Thursday, November 20, 2014

New York Needs a Stronger School Plan

 I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's really powerful when the NYT editorial page blasts de Blasio for, as one of my friends who used to work at the NYC DOE put it, "trying to wind the clock back to 2002":

The rescue plan for struggling schools that Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled on Monday needs to be fleshed out in greater detail before it can be fully appraised. But it is already clear that the plan — which involves giving failing schools support services and seeing how that turns out — might not be sufficient to remake the city's lowest-achieving, most-dysfunctional schools. The plan could easily delay action on schools that are in desperate straits and should be reorganized or closed in fairly short order.

…Mr. de Blasio's predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, made shutting down failing schools a cornerstone of his educational strategy. He erred in some cases by not consulting closely with communities or trying energetically enough to improve schools before pulling the plug. But over all, the shutdown strategy was vindicated by improved graduation rates and other measurements. Mr. de Blasio seems almost fixated on distancing himself from Mr. Bloomberg. In doing so he robs himself of a useful reform tool.

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