New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott has warned New Yorkers not to turn back the clock on the City's public schools. Walcott recalls the 1970s and 1980s as a time when schools were not safe and graduation rates were well under 50 percent for many of NYC's schools.
Walcott argues that Mayor Bloomberg's policies of closing failing schools and replacing them with smaller schools and charters have reduced crime and raised graduation rates. These successes have come while other forces such as teachers unions have lost clout. In the New York Post, Walcott warns that these successes could be stripped away:
It’s especially worth reflecting on this during an election year. Whoever sets the city’s education agenda for the next four years had best recall how bad things once were — and how easy it would be to relive the disasters of the past.
There are powerful adults whose control over our students’ education was loosened when Michael Bloomberg became mayor. They’re now vying to regain their grip.