This has been a heartbreaking day for Success Academy. But we are a family, and we will come together for our kids. pic.twitter.com/YEEkwNNhhFThere is New York Post editorial that sheds new light on Sandinista Mayor Bill de Blasio's decision to close some of New York City's charter schools. The post draws an uncomfortable comparison of this action to the blocking of traffic on the George Washington Bridge noting one exception-in this instance it is well know who gave the order to disrupt education.
— Eva Moskowitz (@MoskowitzEva) February 28, 2014
Much of this is probably old news for New Yorkers who have followed this controversy since before the election but I'll try to provide background for the rest. Eva Moskowitz who heads up Success Academy is a former Democratic city council woman who has clashed with de Blasio in the past and only schools under her purview have been slated for closing. The upshot of that Post editorial, entitled All about Eva is this is a personal vendetta against Moskowitz and the children are collateral damage as were the motorists trapped on the access lanes to the GWB.
While the audacity and mean spiritedness of this move caught most of us off guard it is the fulfillment of a campaign threat. From the WSJ;
Mr. de Blasio explicitly campaigned last year against charters—and against Ms. Moskowitz in particular. In May at a forum hosted by the United Federation of Teachers, or UFT, the potent government-employee local: "It's time for Eva Moskowitz to stop having the run of the place. . . . She has to stop being tolerated, enabled, supported." In July, on his plans to charge charters—which are independently run public schools—for sharing space with city-run public schools: "There's no way in hell Eva Moskowitz should get free rent, O.K.?"The free rent de Blasio was speaking of is the unused space in public schools Success Academy has used to guide its students into the top 1% in math statewide and top 7% in English. Virtually all of New York City's charter schools are co-located in public schools were only 5% of students achieve basic math proficiency.
The fight is not over and Moskowitz fights well above weight bracket. She raised $400,000 for Governor Cuomo's campaign and she will shut down all 22 schools under her control and bus students and parents to Albany on Tuesday. Further adding to the acrimony de Blasio dismissed the rally as a sideshow. Success Academy is a big player. Its soon-to-be 10,000-strong student network makes it one of the 10 largest school districts in New York state. Cuomo has tried to remain neutral but is already at odds with de Blasio over the mayor's plans to expand pre-K schooling.
I thought it was the Republican Party that was hopelessly divided.