Back to Work on Friday. But How?

I will give Mayor Mike Bloomberg points for the way he has handled Sandy. Apart from bookending the storm with a panned decision not to evacuate zone A earlier (CBS’ weather guys were killing that decision) and ending yesterday’s press conference with a testy exchange, Bloomberg showed some smart leadership qualities. Sunday night, once he realized how bad things were going to be, he wised up, ordered evacuations, closed schools, and clearly gave New Yorkers information.

Day after day, we have marveled at the fact that the schools remain closed. It is probably unprecedented in our city’s history to have five days of closings due to natural disaster. But with so many people stranded by a crippled transportation system or dealing with flood damage to homes and cars, it kind of makes sense.

What makes less sense – and it may become clearer how it will work as today goes on – is the expectation that all staff members of DOE schools are expected to report for work tomorrow. You have to understand, if you’re not following the storm aftermath, that huge swaths of the subway system are shut down. Railroad service has not been fully restored, either. Gas lines are stretching for four hours in places. If it sounds like a horror movie, it could be.

I know several people who won’t be able to get to work tomorrow. They live on Long Island, in Connecticut, and in New Jersey. Their cars are totaled by floods and they won’t have the opportunity to rent one by tomorrow. They live in areas inaccessible by public transportation at this point.

The question is whether they’ll be penalized a day for not being able to make it to work. Unless the mayor plans to send a helicopter to these people, what are they supposed to do?


6 responses to “Back to Work on Friday. But How?

  1. I am wondering if the decision is to see how disastrous it might be bringing students to schools on Monday.

  2. Pingback: Remainders: Teachers question mayor’s post-Sandy work order | GothamSchools

  3. Really, you are pleased with Bloomberg’s response? The rest of us knew on Friday that this was a disaster in the making. He didn’t get it until Sunday. On Monday, we had confirmation that a disaster had occured and that children should be kept off the streets for at least a week. He had to make us wait for day by day announcements. Now, with the city in ruins, he plans to put 80,000 teachers and 1,000,000 children on the streets on Monday. But, as long as you are pleased with his response, that is all that matters. I wonder if the residents of Staten island and the Rockaways share your view?

    • Surely there’s little need for your sarcasm or rudeness. I meant that he showed better than usual leadership skills ONCE he realized what we were in for. You wouldn’t have expected him to make an announcement on schools any other way than day-to-day, anyway. You know how he operates. Anyway, his grace period is over. From the debacle over the Marathon to his asking people in dire straits to be “patient,” he’s already erased any temporary goodwill I might have felt toward him.

  4. So what was the outcome? Did it actually happen?

  5. Ryan Zimmermann

    An 11:00 p.m. email from the chancellor stating that the report time was pushed back to 10:00 a.m.

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