicle-Tribune via AP
School & District Management How This Principal Uses TikTok and YouTube to Build School Culture
A Louisiana principal has found that short videos reinforce what’s happening in the classrooms.
8 min read
Tight crop of hands typing on a laptop overlaid with a window that includes a video play button and red progress bar.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
School & District Management Opinion To Have a Bigger Impact, Here's What You Should Stop Doing in Your Classroom or School
Teachers and leaders often want to lighten their load, but don't know where to start.
6 min read
shutterstock 1051475696
Shutterstock