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

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
IT Infrastructure Webinar
A New Era In Connected Learning: Security, Accessibility and Affordability for a Future-Ready Classroom
Learn about Windows 11 SE and Surface Laptop SE. Enable students to unlock learning and develop new skills.
Content provided by Microsoft Surface
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Making Technology Work Better in Schools
Join experts for a look at the steps schools are taking (or should take) to improve the use of technology in schools.
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
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls

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 What Schools Can Do to Tackle Climate Change (Hint: More Than You Think)
For starters, don't assume change is too difficult.
7 min read
Haley Williams, left, and Amiya Cox hold a sign together and chant while participating in a "Global Climate Strike" at the Experiential School of Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C., on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. Across the globe hundreds of thousands of young people took the streets Friday to demand that leaders tackle climate change in the run-up to a U.N. summit.
Haley Williams, left, and Amiya Cox participate in a Global Climate Strike at the Experiential School of Greensboro in Greensboro, N.C., in September 2019.
Khadejeh Nikouyeh/News & Record via AP
School & District Management 'It Has to Be a Priority': Why Schools Can't Ignore the Climate Crisis
Schools have a part to play in combating climate change, but they don't always know how.
16 min read
Composite image of school building and climate change protestors.
Illustration by F. Sheehan/Education Week (Images: iStock/Getty and E+)
School & District Management Some Districts Return to Mask Mandates as COVID Cases Spike
Mask requirements remain the exception nationally and still sensitive in places that have reimposed them.
4 min read
Students are reminded to wear a mask amidst other chalk drawings on the sidewalk as they arrive for the first day of school at Union High School in Tulsa, Okla., Monday, Aug. 24, 2020.
Chalk drawings from last August remind students to wear masks as they arrive at school.
Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP
School & District Management Women Get Overlooked for the Superintendent's Job. How That Can Change
Three female superintendents spell out concrete solutions from their own experience.
4 min read
Susana Cordova, former superintendent for Denver Public Schools.
Susana Cordova is deputy superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District and former superintendent for Denver Public Schools.
Allison V. Smith for Education Week