Bloomberg: If I Had It My Way I’d Dump Half Of NYC’s Teachers

Mayor Stuns Many At MIT Speech, Says He'd Greatly Enlarge Class Size, Too

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s a jaw-dropping prescription for fixing city schools.

“Professor” Michael Bloomberg said Thursday he would accomplish more with less by slashing the teaching staff in half — and that’s just the beginning, reports CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

He looked like he was from another planet when he dressed as a hippie for a political show, but the mayor’s blueprint for fixing city schools have some asking “what was he smoking?”

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb With Reaction From NYC Public Advocate Bill De Blasio

“Education is very much, I’ve always thought, just like the real estate business. Real estate business, there are three things that matter: location, location, location is the old joke,” Bloomberg said. “Well in education, it is: quality of teacher, quality of teacher, quality of teacher. And 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.”

That’s right. The mayor told people at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology conference it would be far better to run city schools with way fewer people. And, by the way, on the billionaire’s perfect planet that would mean cramming more kids into each classroom.

Andrea Spencer is dean of the School of Education at Pace University.

“When I heard the statement I was really shocked,” Spencer said. “There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that half of the teachers in any system are ineffective. What there is evidence to support is the fact that larger classes really place detriments in the way of learning.”

But “Professor” Bloomberg is sticking to his views.

“The best thing you can do is put the best teacher you can possibly find and afford in front of the classroom and if you have to have fewer because there’s only a certain number of dollars to go around, I’m in favor of that,” Bloomberg said.

United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said he put the mayor’s latest views on teaching in the same category of his decision to appoint a former magazine editor with no teaching experience to be schools chancellor.

“So the mayor thinks this is a good idea, in high schools to have class size in high schools of 70 kids. Clearly the mayor has never taught,” said United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew.

“And probably the mayor’s having another Cathie Black moment.”

The mayor also said he’s given teachers a 105 percent raise since he took office. Mulgrew said maybe the mayor should have stopped in at a math class while he was at MIT.

In lamenting the quality of teachers, the mayor claimed they come from the bottom 20 percent of their class and not the best schools.

Do you agree with the mayor? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • Jimmy Ellis

    He had to be drunk when he made this statement… right?

  • Richard Garth

    FFS! This dude really is the best argument for a 2-term limit. Between this and his blaming 30-year-old affordable home owning laws for the financial crisis….he really is showing how out of touch and ill-informed he is. Newsflash: Billionaire statusExpertise in all of society’s problems.

  • Fight Club


  • LiberalsRDopes

    And replace them with the criminal ,illegals he’s releasing fromprison?

  • Justin

    Well, I must say, Bloomberg doesn’t have THAT bad of an idea. In my opinion, I feel as if one teacher for 70 MATURE high schooler’s would not be an issue. It already happens in some schools. Just more names to remember and more people to focus on. However, 70 3rd graders and one teacher would be a bad idea. Compared to high schoolers, 3rd graders are much more immature. This is where I would agree with everyone in saying Bloomberg is crazy.

  • NMT

    Why doesn’t Bloomberg drop 50% of his company and see how well it thrives?

  • frederick douglass

    This is what you idiot lib tard teachers get for voting him in for a 3rd term. Now you know how he feels about you since he can’t run for mayor again. Yuk Yuk.

  • Camp owner

    He must have had a teacher that he really didn’t like in elementary school to make him respond the way he does to teachers…there is something psychologically off about his feelings towards teachers and education….this is another attack on NYC teachers…very upsetting to have a mayor that is so anti education

  • sue bastian

    For those who think class size doesn’t matter, they should consider how they feel after a two hour birthday party with twelve kids. Then consider dioubling the number, and doing that everyday.

