It really could get interesting, this debate over the Bloomberg education miracle. As Daily Politics points out, the Bloombergistas are taking umbrage over the criticisms that Bill Thompsan has leveled at the mayor's school regime: "Mayor Bloomberg's campaign dropped this mailer, which slams Democrat Bill Thompson for "attacking" the mayor's education record, this week. It arrived this morning in the mailbox of a reader, who forwarded it on to me."
What did the Bloomberg folks say? "We’re proud of the fact that Mike cleaned out the bureaucracy, directed $350 million into the classroom, opened hundreds of new small schools, ended social promotion and attracted thousands of energetic new teachers - and we’re going to have a conversation with voters that compares the Mayor’s record of progress to Mr. Thompson’s record of failure as the president of the Board of Education."
Well, does this fusillade hold up to an independent review? We're not convinced that it does-and the extra 12 billion dollars aside-we don't think that the strides under mayoral control (if we examine the more reliable national tests) are any kind of improvement over what the old educational structure had accomplished. But stay tuned, and we will provide you with more data on this in the near future.
Our only warning here is, that if Bloomberg wants education to be the campaign's defining issue, he should be careful what he wishes for.