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Is NYC's Progressive Mayor Turning into a Charter School Cheerleader?

March 16, 2018 in Blogs

By Diane Ravitch, Diane Ravitch's Blog

De Blasio has closed many public schools in New York City. Unlike Bloomberg, he does not boast about it.


When Bill de Blasio ran for mayor the first time, he sought my help. We met and spoke candidly. He told me he would strongly support traditional public schools. He said he would oppose the expansion of private charters into public school space. He promised to stop closing schools because of their test scores. His own children went to public schools. He would protect them and end the destructive tactics of Joel Klein, who coldly and cruelly closed schools over the tearful objections of students, parents, and teachers.

I enthusiastically endorsed him. The campaign issued a press release. De Blasio was elected in 2013, and re-elected in 2017. I wanted him to succeed and to support public schools against the privatizers.

He tried to stand up to the charters, but Eva’s billionaire backers rolled out a multi-million dollar TV campaign and donated huge sums to Governor Cuomo and key legislators. That ended de Blasio’s effort to block charter expansion. The legislature gave them a blank check in New York City, allowed them to expand at will, and even required the city to pay their rent in private facilities if it couldn’t provide suitable public space. Now his majority appointees to the city board rubber stamp charter co-locations and expansions.

Although the Mayor and Chancellor Farina have tried to support struggling schools, they have not hesitated to close them when they don’t show test score gains.

At the last meeting of the city’s Board of Education (which Mayor Bloomberg capriciously named the Panel on Education Policy to indicate its insignificance in the new era of mayoral control but which is still called the Board of Education in statute), the Mayor submitted a list of schools to close. Sadly, like Bloomberg, he has closed many schools. Unlike Bloomberg, he does not boast about it. There’s that.

At the last meeting of the Board, one of the Mayor’s appointees, T. Elzora Cleveland, dissented and another abstained, denying the majority needed to close two of the schools on …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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