Search results for: "bloomberg"

Four years ago, Michael Bloomberg spoke candidly in Aspen about his stop-and-frisk policies that targeted young black  and Hispanic men, but he immediately requested that it not be released to the public. Although he was proud of his policy, he knew there was something that wasn’t right about targeting young minority males.

Charles Blow of the New York Times wrote about the racist, disastrous policy of stop and frisk.

Let me plant the stake now: No black person — or Hispanic person or ally of people of color — should ever even consider voting for Michael Bloomberg in the primary. His expansion of the notoriously racist stop-and-frisk program in New York, which swept up millions of innocent New Yorkers, primarily young black and Hispanic men, is a complete and nonnegotiable deal killer.

Stop-and-frisk, pushed as a way to get guns and other contraband off the streets, became nothing short of a massive, enduring, city-sanctioned system of racial terror…

In 2002, the first year Bloomberg was mayor, 97,296 of these stops were recorded. They surged during Bloomberg’s tenure to a peak of 685,724 stops in 2011, near the end of his third term. Nearly 90 percent of the people who were stopped and frisked were innocent of any wrongdoing.

A New York Times analysis of stops on “eight odd blocks” in the overwhelmingly black neighborhood of Brownsville in Brooklyn found close to 52,000 stops over four years, which averaged out to “nearly one stop a year for every one of the 14,000 residents of these blocks.”

In 2009, there were more than 580,000 stop-and-frisks, a record at the time. Of those stopped, 55 percent were black, 32 percent Hispanic and only 10 percent white. Most were young, and almost all were male. Eighty-eight percent were innocent. For reference, according to the Census Bureau, there were about 300,000 black men between the ages of 13 and 34 living in the city that year.

Not only that, but those who were stopped had their names entered into a comprehensive police database, even if they were never accused of committing a crime. As Donna Lieberman, then the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said in 2010, the database became a place “where millions of completely innocent, predominantly black and Latinos have been turned into permanent police suspects.”

The state outlawed the keeping of these electronic records on the innocent, over the strong objections of Bloomberg and his police chief…

Bloomberg’s crime argument was dubious. The Columbia Law School professor Jeffrey Fagan produced a report that became part of a class-action lawsuit against the city in 2010. It found that: “[s]eizures of weapons or contraband are extremely rare. Overall, guns are seized in less than 1 percent of all stops: 0.15 percent … Contraband, which may include weapons but also includes drugs or stolen property, is seized in 1.75 percent of all stops.”

Carol Burris wrote about Michael Bloomberg’s education ideas several years ago when she was a high school principal on Long Island in New York.

You have to love New York City’s mayor. Michael Bloomberg speaks his mind, never holding back. While most self-proclaimed school reformers do the Dance of the Seven Veils, slowly revealing their agenda, the mayor jumps up on stage and gives you the ‘full monty.’ He’s sure he has the solution for all that ails New York’s schools, and he is not shy about sharing.

Last Thursday, he told an MIT conference audience how to quickly improve public schools. “I would, if I had the ability – which nobody does really – to just design a system and say, ‘ex cathedra, this is what we’re going to do,’ you would cut the number of teachers in half, but you would double the compensation of them and you would weed out all the bad ones and just have good teachers. And double the class size with a better teacher is a good deal for the students.”

Now that’s an interesting proposal to promote college readiness: lecture halls for third graders.

The mayor never cites any research to support his claims about what’s a good deal for students. Nor does he explain a sensible way to determine the bottom half of teachers — the ones who would be sent packing. But he should be forgiven on this point since there is, in fact, no such research and no such sensible way.

Yet as astounding as his statement might be, the mayor’s solution is not pulled from thin air. In fact, his assumption is the foundational belief on which the State of New York has designed its teacher and principal evaluation system.

The evaluation system, APPR, actually assumes that half of all teachers are not effective (ineffective or developing), although there is no evidence that that is the case. In fact, the State Education Department has created a bell curve evaluative system on which to place teachers to make it so. Now that, Mayor Mike, is ex cathedra.

