They did it. They closed schools because a pretend metric had been reached.
You can take your child to eat indoors at a restaurant, take them to any number of extracurricular activities indoor and out, take them for a manicure, and certainly take them to a Joe Biden victory street party, but you can’t take them to your local public school to learn. The message for months now has been crystalized: School is just not that important in this city.
The incompetent one-two punch of New York City leadership, featuring a dithering Mayor Bill de Blasio and angry Governor Andrew Cuomo, was on full display yesterday as rumors swirled all morning whether schools would shutter.
Hizzoner was hours late for his press conference so Gov. Cuomo went ahead and had his own. Cuomo insulted reporters, acted cagey, and said NYC schools could remain open as the positive rate was only 2.5%.
He looked like a fool when, shortly after his press conference ended, the news hit that Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza had informed principals that schools were indeed closing starting Thursday because NYC had, actually, hit the 3% rate.
Of course the mayor and governor use different data! Doesn’t every state feature that kind of dysfunction by two leaders who happen to be in the same party?
The kicker is that Cuomo and de Blasio apparently spoke before Cuomo’s press conference yet Cuomo plowed ahead with his own numbers anyway. My small children handle their disagreements in a more mature fashion.
If New York parents were wondering who runs their child’s school system, we found out yesterday that it isn’t de Blasio, who was so proud of himself for getting schools open, even after delaying twice and implementing an absurd part-time model that had some kids in school only one day a week.
And it isn’t Cuomo, who typically loves to strut that he’s in charge.
No, your child’s school is controlled by the teachers union and they decide whether your kid gets an education or not.
That’s why there could be no bending on the 3 percent number, a number that never made any sense since it’s 3 percent of tests not population. Any statistic that relies on healthy people getting tested in order to reduce the infection rate is unscientific.
This is not about safety, since you’re no safer if 98 healthy people get tested out of every hundred than you are if only 97 do. This is a flex of power. Mayor de Blasio lost. Governor Cuomo lost. And New York City public school children lost most of all.
In his letter to principals informing them of school closures, Carranza noted that out of 120,000 teachers and students tested, only 0.19 percent were positive. The gumption of highlighting the low positivity rate in schools as you shut them down is galling.
But all of this is standard for a city and state government in disarray. Will schools reopen when we go back under 3 percent? Of course not. We’re quick to take away schooling and very slow to give it back. Kids are last, message received.
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