Bill de Blasio is the George Wallace of the 21st century.
Just as Alabama’s segregationist Democratic governor notoriously stood in the school door to deny quality education to disadvantaged black children in 1963, New York’s far-left Democrat mayor stands in the charter-school door to deny quality education to disadvantaged black children in 2014. De Blasio should hang his head in shame.
Governor George Wallace (D., Ala.) stands in the way of black educational progress, 1963.
As I discussed
recently on Hannity
, de Blasio has earned widespread scorn for reneging on former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to allow three Success Academy charter schools to move into empty space within traditional New York City government schools. One of these, Success Academy 4 Central Harlem, currently is home to 194 students. They are 97 percent black and Hispanic, and 78 percent officially are low-income. This school also is No. 1 in all of New York State
for fifth-grade math proficiency, outpacing government-school students from the Upper East Side to Southampton to Westchester County.
“We’re fighting to give everyone a fair shot,” de Blasio claimed on February 10. Evidently, this fight involves throwing thriving minority students out on the streets.
De Blasio also has promised to “implement a moratorium going forward,” to prevent any further co-locations of charter schools on traditional government-school campuses.
“A lot of [charters] are funded by very wealthy Wall Street folks and others,” de Blasio has said. “There’s a very strong private-sector element here.” So, de Blasio’s War on Charter School Students is just another theater in his overall class war against “the 1 percent.”
Meanwhile, de Blasio’s allies are red with rage against charters in general and the Success Academy schools in particular.
Echoing de Blasio’s anti-wealthy rhetoric, City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito on Saturday decried “hedge fund backed charters.”
“They’re charter schools,” said Carmen Fariña, Gotham’s education chief. “They’re on their own.” Last Friday, Fariña visited a Harlem campus that houses three distinct government schools. She huddled with the principals of PS 149, a traditional school for grades K–8 as well as the Mickey Mantle School, a facility for special-needs students. Meanwhile, Danique Day Loving, principal of the Success Academy charter school, waited in her school hallway to meet Fariña. And she waited. And waited. Even though Loving and her charter school were co-located in the same building as the other two institutions, Fariña bolted without so much as laying eyes on the Success Academy or saying hello to the woman who runs it.
New York City councilman Daniel Dromm (D., Queens) has called a hearing for April in which he plans to interrogate Success Academy chief Eva Moskowitz (a former Democratic councilwoman in her own right). Dromm wants to know if Moskowitz and other charter leaders are crooks.
“This is an opportunity, if corruption were to exist,” Dromm said. “I can’t just let it go.”
Moskowitz, as the New York Post’s Aaron Short explained, “has never been accused of corruption even by her harshest critics.” The Post’s print headline nicely captured the absurdity of this hostile situation: “Union-pal pol to grill Eva (just in case).”