Candidate Tom Allon

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tom Allon discusses his bid to become the Republican candidate for New York City mayor.


Tom Allon

Comments [26]

Noach (Independent, anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn


Thank you for replying.

I understood that thumbs-up would mean approval and thumbs-down, disapproval.

What I didn't and still don't understand, however, is what, exactly, each of the two numbers separated by the "/" is supposed to represent.

When there is one positive and one negative number, for example: -1/1, I could understand it to mean that one person voted the comment down, and one person voted it up.

But often _both_ numbers are either positive or negative, or there is a number and a zero.

I can't figure-out what such "scores" could indicate.

I should really direct the question to the appropriate contact at WNYC.

"few do it anyway as it requires an account to be set up."

Yes, I certainly realized that, and it is one of the reasons I could never really see the point of this whole rating system as it exists here.

On some other sites, comments that get rated below a certain threshold are hidden by default. But I see no indication of anything like that here.

Of course, would that the rating function were the worst annoyance with the functionality of these comment pages....The lack of ability to order comments from oldest to newest, lack of threading, and any number of other missing features...

All in all, quite a primitive set-up.

Feb. 20 2013 10:37 AM

@ Noach, it is my understanding that the thumbs up/down is synonymous with approval/disapproval...few do it anyway as it requires an account to be set up.

Feb. 19 2013 09:08 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

NYC schools are not funded by property taxes.

"For the school year 2012–13, the Department of Education’s total budget is $24.4 billion, including $4.7 billion to pay pensions and interest on Capital Plan debt."

Feb. 19 2013 06:39 AM
Noach (Anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn

No, no, I did not find you "truculent" at all and I did not suspect you of voting down my comments.

Would you happen to know what the scores mean? What each of the two number represents?

Does anyone?

Feb. 18 2013 05:10 PM
Noach (Anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn

As a followup to my previous post on education, I should note that I have a number of problems with the public education system as it exists and remain conflicted on the issue.

I am not at all convinced, for example, that the teachers unions are blameless, to take just one area for now.

Feb. 18 2013 05:05 PM

"Throwing money at the problem" is often code for "I want my taxes to pay for something that benefits me only", ergo many of the complaints about property taxes that fund school districts.

Feb. 18 2013 04:39 PM
Noach (Anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn

@Edward from Wash./Hudson Hts.:

"The US already spends the most on education, "

1.) Isn't the distribution of the spending highly unequal? As I understand it, schools are funded by property taxes, resulting in a wide gap in funding between school districts in wealthy areas and those in poor areas.

2.) When it comes to health care, the U.S. spends far more and (overall) gets worse results than many, if not most, other modern, industrialized nations. The cause, at least overwhelmingly, is quite clear: Our corporate system, in which a considerable percentage of every dollar gets siphoned-off to the profiteering insurance industry who do not provide any care.

Might there be at least _some_ parallel in education?

What about charter schools and vouchers? How much are they siphoning off from the system?

"Throwing money at the problem doesn't help."

Did you happen to hear Jonathan Kozol on the Lopate Show a few months ago or so?

Kozol said that whenever his wealthy friends present that argument to him, he responds by asking them where they send their children to school and what the cost is. Invariably (or _almost_ invariably, I don't recall for certain which he said), Kozol says, it is to expensive private schools that spend far more per student than any public school (or at least any of the struggling/lower-ranking public schools) that his wealthy friends send their children.

Perhaps Kozol is guilty of simplistic, even dogmatic thinking, _almost_ making it seem as if money were the _only_ factor, while downplaying any number of others. But I don't find you to be any less so, just the opposite side of the coin, if you will.

Feb. 18 2013 04:33 PM

Noach, I'm sure it's just disagreement with due deference. I hope I haven't come across as overly truculent...and no I didn't vote you down :-)

Feb. 18 2013 04:18 PM
Noach (Anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn

I wonder why my comments got voted down. Seems rather harsh if the reason was my criticism of the wording dboy chose in his post, as I was quite mild and still agreed with his actual argument.

I never figured-out just what the scores of comments mean and I couldn't find any info on it.

Feb. 18 2013 03:33 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

The US already spends the most on education,

U.S. Education Spending and Performance vs. The World [INFOGRAPHIC]

yet the US ranks 29th or so in academic performance.

Throwing money at the problem doesn't help.

Perhaps educating the childs family too would help.

Feb. 18 2013 02:27 PM

Noach, I definitely get you're point:-) I do believe that a little hyperbole in the spirit of emphasis can do wonders, just as long as it's not "Fox" hyperbole, i.e. totally made up.

Feb. 18 2013 01:58 PM
Noach (Anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn

@RichP and dboy:

I don't dispute any of what you wrote. (It is also sounds just like what I heard Jonathan Kozol say when he was on the Leonard Lopate Show not that long ago) I just think it would have been both more accurate as well as more effective to have at least qualified the statement, "a total cake walk", with, "COMPARED-TO....".

Feb. 18 2013 01:12 PM

...try teaching 36 kids from disadvantaged backgrounds; abuse, incarcerated parent(s), poverty, drugs, alcohol, gangs, guns, violence etc. in a substandard building in the projects with limited supplies and materials.

