To the Editor: I am running for Congress in the 16th Congressional District of New York. I am writing in response to your July 30th article, "An Idealistic Ex-Principal is Bound For Washington After Belief-Powered Upset," about my opponent, Jamal Bowman.
In the article Mr. Bowman is portrayed as a great educator. The facts indicate otherwise.
Mr. Bowman has repeatedly failed both his students and his community. The school which he founded, Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School, is a failed experiment which should have been shut down years ago. On statewide tests his students scored below 69 percent of other New York middle schools (source: Schooldigger.com). Cornerstone Academy is also only rated 4 out of 10 on great schools.org.
While discussing his time as a dean, Mr. Bowman stated that his duties such as monitoring the metal detectors and disciplining tardy students made him feel "like a correction officer." The metal detectors are in place to protect our children; his comment implies that he would remove them. He further states that he is opposed to a punitive discipline system in our schools. This is a recipe for disaster: teaching young children that there are no consequences for bad behavior produces adults who do not know how to behave in our communities. This in turn leads to higher crime and incarceration rates.
He further supports removing the NYPD from our schools. I find this absurd; NYC has the NYPD, which is the premiere security agency in the world. Why would you disregard such an asset? This was realized years ago when the Division of School Safety was brought under the NYPD umbrella. This move not only improved school safety, it also opened a door to build a bridge between police and community. In addition, it saved millions in taxpayer money by eliminating spending redundancy.
Mr. Bowman opposes school choice, which benefits lower-income people in poor-performing public-school districts. He points to insufficient funding as the problem, but, according to NYchalkbeat.org, NYC spends $28,000 per student yearly, the most in the country. Money is not the answer. Mr. Bowman and our current administrators only discuss cost and quantity of education, not quality. You can believe that as your congressman, my focus would be on quality.
There are many other issues on which Mr. Bowman and I disagree. I feel Mr. Bowman is wrong for America, wrong for NY16 and most of all wrong for labor.
Candidate for Congress, NY16th
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