Mayor de Blasio on his Education Agenda

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a press conference about Myls Dobson on January 17th. Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a press conference about Myls Dobson on January 17th. (Natalie Fertig/WNYC)

Yesterday at Riverside Church, Mayor Bill de Blasio gave a speech on education where he admitted that he “didn’t measure up” in explaining his stance or charter schools. On the Brian Lehrer Show, de Blasio clarified that he "didn't explain the criteria" for his co-location decisions clearly enough. The mayor stood firm on the decisions, however, saying that "the Bloomberg administration was rushing...and they were willing to cut some corners" in making decisions about co-location at the end of 2013, and that there will be "a moratorium" on co-locations until a new set of criteria is implemented. When asked about Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy network -- which lost some facilities -- de Blasio insisted that "we are accommodating" those students.

On the nature of the charter school debate in general, de Blasio insisted that charters continue to be part of the larger school network, and that "some of the innovations...will work" in the larger system, though not those funded by resources not available to the DOE. "Charters are supposed to be uplifting [to] the entire system," said the mayor. "Once we get the co-location process right, there's going to be a process for charters to have new chances to grow."



Bill de Blasio

Comments [22]

@Guy from NYC:

You seem like a knowledgeable person.
Do you know if the de Blasio mandate for pre-K will include a mandate for children to attend pre-K?
Does he think that the decision whether or not to attend pre-K should remain a parent's "choice"?

Mar. 25 2014 02:35 AM

I keep hearing that charter schools are funded by hedge fund managers and our standard public schools are woefully underfunded. With a NYC education budget of $23,000,000,000.00 Mayor de Blasio should be asked how badly do the administrators have to manage this budget before a change is made? It appears that the money is not making it to the kids and teachers? Another question that should be asked is which administrators are responsible for the dismal performance of our public schools and why are they still in charge?

The bottom line is that we are spending far more per student than just about any other place in the country and we are ending up with terrible results. The problem is not funding, the problem is mismanagement combined with a significant number parents who do not have the time or will to take part in their children's education.

Mar. 24 2014 03:36 PM
Penelope from Astoria

Did he say he wants to extend the school day?! NO! Let's not torture children. Please. Also, just for the record, some of do not want our children in full day pre-k. 2 1/2 hours is perfect for the kids and stay at home moms.

Mar. 24 2014 11:34 AM
Guy from NYC

On a positive note, I like to see the questions being raised (finally) by the informed public about charter schools.

I do feel like the "both sides of the debate" method taken up by NPR and the NYT allows hedge funders and other monied interests to control the debate, confusing the public for long enough for backers to cash in on a trend that is hurting public education.

Mar. 24 2014 10:51 AM
RJ from prospect hts

The wealthy use city services in addition to being part of the state, which is why they should give extra to the city.

Mar. 24 2014 10:50 AM
Jake S from Harlem

Katherine - I agree with your stance, but if you search you'll find that Diane Ravitch has been on the program more than once. Hopefully she makes another appearance soon.

Mar. 24 2014 10:50 AM

When, if ever, does de Blasio think that his mandate for pre-K will include a mandate for children to attend pre-K? Does he think that the decision whether or not to attend pre-K should remain a parent's "choice"?

Mar. 24 2014 10:49 AM
JR from NYC

I'm looking forward to the day when diBlasio stops talking about "the previous administration"

Mar. 24 2014 10:49 AM
Carla from Franklin NY

If you want to retain new teachers provide them with student loan forgiveness and affordable housing.

Mar. 24 2014 10:48 AM
Susan Burger from Upper West Side

I am so glad that the topic of retention is being addressed here. My cousin went into teaching with great enthusiasm, but the lack of support and respect has led her to consider early retirement. Her working environment is entirely negative. I had briefly considered becoming a science teacher but her experiences immediately made me reconsider.

Mar. 24 2014 10:47 AM
Guy from Park slope

Bill do not back down!
We didn't elect you to let monied interests run education policy or bully you, or to let charter schools 6% rule the debate.

Mar. 24 2014 10:43 AM
Katherine from Brooklyn

I cannot understand why Mayor DeBlasio is allowing Eva Moskowitz to frame the debate concerning his actions on three charter schools (out of 18 or 19--?). Eva Moskowitz, who makes about $475,000 a year, wants to make people think the mayor is hurting the poor charter school students by denying them an education. This is total BS. Charter schools are backed by BIG money, PRIVATE money. Why doesn't the mayor fight her with facts? If charter schools want to use public school space, they should pay for it. Period. Charter schools are about the privatization of our public schools, and everyone from Obama to Arne Duncan is drinking the Kool-Aid.

