My issue isn't that they ban cell phones, it is that they don't go any further. They should require all children to wear school uniforms (it doesn't have to be anything extreme, hell even blue jeans and plain white shirts would do), transfer money from school administration salaries to teachers' salaries, take the money that Bloomberg uses on his office renovations and try to make public schools look less like prison and more like a place kids would want to be, actually enforce academic standards, require P.E. again (screw all the lawyers that threaten lawsuits....politicians can create an immunity), and do anything else that let's kids be kids in a safe, supportive and (shock of all shocks) educating environment.
1) There is a school uniform in NYC public schools. Individual schools, via their PTA, can opt out.
2) Teachers have received two raises in the last year, one for the current contract that replaced one that expired two years ago, and one that goes into effect when the current contract expires next fall.
3) Bloomberg takes a salary of $1/year, uses the subway rather than the motorcades his predecessors prefered, and is a major benefactor of numerous charities including those benefitting the schools.
4) My kids have always had gym class, though not as often as I would prefer.