  • Ro

    There is no longer such thing as a “good teacher” thanks to this ignorant man fighting his inner demons. We are all robots now thanks to the idiocy he has created, and promoted. He has lied to the immigrant parents of the NYC sytem since he took office saying we have schools rated “A” when that “A” actually translates to a failing score. Our system is filled with people that could have made a big difference if they were just left alone to actually teach instead of manipulate false data so that their bosses can get bonuses. It’s all a farce! This man needs to be hit by a bus and wake up! Trust me “Professor Bloomberg, you wouldn’t want your kids in this system you’ve created for sure. Oh yeah, you sent your kids to Private school.

  • Richard

    Bloomberg and his incompetent chancellors and consultants have destroyed a system that had been showing improvement through the 1990’s. He cut staffing and resources to the bone while increasing the budget for no-bid contracts and consultants to $900,000! He decimated special education services in favor of this “differentiated instruction” cr@p. He has spent millions on attack ads against the UFT, has funneled resources towards charter schools, has purposely set up schools to fail in order to provide for-profit charter schools with building space, and has bought off the editorial boards of the major New York newspapers. He arranged for tests to be made ridiculously easy during election years to give the illusion that his “reforms” were working.

    It is time to end mayoral control and get rid of the entire Bloomberg/Klein/Rhee/Duncan agenda.

  • hannah dale

    Try teaching at my school where even you would not be able to teach an afterschool program because you only speak English. 98% of the students are highly capable of speaking English but are placed in bilingual classes where those teachers cannot correctly communicate in English. If you left the evaluations up to the bilingual administration gues swho they choose for afterschool postions? Not you and certainly not me the American born English speaking highly sought after teacher.

  • Roxanne Colangelo

    Really????? Ok so now they are saying they want to judge teacher on how a student performs on a test because that will be a GREAT indication on how we taught. (Doesn’t measure if they have been absent over 50% of the time, doesn’t measure if they did any of the work (hw), does measure home life, etc) So then WHY don’t we use the same MEASUREMENT WITH COPS??? Why don’t we evaluate them on the section of the city the work on? If the crime rate does not go down then they must not be doing their job and we should fire them right????

    • Roxanne Colangelo

      “a teacher”

      • Roxanne Colangelo

        apparently I was such in a rush I made some errors…

        “doesn’t measure home life”

  • tesmith

    unfortunately, new yorkers voted him in, who were the folks that voted for him? there lies the real problem, a lot of working class folks are beguiled by the ruling class on the one hand and on the other hand are plain stupid

  • Ron

    It just proves my point about people who are too rich for their own good and for our good. They tend to surround themselves with lackeys who support even their worst ideas and marginalize all reasonable criticism. Years and years of living like this turns them into fools and clowns.

    • Richard Garth


  • Lorraine Cogliando


  • Meme Meyagi

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

    • tesmith

      if you cant say anything intelligent , please shut up!!!

  • Spitvalve

    This just proves that you don’t have to be brilliant to be a billionaire.

  • labman57

    As an educator who is married to a real estate agent, I can state with some authority that public education is nothing whatsoever like the real estate business.
    Quality education is also nothing akin an assembly line in a factory — when you double the number of students in a class, you obviously halve the amount of time available for individual attention to each student, and you double the number of assignments to be graded, thus cutting down the amount of lesson preparation time available.

    Thankfully, Bloomberg is in no position to implement his absurd proposal.

  • Michelle

    There is no evidence to suggest that 50% of NYC teachers are ineffective. However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that 100% of current NYC mayors are ineffective.

  • Erik Mears

    At least half of the students – those who had the “better teacher” in the first place – would be far worse off with doubled class sizes. For the rest, Bloomberg would gamble their futures on the right-wing meme that “class size doesn’t matter [more than all other factors, according to some studies, in some subjects, on the single issue of test scores].”

    And if the unemployment rate ever improves, fewer teachers will want to work for double pay, zero pension, zero job security, no meaningful union representation, and less academic freedom in Bloomberg’s Waiting for Superman utopia. Many “supermen” would flock (or return) to the private sector – and class sizes must increase yet again. But now we can’t even re-populate the ranks with any would-be “less effective teachers,” because they’re not certified, since they haven’t gambled their undergraduate tuition on an Education degree, on the off-chance of getting a teaching job.

