Michael Bloomberg
At his presentation of the his budget proposals for the remaining fiscal year and for Fiscal Year 2013, Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned of the increasing cost of the pension system that, as he said, is in dire need of reform. "Right now, our pension system is fairly described as a ticking time bomb," he said during the presentation. Reuters

It seems like the education world is getting more contentious each day. Lately in the news there have been conflicts about evaluation programs, a no-bid contract for ex-Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, boos for Bloomberg yesterday over some of his education initiatives (among other things)--and a new NYU campus in Brooklyn that would be a good, but possibly costly, addition to the city's technology education offerings.

Liu among critics who want to fail no-bid deal with Klein Co.

Critics are slamming the Department of Education's move to offer former Schools Chancellor Joel Klein's Wireless Generation Co. a no-bid contract to track student test scores.

The News Corp. affiliate was able to slip through a legal loophole in order to receive the contract. By assigning the last month of an expiring five-year contract from IBM to General Wireless, the DOE gave Klein's company the opportunity to inherit IBM's option to a two-year renewal, according to The New York Daily News.

This transfer allows Klein's company to get the contract for the data system known as the Achievement Report and Innovation Systems, which tracks students' test scores and other data.

Among the opponents is City Controller John Liu, whose office is currently auditing the contract

There is a growing chorus of questions about the effectiveness of ARIS, Liu told Daily News. Now after four years and $83 million the DOE wants to switch to a new company. Is this the best use of increasingly scarce classroom funds?

Bloomberg and Cuomo team up to force evaluation programs

At odds with teachers unions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have teamed up to ensure the implementation of an effective performance evaluation program for educators across the city and state.

Cuomo announced Tuesday that he is giving New York teachers one month to agree to a statewide evaluation program before he writes his own version into the year's budget, according to The New York Post.

As a part of his demand, Cuomo will insist that the New York State United Teachers union drop its lawsuit challenging the evaluation system, according to The New York Post.

Presently, the state is facing the loss of more than $700 million in Race to the Top and other education funds that will be awarded only at the adoption of an evaluation system of New York's educators.

School districts will have until January, 2013, to implement the evaluation programs or else the state will withhold a four percent increase in aid.

In his State of the City address, Bloomberg announced his plan to weed out half of the teachers at 33 of the city's low performing schools, while rewarding top-performing instructors with a 20,000 raise.

The proposal would cost the city nearly $350 million but Bloomberg believes the plan will benefit students.

Both politicians voiced their concerns about education and their plans in speeches across the city and state on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Bloomberg faces jeers at MLK Day events

Mayor Michael Bloomberg was greeted with a chorus of boos from audiences at two separate events honoring Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday.

Jeers from the crowd were sparked by dissatisfaction with the mayor's policies on education and his attempts to compare himself to King in his speeches.

At the Brooklyn Academy of Music, a small group of protesters gathered outside of the Opera House claiming that King would oppose the city's policies on education if he were alive today. As the event got started, protesters trickled in and greeted the mayor's speech on education with groans, cackles and jeers.

The mayor faced no warmer welcome in Harlem, where he spoke at Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network Public Policy Forum. Nearly half of the crowd's 600 people greeted him with boos as he spoke about education and crime in the city.

NYU looks to Brooklyn for science campus

New York University is at again. After losing the bid for a science and engineering campus on Roosevelt Island to Cornell University, NYU has set its sites on Brooklyn for a state-of-the-art graduate and research facility for the expansion of its Polytechnic University.

The university plans to house a Center for Urban Sciences and Progress in the former MTA headquarters building, a plan that is drawing broad support from politicians and tech companies.

However, the plan requires a complex three-way deal between NYU, the city and the MTA.

This is because, while the city owns the building, the MTA is currently leasing it in order to store vital communications equipment. In order for the deal to go through, NYU would have to allocate tens of millions for the removal of the equipment.

It is also unclear at the moment whether the city will fund the project as it is doing for Cornell campus.