Open Letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Dear Mr. Mayor:
I write this letter to ask for the resignation of Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott and School Chancellor Joel Klein.
As I told you in Albany, in 2000 I was one of the only two Democratic elected officials who supported you for Mayor. I did that based upon your promise to me that you will be “The Education Mayor” and that the suffering, disadvantage, neglect, overcrowding, lack of material, lack of equipment – and that the discrimination toward Black and Hispanic children by the New York City Department of Education when it comes to assigning resources will end.
As a Member of the New York City council, I pushed and supported when you asked for the abolition of the School Board and requested Mayoral control. You said, “Give me control of the system and the excuses will end -- if I fail, you can blame me.”
Yesterday, Wednesday, February 7, your response to the anger, frustration, concerned and desperation of parents was, “If any one of you thinks that you can do better, apply for a job as consultant in the Department of Education.”
Mr. Mayor, that showed frustration – if not arrogance and disrespect on your part.
Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott and Chancellor Joel Klein were chosen by you to help you achieve your goal to be “The Education Mayor”. They are supposed to advise you and clean the mess; instead, it is sad to see that the Department of Education you created in place of the School Board is a mess. You created School Districts to fix the problem and that was a mess that now you are dismantling to create something new. You created the idea of smaller children sharing the same school with teenage students. Big mistake. You are building schools in contaminated soil filled with chemicals only in Black and Hispanic areas. Another big mistake. You are killing our children!!
Our schools are still over-crowded. The dropout rate among minority students continues to grow. Our students continue without materials and without the necessary resources compared to other areas. Now another mess has been created with the bus transportation for our children and a sixteen million dollar ($16,000,000.00) not bid contract awarded to a company with a history of creating a mess in another state. If we in the New York State Legislature were to do something like that, The Daily News, The New York Post, The Times Union, The New York Times, and every other news media will be calling us corrupt, dysfunctional, and will be calling for a criminal investigation. But I don’t see or hear any one of them doing the same for the New York City Department of Education or the people responsible for that mess.
Mr. Mayor, you are far away from being “The Education Mayor”. I am afraid that if you continue to listen to the advice of Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott and Chancellor Klein, your legacy will be the “The Education Mess, Confusion and Chaos Mayor” instead of “The Education Mayor”.
In order to protect our children’s education, stop parents’ anguish, fix the chaos in the system, and for you to avoid further embarrassment, Dennis Walcott and Chancellor Klein should resign or your should fire them.
Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz
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