Mayor Mike loved test scores and data. The fact that New York City made no more progress on national tests than any other city during his twelve years in office says something about his shallow knowledge of education. He left behind a school system that had gone through four major reorganizations; that relied on business consultants rather than educators for major decisions; that fired many teachers and principals and closed many schools; that introduced dozens of new selective schools; that won the title of the most racially segregated school system in the nation. He was really good at disruption, not so much at actually improving education.

It was a curious fact that when billionaire Michael Bloomberg was mayor of New York City for 12 years, he had complete control of the public schools yet did not have any fresh ideas about how to improve them.

This should not be surprising, because he was never an educator. He hired another non-educator–Joel Klein–to be his chancellor. The two of them relied heavily on McKinsey and other consultants to guide them. They hired lots of MBAs to staff top  positions. They hoped to adopt a corporate style of organization, which made sense because they had low regard for actual educators.

He adopted every aspect of No Child Left Behind: high-stakes testing, closing schools, firing teachers and principals. He loved opening small schools, and when they failed, he reopened them with a new name so they could start over.

New York City was a faithful replication of NCLB, with punishments and rewards leading the way.

His main idea was to hand schools over to private charter operators, assuming that they would have better ideas about how to run schools than he did.

Some of the charter operators made a point of excluding low-performing students, which artificially boosted their test scores.

Some closed their enrollments in the fourth grade, so they would not have to take in new students after that point.

Some kicked out kids who were in need of special services.

Bloomberg’s favorite charter chain was Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy, which used all of these tricks to get astonishingly high test scores.

Bloomberg was obsessed with data and test scores. He even adopted Jeb Bush’s policy of letter grades for schools (which his successor Bill DeBlasio abolished).

The New York City charter industry practiced all the tricks of raising test scores by manipulating the student population.

In addition, the charter sector mastered the ability to organize mass rallies, flooding legislative halls with students and parents, pleading for more funding for new charters (which they could not attend since they were already enrolled in charters).

So pleased was Bloomberg with his charter policy that it is now the centerpiece of his national education agenda.

He doesn’t care about the nearly 90% of kids who are enrolled in public schools.

He believes in privatization.

If elected, he could retain Betsy DeVos as his Secretary of Education and maintain continuity with Trump’s education agenda.

Harold Meyerson adds a few reasons to believe that Michael Bloomberg is not the right candidate to beat Trump:

ON TAP Today from the American Prospect

January 2, 2020

Meyerson on TAP

Bloomberg: The Manchurian Candidate. If there’s anyone out there who believes Michael Bloomberg would be a strong candidate to unseat Donald Trump, a very well-documented story in today’s Washington Post should tank any such delusions. Some of the particular weaknesses that Post reporter Michael Kranish documents have been in plain view for some time, while others are getting their first exposure, but no one has assembled them into a coherent narrative comparable to Kranish’s.

In case you didn’t know, Bloomberg is up to his neck in business relations with China and the Chinese government. His company has had offices in Beijing for the past 25 years and has made a tidy sum selling its computers and financial information to the nation’s multitude of capitalists and to its Leninist-capitalist government. Two years ago, the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Bond Index elected to include Chinese government bonds in its listings, enabling Western investors to fund the Chinese government’s myriad endeavors. Kranish reports that financial experts believe that $150 billion in such investments will flow to China in the next couple of years.

 

Also in 2018, Bloomberg initiated the Bloomberg New Economy Forum, his very own Asian-oriented Davos, which held its meeting that year in Singapore, and its 2019 confab in Beijing.

 

Not surprisingly, seldom is heard a discouraging word from Bloomberg about the Chinese government. One searches in vain for his criticisms of the government’s mass incarceration of the Uighurs or its threats to Hong Kong. On the contrary, he told a television audience that Chinese President Xi Jinping “is not a dictator.”

In short, Bloomberg is the man who opened the door to major American investments in the Chinese government. Can I see the hands of those who think this will help him if (as, happily, will not happen) he’s the designated Democrat to take on Trump? ~ HAROLD MEYERSON

The Washington Post writes here about MIchael Bloomberg’s unusual campaign: Skip the early primaries, inundate the key states with unprecedented spending.

Unlike Trump, Bloomberg has experience in running for office and winning, and he has executive experience as a three-term mayor of New York City. Unlike Trump, Bloomberg is a real billionaire, with assets of more than $50 billion. He is good on climate change and gun control.

