NYC public advocate Letitia James is going nuclear against charter-school students. She plans to ask a judge to halt the city-operated lottery that would allocate some 4,500 spots in charter schools for the 2014–15 academic year. If James succeeds, these motivated students would be tossed back into a system in which just 5 percent of blacks and 7 percent of Hispanics passed the entrance exam for New York’s nine elite, specialized, government high schools, such as Stuyvesant and Bronx Science. (On that exam, 26 percent of whites passed, as did 53 percent of Americans of Asian descent.)
In the end, Team de Blasio’s War on Charter School Students is all about control. These “experts” know best what’s best for people, especially minority parents who demand educational excellence, and they will mandate it — good and hard. And if some little black and brown kids have their futures crushed in the process, well, that sucks for them.
Control, of course, means staying in power. And that involves getting elected, which brings us to the teachers’ unions. They bankroll the Democratic party. As the Golden Rule states: “He who has the gold rules.”
New York’s United Federation of Teachers (UFT) almost exclusively backs Democrat politicians. So, when charters outpace government schools, they embarrass the folks who pay the Democrats’ bills. Thus the “get lost” notices for these Success Academy charters. While de Blasio has let other charters stay in place, he wants some to pay rent.
This doesn’t happen to regular government schools. De Blasio forgets that charter schools are government schools, too, only without the work rules, unaccountability, and near-absence of consequences for incompetence that plague too many traditional government campuses.
If charter students want to see de Blasio step out of the school door and let them learn, perhaps they should join the UFT. Atop George Wallace, de Blasio seems inspired by Albert Shanker, founder of the American Federation of Teachers.
As Shanker once said: “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”
— Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford University.