2005_10_21_stuy_high.jpgBloomberg, beginning his final election push, yesterday announced the creation of seven new specialized high schools to take the run-off from the 28,000 students who annually apply to attend Stuvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech. The well-timed proposal came less than twenty-four hours before the first round of the city's eighth-graders took the exam to get into those highly selective schools (good luck!). To really rub in his point Bloomberg even pulled out the old statistic about how getting into the specialized schools is as hard as getting into an Ivy. Which is nice and all except that the new schools don't sound much like the old ones. Firstly, they will be a fair amount smaller and secondly they will almost all be affiliated with local colleges and universities (not that there is anything wrong with that, we're just saying). This second point was emphasized by the fact that the announcement was made at Columbia and one of the proposed schools would theoretically go on Columbia's proposed Manhattanville campus (which raises the question: didn't Columbia just start another school? Wasn't the plan for that to grow into a high school?).

In any event, beyond the new specialized schools Bloomberg also announced that if he won reelection the city would create "15 new 'transfer' schools for students failing in traditional schools, five evening schools for students with daytime obligations, 20 job counseling sites and 10 new programs to prepare students for equivalency degrees." Our only problem with all of these announcements? The caveat "if Bloomberg is reelected." This stuff shouldn't be on the "if" table, they should just be happening.

And in other education news, Schools Chancellor Klein yesterday approved the use of a lottery system to let students into the numerous empty seats in high-scoring Upper West Side public schools in District 3. On first glance we don't see anything glaringly wrong with this as while rarely a fun way to get into a school (Hunter, we're looking at you) lotteries are generally a fair way.