March 12, 2014

More de Blasio! Whitmire And I Can’t Quit Ya!

By Bellwether

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In Slate Richard Whitmire and I take a look at the big implications of what so far is a small fight over charters in New York City:

From the rhetoric, you’d think de Blasio had personally bounced kids out of charter schools across all five boroughs. In fact, in his first executive action on the issue, he blocked only three expansions, but in the process managed to anger charter supporters with his tactics and allowed centrist Democrats such as Gov. Andrew Cuomo to score points by portraying him as an ideologue. De Blasio also finds himself in a pretty lonely situation: By going after the charters, he is attacking one of the most promising urban school reform strategies available to Democratic mayors across the country these days, and he’s doing it without offering a clear alternative…

…If de Blasio can figure out how to regain momentum and harness progressive support to improve schools in New York City—taking the rough edges off of Mayor Bloomberg–era policies and hewing a different path from reformist Democratic mayors—that would change the terms of the national education debate. If de Blasio can’t produce political and educational results, he will deal a devastating blow to the national anti-reform movement. That’s why so much is riding on who comes out on top.

We looked at all this in USAT last month.

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