Mayor Bloomberg plans to start four charter high schools that will open after his term of office ends.

This constitutes an admission that his own efforts to reform the public schools have failed.

The mayor has had 11 years of total control of the public school system. Every year, he closes more schools. Some of the schools he closes are schools that his own administration opened..

Less than 5% of the city’s 1.1 million students attend charters.

The other 95% have been forgotten, adrift in a system that has been reorganized four times, with all regional and district supervision eliminated, with the loss of large numbers of excellent principals and the hiring of large numbers of ill-prepared principals, left on their own and judged by test scores.

What have the 95% gotten? Tests, pre-tests, test prep. School closings. Overcrowded classes.

The major legacy of the Bloomberg administration is the creation of a test-based accountability system that few believe in, but that has the power to close schools and wreck careers and reputations.

“Tweed,” as the central bureaucracy is called, operates with slavish devotion to “data,” but cold indifference to human beings. The young MBAs at Tweed have spent a decade wiping out institutional memory and attempting to create a bureaucratic, efficient, computer-driven system that churns out higher test scores.

The latest public opinion poll (January) showed that only 18% of the city’s voters want the next mayor to have the control that Bloomberg wielded.

The Bloomberg example reveals the shortcomings of corporate reform. It sets parent against parent in battles for choice and space. It destroys neighborhood schools. It gives preference to schools under private management. It shatters communities so they will be unable to organize and fight back. It lacks any vision of what education is or should be. It has neither reformed the public schools nor provided better education for all students.