New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is facing pressure to select a chancellor that will place the students’ interests above the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) and special interest groups.
A New York Observer editorial discusses several factors de Blasio will need to consider when selecting the next schools chancellor including mayoral control of the education system, UFT pay contracts, and charter schools:
The union and its allies were thrilled earlier this year when Mr. de Blasio expressed his skepticism of the vibrant charter school movement. He suggested that he might end the city’s policy of locating charters within traditional school buildings, a policy that has allowed charters to thrive in poorly served communities.
As mayor, Mr. de Blasio has to put aside his rhetoric on charters. This revolution in education has raised hopes and expectations in dozens of neighborhoods and is attracting highly motivated teachers who thrive in a creative, flexible atmosphere.
The editorial goes on to state that de Blasio’s selection will indicate how NYC education will move forward:
New York simply cannot afford to return the schools to the union bosses and bureaucrats who ran the system before Mr. Bloomberg took charge of it. Mr. de Blasio’s choice of chancellor and his own actions as the ultimate head of the school system will tell us a great deal about whether the city will move forward in the second decade of the 21st century or whether we will march backward.