"As New York's Democrats continue to throw their support behind Democratic Mayoral Nominee Bill de Blasio, we must not forget what this show of unity means for the children of New York City if voters send him to City Hall."
As New York's Democrats continue to throw their support behind Democratic Mayoral Nominee Bill de Blasio, we must not forget what this show of unity means for the children of New York City if voters send him to City Hall.
de Blasio supports a moratorium on co-locating charter schools, the very schools that are serving low-income children of color. Charter school operators stepped up because New York City Schools were failing the children who most needed classroom intervention. Charter schools give children a choice when their only other option is a low-performing school.
Plus, research shows that charter school students outperform traditional public school students: New York City's charter school average proficiency rates rose significantly both in Math (72.0%, up from 68.4% in 2010-11) and English Language Arts (51.5%, up from 44.5%). According to the Department of Education, charter schools outpaced district averages in both Math and ELA proficiency among every reported subgroup: Black students, Hispanic students, English Language Learners and students with disabilities. A ban against charter school co-location would stifle charter school growth and limit access to those who desperately need a quality education. But de Blasio supports banning co-los.
In addition to a moratorium on co-los, de Blasio wants to charge charter schools rent for sharing public school buildings. Did de Blasio forget that charter schools are public schools, too? Did de Blasio also forget that charter schools receive $2,000 less per student than traditional public schools receive per student? If charters schools start paying rent, there would be less money for classroom instruction, which hurts kids. What does it say about a politician who wants to limit money that goes into the classroom?
de Blasio wants to keep failing schools open, which is a disservice to children. During his tenure, Mayor Michael Bloomberg replaced 164 failing schools with 656 mostly smaller ones. MDRC recently released a study that showed on average, the four-year graduation rate for students in small schools was 74.6% compared to 65.1% in large schools. So, small schools are working and failing schools aren't, but de Blasio supports failing schools.
de Blasio will spend the next seven weeks trying to convince New Yorkers that he won't turn back the clock on education, but one most ask him or herself what it means for New York City's children if de Blasio is elected mayor.