  • cmjake

    What do you expect from a man who bought a third term after the people VOTED against it? His money buys him immunity and deaf ears and impunity to his ignorance. Too bad he never realized that children are not shoes. They are not returned because they are the wrong color or the wrong size. The “powers” that be have forgotten that there are secret ingredients in schools. Humanity and integrity and caring and kind hearts. He could never be a teacher.

  • Edward J Higgins

    What would he think if we were to cut his staff and the City Council and the rest of the administration in 1/2?

  • Idiot teacher

    Jaw dropping! What a dope! I would NEVER tell you what it takes to do the job of mayor well. Why? Because I’ve never walked in your shoes. Do what I do for a week and see if your opinion changes Mr. Mayor. Doofus!

  • Lyndac1027

    I am so angry by this latest teacher-bashing! I have been teaching for 33 years in the same school and have always been successful with my students. I can’t believe the public is not up in arms over King Bloomie’s latest comments. I also feel our Union needs to take a more militant role in educating the public in regards to this lunatic!

  • Christopher

    Finally, the cat is out of the bag. It’s the Bloomberg war on teachers.

  • Vasilca

    Who is to be blamed? Blame the principals and administrators who received political appointments, during your tenure in office. Schools were built for teachers and students.

  • Susan

    I would like to throw the Mayor into the classroom for a single day. If teaching kids is that easy let him have a go at it.

  • dedicated and incensed

    Mr. Bloomberg:
    You are out of touch with reality! I agree with Anna Maley. We are the ones that prepare society, We make a difference. Teachers often come in early , stay late, buy supplies out of our own pockets and serve as the only real parent many children will ever know. Teachers deserve support and praise. Mr. Bloomberg, you should be ashamed of your insensitive, ignorant remarks. You continue to show your true character! You changed the term limits law to suit your own purposes. You still did not disclose your whereabouts during the 2010 blizzard and you continue to disrespect and scapegoat public school teachers because you feel like a failure! Incredible! What will you do and or say next? Please leave quietly!

  • Ms. Bloomberg

    Mayor Bloomberg would make excellent dog food. Just imagine how many hungry dogs we could feed with this otherwise useless piece of rotten meat.

    • Joe

      The mayor is nuts. He puts all children in the same class regardless of their ability. So now teachers have disruptive kids in a good class hampering the teachers ability to do what they are paid for TEACH. He has singlehandedly ruined the DOE.

    • James Kennedy

      The mayor is an asshole! Plain and simple.

    • maria

      Ignorance is bold

    • Gaby

      Again, the 1% commenting on the 99%. This is a slap in the face to all the hard working teachers in New York City. Let’s examine the out of touch policies, agendas, contracts instituted in the school system. When you lose the war fire the general not the soliders, idiot!!!

    • mid-century

      The turnover rate for new teachers is almost 50% over a six year year period. In addition, the system retires approximately 2500 older teachers each year (last year it was about 3000). Therefore, under full Mayoral control of the system, the Mayor has had the unique opportunity to replace well in excess of 50% (perhaps closer to 75%) of the entire teaching workforce with new people that fit his teaching requirements (ivy league schools) and his teaching mold. Additionally, in regard to the 105% higher salaries, this is printed at the NYC Department of Education site: “The New York City Department of Education offers extremely competitive salaries to newly hired teachers. Since 2002, starting salaries for NYC public school teachers have increased 43%” Not the 105% figure that the Mayor mentioned. The Mayor, who has full Mayoral control over the DOE, is angry and frustrated (as I would be, too) because after spending many millions of dollars and using many outside consultants he now realizes that his educational policies have not produced the results he hoped for. He must blame someone or something for this failure. Ah, yes, the teachers- that’s it! They are the culprits. Most of the teachers working today were hired under the Bloomberg watch.
      The mayor had a great opprotunity when elected to ask teachers who are daily at the front lines how could we improve learning productivity in the classroom. The Mayor chose not to work with the union/teachers, but to bring in outside consultants from Australia to Kentucky who were going to advise the DOE on how to improve the quality of learning in a New York City classroom. It was sad for many of us to witness this go on for many years.