He has liabilities, to be sure, including his racist “stop and frisk” policy, which prompted police harassment of hundreds of thousands of innocent black men. His education policies were a disaster, based squarely on NCLB strategies of high-stakes testing and choice. His corporation was sued for gender discrimination repeatedly by women employees. He is unlikely to be concerned about income inequality or wealth inequality, both of which have directly benefited him.

But Trump has lowered the bar on racism and sexism and preferential treatment of the 1%.

Bloomberg is prepared to saturate the nation with TV and internet ads. He has already hired a campaign staff of hundreds of people. And he has just begun.

The campaign has been offering field organizers salaries of $6,000 a month, a 70 percent premium from the going rate of $3,500 paid by the campaigns of Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

It has picked up key hires such as Dan Kanninen, a former aide to former secretary of state Hillary Clinton in 2016 and to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) during his successful 2008 campaign; former Obama organizer Mitch Stewart; Obama’s former Ohio strategist Aaron Pickrell; and Gary Briggs, a former top marketing executive for Facebook and Google.
The money they have been sending out the door for advertising is record-setting. Since his campaign launch on Nov. 24, Bloomberg has spent or reserved about $60 million in television and radio ads, with no sign of slowing down.

Taken together, the top four polling Democrats in the race — former vice president Joe Biden; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Sanders and Warren — have spent about $28 million on similar ads all year.


He has also purchased $4.6 million of Google ads, from YouTube spots that run alongside video game streamers to classic search promotions. That is more than any other Democratic campaign has spent over the full year, according to the company. On Facebook, his spending over the past week ran at more than $170,000 a day, 2½ times the level of President Trump’s reelection campaign and about three times more than Tom Steyer, the other billionaire Democrat seeking the nomination. All of his digital ads are focused on increasing his support and recruiting staff, rather than the fundraising that occupies other campaigns.

He could spend $1 billion, $2 billion, without putting a dent in his vast fortune. His candidacy will test the question of whether one of the richest men in history can step into a presidential election and buy it.

 

 

 

In case you didn’t know, a murmuration is the sound of lots of birds flapping their little wings.

Mercedes Schneider defines it here:

The name, “murmuration,” refers to “hundreds, sometimes thousands, of starlings fly in swooping, intricately coordinated patterns through the sky.”

Why does it matter?

Because Emma Bloomberg, daughter of multibillionaire Michael Bloomberg, has created a new “ed reform” organization that uses that term as its name.

Schneider has scoured the websites and also the tax forms of this new group.

What they do is not obvious, but they do have millions of dollars, probably from Pappa Bloomberg.

They apparently spend it on data technology, technology integration, and, of course, it is all about the children.

As Schneider writes:

Our focus is on driving change and accelerating progress toward a future where every child in America has the opportunity to benefit from a high-quality public education.

And how do the unnamed, Murmuration change-drivers propose to drive said change?

We provide sophisticated data and analytics, proprietary technology, strategic guidance, and programmatic support to help our partners build political power and marshal support so necessary changes are made to improve our public schools.

Our precise, predictive intelligence and easy-to-use tools are used by practitioners and funders, on their own and working together, to make informed decisions about who they need to reach, what they need to say, and how to achieve and sustain impact.

Of course, in typical ed-reform fashion, its *for the kids*:

We envision a public school system that ensures every child across our nation – regardless of race, income, background, or the zip code where they live – receives an education that prepares them to lead productive, fulfilling, and happy lives.

We believe public servants must recognize that providing a great education to every child is necessary to our prosperity, and be willing to invest in real, systemic and sustainable change which may come at a political cost.

We want our political systems to function and benefit from a rich discussion of the important role of public schools.  We want everyone who is impacted by public education to participate (or be represented) in the discussion and decision-making process.  And, we want the voices of those most reliant on our public education system to be heard.

What all this adds up to is hard to say, other than providing another honey tree for practitioners of disruption to shake.

I am trying to imagine how “those most reliant on our public education system to be heard” when the loudest voices are those with the most money.

