De Blasio No Apologies On Charter Schools

March 24, 2014

Bill-de-Blasio.jpg&q=80&MaxW=640&imageversion=widescreen&maxh=360Mayor Bill de Blasio continued his apology tour on charter schools Monday, admitting during a radio interview that he failed to fully explain his decision to reject three of Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy schools from co-locating in public school buildings. But he expressed no sorrow for the decisions themselves.

“We didn’t explain the criteria,” Mr. de Blasio told WNYC host Brian Lehrer, noting that the Department of Education blessed several charter school co-locations before rejecting three of Ms. Moskowitz’s applications. “I didn’t articulate to the public that there was a consistent review process that yielded a certain set of results.”

He admitted to failing to clearly articulate his administration’s decisions, but continued to defend those decisions as appropriate for the entire school system.

The interview was a continuation of a process that began with a speech in front a church congregation Sunday that was seen as an attempt at a course correction on the issue of charter schools. The mayor’s poll numbers have tumbled a bit after a  negative ad barrage on television criticized his decisions on charter schools.

On Sunday, Mr. de Blasio attempted to dampen the fierce debate that emerged after he blocked three charter co-locations, telling a church audience that classrooms will be found for the almost 200 students from those schools. He has also made calls to a number of Wall Street financiers and prominent backs of charter schools to better clarify his position, according to the New York Times.

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“Every child matters,” the mayor said on the radio Monday, reiterating that co-locations will still be used under his administration.

Charter schools are routinely held up as symbols of innovation in education, but Mr. de Blasio said that some of the more successful experiments at charter schools are difficult to scale-up because of a lack of resources.

“In effect it’s rarefied in certain instances,” he said. Asked if there were any innovations in particular that could be applied to traditional public schools, Mr. de Blasio added, “Those that are not [applicable] are those that are based on an exceptional level of resources that could never be replicated in a public setting.”

…he would make it his “personal crusade” to attract and retain the best teachers in New York…

He said he would make it his “personal crusade” to attract and retain the best teachers in New York, and said that his speech on Sunday and his interview Monday were part of a larger effort to defuse what has become a nasty fight.

“This larger education debate has been prone to disunity, misunderstanding, heated rhetoric, etc.” he said. “I’m trying to take us back to the notion that there’s actually a common vision for serving every child, every neighborhood. And in some ways we need a more fundamental reset about what will fix our schools writ large.” (source)

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