Friday, June 21, 2013

Candidates for NYC Mayor Want to Shutdown Charters

The panderpalooza among the Democratic candidates for NYC mayor is a total disgrace, as Michael Benjamin highlights in this op ed:

None of the Democratic candidates for mayor has a plan for the city schools other than not being Mike Bloomberg. That’s it.

Well, not quite: They have one education policy: Bashing Eva Moskowitz, founder of the highly successful Success Academy Network charter schools. At every forum, you’ll hear them spit out Moskowitz’s name as if it were a curse.

The applause-line rhetoric about ending co-location is chiefly targeted at her. But in reality, the majority of co-locations involvetraditional public schools sharing a building.

Charters, and education reform generally, are now personified by Moskowitz. Her schools are safe and academically successful — yet some Democrats seem to want to shut them (and other successful charters) down.

…The anti-reform rhetoric is getting tiresome — and scary, if you care about the future of education in this city.

Instead of repairing our broken schools and restoring excellent gifted and talented feeder programs in minority neighborhoods, these candidates want to undermine most of the good schools we already have — not just successful charters, but also a key to excellence at schools like my alma mater, Bronx Science. They’d destroy 75 years of scholastic excellence based upon academic merit.

The UFT’s endorsement announcement Wednesday will probably be carried live on NY1 as though it were the Tony Awards. Many New Yorkers — not just the Democratic candidates — are anxious about who will be carrying the union’s banner in the rest of the primary season and probably in general election. Whoever earns that UFT endorsement will give charter parents and education reformers even more cause to worry.

It’s sad and outrageous that the only schools issues the candidates will address are those on the UFT’s wishlist. The future of education in New York should be more than not being Mike Bloomberg.

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