Billionaires usually don’t send their own children to public schools and do not have a habit of listening to those who do, but they have plenty of dough to spread around to those who agree with their agenda to privatize the schools, monetize the data, and make technology our master.

The one thing that is clear from Schneider’s post is that Murmuration has plenty of money to spend. What it intends to to is not yet clear. Maybe they plan to visit public schools and listen to parents. Ya’ think?

When Jan Resseger writes, she does so with authority and clarity.

In this essay, she explains why she will not vote for Michael Bloomberg, based on his record of disrespecting educators in New York City when he was mayor. Bloomberg as mayor employed all the same principles as No Child Left Behind: testing, accountability, school closings, charter schools, school choice, all based on “the business model.”

She writes:

Michael Bloomberg does have a long education record. Bloomberg served as New York City’s mayor from January of 2002 until December of 2013. In 2002, to accommodate his education agenda, Bloomberg got the state legislature to create mayoral governance of NYC’s public schools. In this role, Michael Bloomberg and his appointed schools chancellor, Joel Klein were among the fathers of what has become a national wave of corporate, accountability-based school reform. Bloomberg is a businessman, and Joel Klein was a very successful attorney. Neither had any experience as an educator. They took aggressive steps to run the NYC school district, with 1.1 million students, like a business. Their innovations included district-wide school choice, rapid expansion of charter schools, co-location of a bunch of small charter and traditional schools into what used to be comprehensive high schools, the phase out and closure of low-scoring schools, evaluation of schools by high stakes standardized test scores, the assignment of letter grades to schools based on their test scores, and a sort of merit pay bonus plan for teachers.

In her 2018 book, After the Education Wars, Andrea Gabor, the New York business journalist and journalism professor, comments on Bloomberg’s educational experiment: “The Bloomberg administration embraced the full panoply of education-reform remedies. It worshiped at the altar of standardized tests and all manner of quantitative analysis. The Bloomberg administration also had a penchant for reorganizations that seemed to create more disruption than continuous improvement among its 1.1 million students and 1,800 schools.” ( After the Education Wars, p. 75)

Gabor describes Bloomberg’s expansion of charter schools: “Harlem, in particular, has become the center of an unintentional educational experiment—one that has been replicated in neighborhoods and cities around the country.  During the Bloomberg years, when close to a quarter of students in the area were enrolled in charter schools, segregation increased, as did sizable across-the-board demographic disparities among the students who attended each type of school. An analysis of Bloomberg-era education department data revealed that public open-enrollment elementary and middle schools have double—and several have triple—the proportion of special needs kids of nearby charter schools. The children in New York’s traditional public schools are much poorer than their counterparts in charter schools. And public schools have far higher numbers of English language learners… In backing charter schools Bloomberg and other advocates pointed to one clear benefit: charters, it was widely accepted, would increase standardized test scores. However, years of studies showed little difference between the test-score performance of students in charter schools and those in public schools.” After the Education Wars, p. 95)

And there is more. Open the link and read it to understand why the “business model” did not work.

 

Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has officially entered the Democratic primaries. He will skip the first four primaries and join the race on Super Tuesday, focusing on the states holding their primaries then.

One of the world’s richest men, with a net worth estimated by Forbes to be $53 billion, Bloomberg is positioned to be a force to counter the candidates who emerge from the first four nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. In defiance of the traditional nominating calendar, Bloomberg has planned to skip those contests to spend heavily in states that will vote in March, including the 14 states including California and Texas that will award delegates on Super Tuesday.

Will Bunch is a regular opinion writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He earlier wrote a scathing critique of Mike Bloomberg’s decision to enter the Democratic primary race. 

Bloomberg enjoyed an adoring press in New York City. Things have changed now that he is going national.

Bunch opens by describing a posh black-tie dinner in D.C. where Bloomberg boasted of his success as mayor in restoring a vibrant polity in New York City.

As those exact words were leaving the mouth of the tuxedoed mayor, a couple hundred of “the people” whose freedom of political expression Bloomberg had just hailed were wet and shivering on the main roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge, tied up in plastic handcuffs that cut into their wrists as they awaited a bus and a trip to a dank city jail cell. New York’s police force — heavily militarized under Bloomberg, now able to shoot a plane from the sky — had just arrested 768 Occupy Wall Street marchers, allowing them onto the iconic bridge but then surrounding them in a kettle tactic. The Occupy protesters were speaking out against the kind of inequality that Bloomberg and his mid-sized cop army had vowed to protect and serve: economic inequality.