  • Kathryn

    I’m a brand new teacher. I graduated in 2010 from a good college (not ivy league, but that shouldn’t matter). I maintained a 3.97 GPA overall, and a 4.0 in my education classes. I graduated in the top 2%, not the bottom 20%. I’m now at a city university for my master’s degree, where I still maintain a 4.0 GPA. I’m a product of the the NYC public school system. I teach at the elementary school I went to. I’m disgusted and terrified by Mr. Mayor’s comments- he obviously has never set foot inside a classroom. He should read “The Blueberry Story” by Jamie Robert Vollmer. Research proves that larger class sizes are ineffective. How can we possible make our students “college and career ready” (which is the big push) when there are 70 kids in a class? I wish he would stop blaming teachers for all of the students’ problems. We do as much as we can. This isn’t to say that all teachers are effective- I know some who aren’t- but to make the kind of generalizations like Bloomberg did is juvenile and uncalled for. His statements contradict most educational research. You want student centered learning, where they are engaged in real-world problem solving activities where they can metacognitively analyze the strategies they use to comprehend text? Don’t double class sizes. I don’t know many teachers who would teach a class of 70 even if their paychecks were doubled. Perhaps Mr. Mayor should think about lifting the hiring freeze so that some new teachers who are recently educated can come into the field and breathe some new life into what is happening. Critics of teachers should walk a mile in our shoes before you start slamming us and making us scapegoats. Trust me, if I knew the magic secret to bringing all of my students up to grade level, you’d better bet I would do exactly that. But that isn’t a feasible or reasonable task given the population I work with. So I strive to make them productive members of society, I strive to instill in them responsibility, and above all, I strive to educate them to the best of my abilities. Take a hike Mike, and get a reality check.

    • Fern Rashkover

      I am a member of Toastmasters International, a public speaking orgainization. I actually did a speech today on a Staten Island calble TV show about Mr. Volmer and his blueberries. Everyone should read his speech. All I can say, is I never voted for Bloomberry. My conscience is clear. The man is delusional, totallly disconnected and not of this earth. Actually, he is a disgrace to the human race, in my humble opinion.

    • Anyone but Bloomberg

      In the history of this city, there’s never been a mayor who’s more out of touch with the realities of living and working here. How a billionaire from Boston ever got elected here will remain a mystery to me for as long as I live. He put parks in the middle of the street, excessively raised traffic ticket fines, property taxes, and fees for everything NY’ers have to pay the city for. He refused to get involved in mediating the MTA’s labor disputes. When MTA workers went on strike, he suggested that NY’ers ride bicycles to work. He overthrew term limits, after the people voted to maintain them. He said the city needed him to be mayor again because he would be best able to handle the financial crisis, and then during his re-election campaign, tried to make a case that he had already gotten the city out of this crisis. He cut out parking spaces and increased traffic by reducing car lanes and adding bike lanes on most every street. During his re-election campaign, he told NY’ers that he was sending out property tax rebate checks. After he got re-elected, he tried to stop those checks from being sent. I could go on, but there’s too much to list. This is undeniably one of the worst mayors in the history of NY.

  • mary

    i invite this major jackass to teach in any school actually any school that is low performing for an entire month over crowded and no supplies what a jerk

    • Cyn

      Correction Mary….teach for one period in my all boys single gender class for 45 minutes and double them up like he said. Give him 60 boys, 7th grade, general education, and make sure you supply him with everything. The smart board, laptop, books, markers, coffee, and air conditioning. 8:15am to 9:06am.

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