Certainly I can’t recall a more negative effort here than the Bloomberg campaign. Even if one doesn’t feel that Mr. Thompson is the best man to run the city, he is hardly the incompetent corrupt machine pol that he is being portrayed as. Just the opposite.
He is a smart, decent fellow who has made significant civic contributions to his city. His service as Board of Education president, a thankless task, was admirable. It can be argued that Mr. Thompson’s tenure marked a high point in educational progress for our children.
Test scores were legitimately rising in those innocent days before “No Child Left Behind” mandates were driving the State Education Department to begin the disgraceful “dumbing down” of tests to gin up scores that we’ve seen in the last few years.
Mayor Bloomberg’s contention that under the old decentralized system of school boards, there was corruption and confusion is true, but up to a point. He neglects to mention the role of Mr. Thompson and the chancellor at the time, Rudy Crew, in winning a major overhaul of the system by the legislature that, in effect, ended the powers of the local boards over hiring and put the local boards under that Chancellor, far more of an educator than Mr. Bloomberg’s chancellor, Joel Klein.
"Bill, you should know, has been Comptroller of the City of New York for the same length of time I have been Mayor, and I think he will go down in history as maybe the best Comptroller the City has ever had."