Many of us have been trying enjoy family time this week and are not paying close attention to what is going on in NYC. Here are a couple of stories I found interesting. I'm not sure they have anything in common other than that they are local.
Much of the news has been dominated by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton defending his crime statistics against allegations from former Commissioner Ray Kelly that Bratton is playing with the numbers to make crime look lower than it actually is. As Andy Cush reported on Wednesday and my brother John Eterno's research will confirm, Kelly and Bratton are both guilty of manipulating crime statistics.
Here is my brother's quote in the NY Times in reaction to Kelly's allegations against Bratton:
"People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
Let's leave this front page issue right there. Nobody with a brain trusts statistics coming from city agencies like the New York City Police Department or the Department of Education. Even the ever willfully gullible mainstream news media is now waking up possibly because Mayor Bill de Blasio is not a potential future employer like TV-radio station owning former Mayor Michael Bloomberg was.
While the Bratton-Kelly feud was all the rage in the headlines, thanks to former Manhattan Panel for Education Policy maverick Patrick Sullivan, we discovered there was another important story that came out this week except this one didn't receive much coverage. DNA info reported that our progressive Mayor de Blasio is allowing Pre-K educators in Community Based Organizations to be paid wages under $15 an hour. Many are barely getting by and haven't seen a salary increase in a decade.
Pre-K has expanded in the public schools under de Blasio but what is happening to these early childhood educators in CBO's, where much of Pre K is sill taking place, is an outrage. These educators deserve the same salaries and working conditions that we have in the public schools. The city saved billions of dollars by not giving teachers or other city employees adequate salary increases so they certainly have the funds to afford decent pay and benefits for those working in the CBO's.
What we really need is to build more schools if we are going to expand education, not contracting early childhood education out.
Maybe what these two stories have in common is we just can't accept anything at face value. Yeah expanded Pre-K is a big step in the right direction but there is an underside and city crime (and education) statistics have been a joke for a long time.
Happy New Year everyone!