On Tuesday, New Yorkers will vote to elect a new mayor. All signs indicate that Democrat Bill de Blasio will win comfortably over his Republican opponent Joe Lhota.
The election will have a massive effect on the trajectory of NYC's public schools. Mayor Bloomberg has helped open quality charter schools, closed failing schools and implemented an A-through-F system to grade school performance. In contrast, Bill de Blasio would roll back every single education priority that Bloomberg has championed for the past 12 years.
A National Review columnist sees the Bloomberg education system as being accountable to results. It's not perfect, but it is an improvement over what the mayor inherited. The columnist is worried that Bill de Blasio would take NYC's schools in the wrong direction:
New York City, of course, is also home to some bad charter schools. It is home to some bad district schools, too, despite gains under Bloomberg. But the good news is that the current model has a way to grade and then close underperforming schools in both categories.
And isn't that the best solution of all? Allow students more options to attend high-quality schools, including charter schools; treat good charter schools equally with traditional district schools in terms of facility use; and shut down underperforming schools. Bloomberg's system isn't perfect, but it has made important steps. Bill de Blasio would do well to take note: If he follows up on his current rhetoric, he risks taking New York's schools a giant step back.