Then... try teaching at the best public HS in NYC with high-achieving kids that are invested in their own education...Ivy League-bound (in many cases) with parents that are present and invested, themselves, in a state of the art facility located in prime TRIBECA real estate...

You do the math.

Feb. 18 2013 12:21 PM

Noach, I'm still with dboy. I think concentrating on the phrase "total cake walk" can obfuscate the overarching idea of emphasizing the leverage that is associated with teaching at a school whose students are already at an advantage.

Feb. 18 2013 11:58 AM
Noach (Anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn

Ah, yes, good old Cathy Black, mentioned by Susan from Bklyn...An individual with no background in education, appointed by Bloomberg to head one of (the?) largest school system(s) in the nation. Would have liked to have heard the guest challenged on that part of Bloomberg's record.

It's really a shame that Charles Barron has such baggage...I recall how powerful the sound bytes from him speaking truth-to-power on that issue were. On that and any number of other issues, Barron's righteous indignation, speaking truth-to-power, bolstered by his undeniable charisma, is so strong and so spot-on.
dboy wrote,
"...Stuyvesant High School, no less. Total cake walk teaching post."

While I can appreciate your point, don't you think "total cake walk" is going a bit too far?

They may be the highest-scoring/achieving but they're still adolescents, with all the angst and hijinks that entails.

Feb. 18 2013 11:42 AM
Jill from Manhattan

For any listeners (or indeed the host and/or staff of the Brian Lehrer Show):

Tom Allon's record needs closer scrutiny. Check, for starters, this link showing his connections to the extremely corrupt boondoggle known as Atlantic Yards (& the Barclay Arena):

This is not a guy I would want to see as mayor.

Feb. 18 2013 11:36 AM
Susan from Brooklyn

Well, it's about time that someone mentioned that teachers should be getting support and that that's what a "Principal's" job is (used to be short for "Principal Teacher.") The notions of fools like Bloomberg and Cuomo that anyone who's a "manager" can run schools and knows about education is an insulting joke. Yes, we should be as well-trained and as well-paid and as well-respected as medical Dr.'s (some of are Dr.'s, in fact.) I've been a teacher for 28 years--no one "taught" me how; but I've learned and changed and figured it out along the way--started off as a good one, apparently. Has it ever occurred to anyone in this country that SMART people should teach? Also, note the article in the NYTimes about test prep and how it's eroded educational standards. I've been at Stuyvesant for 10 years, and more and more of the kids we get now are unable to make it at the school: they are holding back their actually gifted peers, and got in through the prep mills. They can't write, think, study, do math, read, or find the bathrooms. But they filled in those bubbles! The test may have worked against anti-Semitism when it was developed, but its day is long over. Schools like Townsend Harris in Queens are getting better kids overall than the specialized HS's because they can look at MS grades and actual achievement. The prep industry should be made illegal, and standardized tests need to be thrown out completely. No one knows any more what they actually measure--but it sure isn't intelligence.

However, I notice that this gentleman only taught for two years--too hard for you? Yeah, that's right. Every politician who presumes to run schools should be required to do a minimum of two years serving kids every day to see what it's like. Cathy Black would have been laughed out of her classroom on the first day. Bloomberg wouldn't make it a week. And I'm just a little surprised this Mr. Allon took a job at one of the Flushing Prep mills himself.

Feb. 18 2013 11:01 AM

He believes New Yorkers need a leader "like me who thinks like an Israeli: tough and always ready to defend his people".

A little paternalistic.

Something our Dickensian friend can get behind!

Feb. 18 2013 10:46 AM
Bob from Pelham, NY

He needs to learn his NYC history. Abe Beame won the mayoral election in 1973, not John Lindsay. Lindsay won in 1969 running solely on the Liberal Party line after losing the Republican primary as an incumbent. As Casey Stengal said, you could look it up.

Feb. 18 2013 10:45 AM
Bob from park slope

I'm sorry but 2 years at Stuyvesant doesn't make you an education expert. Especially when you yourself admit it takes 4-5 years to become a good one...

Feb. 18 2013 10:44 AM

Rich_P ~

...Stuyvesant High School, no less. Total cake walk teaching post.

Feb. 18 2013 10:41 AM
Noach (Anti-Corporate Traditionalist) from Brooklyn

Please ask Mr. Allon his position on the following:

- Bringing the Wall Street crooks to justice*
- Drug policy
- Tax rates for the wealthiest
- Affordable housing

(*If he takes issue with the characterization of crooks, I would refer him to works such as "The Great American Stickup" by Robert Scheer and "With Liberty and Justice for Some" by Gleen Greenwald, for a start.)

Feb. 18 2013 10:40 AM
steve from manhattan

Ask Allon is he actually thinks NYC can reduce school busing costs by breaking the union. The dirty little secret here is that the busing system, the routes and management are hopelessly inefficient, and some say corrupt. How is breaking union contracts going to fix that?

Feb. 18 2013 10:40 AM

He knows teaching because he was "a teacher for two years". Less that two minutes earlier he said that one doesn't become a good teacher until three or four years of doing it...Yeah he's a politician alright.

Feb. 18 2013 10:39 AM talker.

Anybody but Quinn!

Feb. 18 2013 10:35 AM

This guy's common sense makes Christine Quinn sound like a complete moron.

Feb. 18 2013 10:34 AM

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