Bloomberg, he writes, is the candidate of the “black tie oligarchy.”

Bunch adds:

Was Team Bloomberg really paying close attention to Tuesday’s off-year election results? If so, did they not notice that the ousting of a Republican governor in red Kentucky was largely the work of public school teachers, the kind of voter who recoils at Bloomberg spending a chunk of his vast wealth to support charter schools that are wrecking public education? Or did they take heed of the election of radical reformer Chesa Boudin as San Francisco’s new district attorney, the latest sign that voters in Democratic strongholds have had it with the mass incarceration regime that Bloomberg long championed? Oh, and did they think Democrats here in Pennsylvania — a key battleground state — will forget the cool $1 million that Bloomberg dropped to foist Trump-supporting Sen. Pat Toomey on the state for six more years?

It’s utter cluelessness, but we’re seeing this more and more from the kleptocrats of America’s top 1 Percent. Since Ronald Reagan’s ascendancy in 1980, these men of vast wealth have created an entire culture around a myth, that their billion-dollar paychecks were a tribute to the sheer genius of an indispensable man, the modern CEO, and not the result of a game that was rigged by political corruption to tilt the playing field of postmodern capitalism their way, at an angle that would daunt climbers of Mount Everest…

Their long con is finally getting exposed, and that in turn is exposing their moral emptiness. Consider Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who launched a tech monopoly with the same ruthless ambition that John D. Rockefeller showed in creating a 19th century oil empire. But now Gates wants people to love him for giving some of that wealth away for causes that range from the admirable (global health) to the misguided (charter schools) in the hope that targeted, billionaires-know-best philanthropy will divert the masses’ rage away from structural inequality. That so many voters now support presidential candidates who would tax just a sliver of Gates’ unfathomable wealth for the common good has revealed him as a sputtering liar.

Gates recently insisted that he’s willing to pay some higher taxes “[b]ut, you know, when you say I should pay $100 billion, O.K., then I’m starting to do a little math about what I have left over.” Except Elizabeth Warren’s tax proposals would only cost Bill Gates an estimated $6 billion, which would leave him with $100 billion to play around with. Gates is just the latest of a half-dozen or so billionaires to go public with their panicked predictions that the left-wing populism of a Warren or a Sanders will destroy America as we know it. But only other billionaires and their paid consultants seem to believe them. They can’t accept the fact that — to borrow the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez line that became the title of Ryan Grim’s recent, excellent book — they’ve got money but we’ve got people…

Mike Bloomberg didn’t have to enter the 2020 race to see how all of this is going to play out between now and next summer’s Democratic convention in Milwaukee. He could have watched last week’s results from Seattle, where Amazon — run by Gates’ billionaire soul mate Jeff Bezos — spent a whopping $1.5 million to promote City Council candidates who would quell all the crazy talk about affordable housing and sheltering the homeless, funded by taxes on tech giants. Almost all of the anti-Amazon candidates won, including the movement’s leader, socialist Kshama Sawant. Ditto in Philadelphia, where the Working Families Party’s Kendra Brooks — opposed by chamber of commerce types, endorsed by Warren — won a historic City Council seat.

These voters are the ones who will decide 2020′s Democratic primaries — along with those school teachers in Kentucky and West Virginia, the women of the #MeToo movement, and African Americans tired of cops acting like an occupying army. And yet these are the same citizens that a graying misogynist media mogul who once created an army to preserve the unequal social order in New York is certain he can now seduce with a fistful of dollars?

Hmm. One of the slogans of the Network for Public Education is that “We are many. They are few.”

That is important to remember at election time.

Each person has one vote. No matter how rich you are, you personally own only one vote.

Even when politicians flood the political arena with money, we each have one vote.

Together we can reclaim our democracy.

 

 

Mike Klonsky explains why he in not excited about the prospect of Michael Bloomberg’s candidacy for president. 

