As a current public high school student, I can tell you with my own naked eye how dictator Bloomberg has dismantled, destroyed, and exploited New York City public schools. I am a student at John Dewey High School, an experimental and magnet high school, once a highly regarded school with an unconventional method of teaching aligned with the pedagogy of John Dewey. However, Dewey was a diamond in the rough. It was surrounded by failing schools, Dewey was sending (still is, actually) top students to Ivy League schools, while the nearby failing neighbor, Lafayette High School (which finished "phasing out" in June 2010) suffered from racial violence, plagued with high crime rates, and graduation rates in the low 40's. The DOE announced Lafayette and two other large comprehensive high schools to close in 2006.
Unfortunately, Dewey was only four short city blocks away from Lafayette, a walking distance; and Dewey took a major hit. In the 2007-2008 school year, Dewey's number of incoming freshman rose by one third, all of them coming from Lafayette, all having reading and math scores of 1's and 2's. Funny though, how even though the DOE sent an influx of academically deficient students to Dewey, that same year it won a silver medal for being a top high school in the United States by U.S. News and World Report. Then, the DOE saw that the school continued to flourish, so the DOE underfunded the school sharply by reducing after school programs, extended days, academies for at-risk students, and "resource center" staffing, where students went on their free periods to receive FREE tutoring with a teacher, something other schools yearned for.
The DOE progressively set up John Dewey High School for failure by under funding it and overcrowding it, thanks to Bloomberg and his destructive "small school reform" that was ironically, going to be happening at Lafayette. Lafayette soon became a "campus" housing several smaller schools, most which cherry picked their students and screened them so they would make themselves and Bloomberg look better and successful. It is sickening. His mayoral control of NYC schools has not helped them out one bit, and out of 400+ public high schools in NYC, the few that really will never face the threat of closure anytime soon are the specialized high schools, but even they too, have their own issues; like the bad blood between the administration and teachers at the Bronx High School of Science, which in a way is destroying the school and making teachers turn away from working there (the funny part is that a few walking steps north of where Bronx Science is located, there's a "failing" school with a 50% graduation rate that the DOE has tried to close for consecutive years, DeWitt Clinton High School.)
Of course, Bronx Science is saved because it is a specialized school that requires an exam for entry, and I'm pretty sure the DOE won't do the same thing to Bronx Science that it did to Dewey, thanks to its "failing" neighbor.
I plan to be a teacher someday, but I hope when I'm a college graduate and ready to work in the real world, that our NATION'S educational system is fixed and has taken a turn for the better, maybe we can follow the successful example of Finland, where all schools follow John Dewey's method of teaching, and barely use any form of standardized testing. Our educational system is currently failing so many students and it is a shame. The future of this country rests in the hands of those who are in this unfortunate bureaucratic system, but if it is failing, then we're all doomed.
If our system remains this way up until my generation reaches adulthood, then it will be very, very scary. The outcome of Bloomberg's pseudo-reform policies have dismantled NYC schools all over the city. It has not only been Lafayette and Dewey, but it has also included schools like Far Rockaway and Beach Channel, Walton, DeWitt Clinton, South Shore, Lehman, et al.
P.S. I can only thank my high school, John Dewey High School, the alumni, the experienced and devoted teachers, some of my fellow classmates, and the Dewey community for opening up my mind in such a way. My teachers have inspired me to become an educator. The DOE and Bloomberg have knocked down many a great schools in the past, but the DOE and Bloomberg have failed to topple down the great and award-winning John Dewey High School. It showed Bloomberg in his face when Dewey (and 23 other schools) won a battle in court in opposition to close the schools; dictator Bloomberg and his cronies suffered a humiliating loss. It also showed Bloomberg and the DOE once again when despite all the disgusting things they did to Dewey, it received a high B on the progress report, has a 72% graduation rate, and a college readiness rate way above the city average. Some graduates in the class of 2012 also made it to Ivy League schools. So much for a school you deemed "failing", huh Bloomberg? Not this time!