The fall of now-former NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is good for New Yorkers in general, but especially for kids:
When Preet Bharara dispatched those FBI agents to arrest Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on charges of corruption, he didn't have fixing New York's schools on his mind.
But it may well turn out that the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York has just done more to advance the cause of school reform than anyone else in the Empire State.
…Not long before his arrest, Silver was again voicing his opposition to the most important reforms on the table, whether lifting the cap on charters, helping parochial schools or supporting successful charters.
Just last week he put it this way: "More money for these schools [charters] means less money for traditional education."
And the speaker has added power when it comes to education. Contrary to what most people probably believe, the members of the Board of Regents — which oversees the State Education Department — aren't appointed by the governor. They are elected by the Legislature, which in practice means Silver.
…The teachers union will fight. But when the three men in Albany return to that that backroom to determine the fate of school reform in New York, Gov. Cuomo will either be facing a new and less powerful speaker or one busy fending off criminal corruption charges.
At the least, it leaves fewer excuses for the governor not to get what he says he wants.
In short, it's possible that 2015's education reformer of the year may prove to be . . . Preet Bharara.