He writes:

Why is this billionaire Republicrat media tycoon and former New York mayor even considering jumping into a crowded Democratic primary as a 14-to-1 longshot? He knows the odds as well as anyone. One, because he can afford to, and two, he wants to be a hedge against the progressive insurgents like Warren and Sanders.

If either of them won the primary, I could even imagine Bloomberg running as an independent or third-party candidate in key battleground or swing states to draw away votes. Bloomberg is worried much more about the progressive ascendency than about his off-and-on frenemy Trump (who calls Bloomberg “Little Michael”).

Known as the stop-and-frisk mayor in New York, Bloomberg once claimed that the biggest problem was his cops “over-stopping whites”, and that he was just evening the score.

During his time in office, Bloomberg wielded his personal power against New York’s communities of color and their public schools. He imposed a tidal wave of privatization on the city, including a big swing towards privately-run charter schools. What pissed me off most was how he used our “small schools” rhetoric to promote charters.

He was an advocate of using standardized testing results as the main vehicle for evaluating school and teacher performance.

If you open the link, you will see a photo of Mike and Eva Moskowitz. He gave her whatever she wanted for her “no excuses” empire.

Bloomberg as mayor was an avid proponent of the main tenets of George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind law: high-stakes testing; closing schools with low scores; opening charter schools; opening scores of small schools and allowing them a “grace period” during which they were not required to admit students with disabilities or English learners. Bloomberg’s Leadership Academy (now closed) tried to lure non-educators into the role of principal and accelerated the careers of teachers into the principalship without the necessity of spending time as an assistant principal.

Today in the New York Times, columnist Charles Blow wrote a scathing critique of Bloomberg, based on his “stop and frisk” policy.

He wrote:

Let me plant the stake now: No black person — or Hispanic person or ally of people of color — should ever even consider voting for Michael Bloomberg in the primary. His expansion of the notoriously racist stop-and-frisk program in New York, which swept up millions of innocent New Yorkers, primarily young black and Hispanic men, is a complete and nonnegotiable deal killer.

Stop-and-frisk, pushed as a way to get guns and other contraband off the streets, became nothing short of a massive, enduring, city-sanctioned system of racial terror…

In 2002, the first year Bloomberg was mayor, 97,296 of these stops were recorded. They surged during Bloomberg’s tenure to a peak of 685,724 stops in 2011, near the end of his third term. Nearly 90 percent of the people who were stopped and frisked were innocent of any wrongdoing.

A New York Times analysis of stops on “eight odd blocks” in the overwhelmingly black neighborhood of Brownsville in Brooklyn found close to 52,000 stops over four years, which averaged out to “nearly one stop a year for every one of the 14,000 residents of these blocks.”

In 2009, there were more than 580,000 stop-and-frisks, a record at the time. Of those stopped, 55 percent were black, 32 percent Hispanic and only 10 percent white. Most were young, and almost all were male. Eighty-eight percent were innocent. For reference, according to the Census Bureau, there were about 300,000 black men between the ages of 13 and 34 living in the city that year.

Not only that, but those who were stopped had their names entered into a comprehensive police database, even if they were never accused of committing a crime. As Donna Lieberman, then the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said in 2010, the database became a place “where millions of completely innocent, predominantly black and Latinos have been turned into permanent police suspects.”

The state outlawed the keeping of these electronic records on the innocent, over the strong objections of Bloomberg and his police chief…

Bloomberg’s crime argument was dubious. The Columbia Law School professor Jeffrey Fagan produced a report that became part of a class-action lawsuit against the city in 2010. It found that: “[s]eizures of weapons or contraband are extremely rare. Overall, guns are seized in less than 1 percent of all stops: 0.15 percent … Contraband, which may include weapons but also includes drugs or stolen property, is seized in 1.75 percent of all stops.”

As Fagan wrote, “The N.Y.P.D. stop-and-frisk tactics produce rates of seizures of guns or other contraband that are no greater than would be produced simply by chance…”

A federal judge ruled in 2013 that New York’s stop-and-frisk tactics violated the constitutional rights of racial minorities, calling it a “policy of indirect racial profiling.”

Yet, a little over a month before that ruling, Bloomberg said on a radio show, “I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.”