Right now, 50,000 students are on waiting lists to attend charter schools in New York City. Instead of advocating for an increased number of charter schools, most Democratic mayoral candidates oppose the founding of new charter schools.
In a recent New York Post op-ed, Eva Moskowitz, founder and CEO of the Success Academy Charter Schools, discusses how many candidates are “exploiting parents’ envy” as a new approach to the charter-school issue:
Sadly, many children, including those who ended up on waiting lists, are trapped in failing district schools. It’s heart wrenching for these children’s parents to know that other kids are getting opportunities that are denied to their own. And this leaves these parents subject to manipulation by conniving politicians.
To fan the flames of these parents’ envy, the politicians have come up with the phrase “separate and unequal” to describe charters.
These politicians are telling parents with children in failing district schools not only that it’s unfair but also that charters are causing their schools to fail.
The idea that charters are to blame for the problems of district schools makes utterly no sense, since these problems existed long before we came along. But envy is a powerful emotion that causes irrational thinking, and the politicians know this.