De Blasio’s Attack on Charter Schools Tells Us the Left’s Priorities

by John Fund

Last week, New York’s ACORN mayor Bill De Blasio announced he is evicting Success Academy, a widely praised charter school from the Harlem public school building it occupies. Two other charter schools will be blocked from opening. He claims elementary-school kids wouldn’t be safe in a building with high-school students. His excuse is as absurd as the propaganda Vladimir Putin is using to justify the occupation of Crimea.

Danique Loving, the principal of Success Academy, notes that “one out of every four African-American boys who drops out of school ends up in jail. That’s what Mayor de Blasio would be focusing on if he were really worried about the safety of our students.”

Eva Moskowitz, the CEO of Success Academy, showed up last night at the Monday Meeting, a group of political activists and donors, to blast the de Blasio decision and announce she would lead a rally today in Albany, the state capitol, to protest it.

Rather than stand up for the interests of minority children, the Reverend Al Sharpton has decided to oppose Ms. Moskowitz’s rally. The New York Daily News reports that he has spoken with de Blasio and agrees with his approach. “I think that there is nothing wrong with charter schools having to pay rent,” he said, neglecting the fact that charter schools are public schools and that charging the rent Mayor de Blasio’s backers envision would result in 71 percent of the city’s charters running deficits and potentially 577 teacher layoffs in 2011.

Teacher union allies have taken to launching personal attacks on Moskowitz, a former Democratic member of the New York City Council. “Moskowitz’s attitude exemplifies all that is wrong with her approach to education. She sees children as pawns in her effort to privatize public schools and to enrich herself,” huffs Daniel Dromm, the chairman of the City Council’s Education Committee.

In reality, it is Dromm’s allies in the teachers’ unions who have continually enriched their members’ pension and pay packets while opposing reforms to New York City’s schools and allowing test scores and graduation rates to stagnate. De Blasio’s attempt to roll back the city’s charter-school movement, which currently serves 70,000 of the city’s 1.1 million students is all the evidence needed that when it comes to choosing between power politics and the interests of children the Left has no trouble selling the kids short. 

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