There are other things about charter schools that the public needs to understand. For example, how many of our tax dollars go to charter schools? What about children who are dismissed--and apparently it's fairly frequently--from a charter school? It's my understanding that our tax dollars, which follow a student into a charter school do not follow that student back to the public school if he/she is dismissed.

Further, Brian, why don't you have Diane Ravitch on your show to discuss charter school education? She has all the facts, and is an avid supporter of public schools.

Mar. 24 2014 10:43 AM
sp from nyc

Charter schools are definitely NOT public schools. They have a separate enrollment process that selects for parents who have the time and ability to run their gantlet, and only those children get into their "lottery," which they (quite disingenuously) claim is equal for all children. When they still end up with kids who don't measure up (i.e., don't do well on standardized test, have learning or emotional or behavioral problems), those kids get expelled back to the real public schools, which, by definition of a public school, must educate all. Private schools, of course, can choose their students and enforce standards for who they retain. It's not surprising that parents who can get their kids into private schools that the public is forced to pay for prefer that option. As a taxpayer, I do not. If and when charters have the same recruitment and retention rules as true public schools, they can qualify as public schools. The mayor needs to stand up for real public school students,and he needs to expose the Potemkin charters.

Mar. 24 2014 10:41 AM
DYV from Park Slope

I think the way the guest and Brian dismissed the callers suggestion about the need for money for supplies in regular public schools was offensive. This is not about "extra" money. This is about money to fund basic requirements for running a public school. Children should not be taking classes in hallways and closets and NO NYC public school should have to depend upon teachers to personally purchase the basic supplies needed to support educating K-12 students.
Charter SCHMARTER. They just cultivate exceptionalism and divisiveness.

Why can't the city simply reproduce the circumstances that exist in the best performing regular public schools across the board. Just give EVERY public school the same quality of teachers, curriculum, facilities, supplies and support. You can't possible measure the quality of regular public schools in general if the experience of teaching in or attending or administrating any given regular public school is so radically different from that of others.

Every single public school in the 5 boros should be treated and supported in the same manner regardless of the neighborhood or population.

Co-locating schools presumes that public school don't need every inch of space to educate regular public school children which is absolutely false.

Mar. 24 2014 10:37 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Mr.Paybarah's writings at Capital NY are often not available to citizens. One must pay to be a "pro."

Time Warner has recently cut off my access to NY 1 (long story).

I find it more and more difficult to find information and analysis of local issues.

Not a good trend. Thank goodness for Brian Lehrer.

Mar. 24 2014 10:34 AM

When, if ever, does de Blasio think that his mandate for pre-K will include a mandate for children to attend pre-K? Does he think that the decision whether or not to attend pre-K should remain a parent's "choice"?

Mar. 24 2014 10:33 AM
art525 from Park Slope

Oh yeah and three million dollars for ads attacking DeBlasio and promoting charter schools.

Mar. 24 2014 10:29 AM
Tom Marlow from Staten Island

Why should the Charter schools use money for a television ad campaign instead of putting that money towards education (including rent)?

Mar. 24 2014 10:27 AM

Would someone please explain the difference between charter schools and public schools? Sorry, but I'm woefully under-informed.

Mar. 24 2014 10:25 AM
art525 from Park Slope

I haven't heard anyone explain what charter schools and the Success Academy are all about? Is this the kind of private education system that Chris Whittle tried to promote years ago? It does kind of raise my suspicion that Mz Moskowitz has a salary of half a million a year. If it really was about serving the students better couldn't at least half of that salary go to aiding the sutdents instead of Mz Moskowitz' bank account? Also I have heard that there are large contributions coming to the charter schools from welathy right wingers. Is that true? I have also heard that studies show that the charter schools don't perform better than traditional public schools even though I have also heard that they cherry pick the students and don't accept problem kids or poor performers. And is the program an attempt to break teachers unions? I wish that someone would actually give us the real story and really explain what the issues are. SO far I haven't seen anyone including NPR do that.

Mar. 24 2014 10:25 AM
Josh Karan from Washington Heights

Last Thursday, in a Town Hall meeting with Chancellor Farina, Robert Jackson posed a question as to whether the Chancellor would support the new lawsuit charging New York State with unconstitutional lack of compliance with the settlement of the Campaign For Fiscal Equity, that Robert jackson initiated 20 years ago as he sought an articulation of the Constitutional Standards for public education, and the adequate funding required to provide such.

The Chancellor did not give a straight yes or no answer.

Presumably she did not want to publicly commit on an issue on which her boss had not stated a position.

Please ask the Mayor the same question.

There will be no ability to provide educational excellence for all students unless the State provides the resource to provide for the "meaningful sound basic education" ordered by the Courts.

Mar. 24 2014 10:20 AM
Peter from Park Slope

Let's see what the Mayor says. But his sound byte -- I failed to communicate the nature of my policy regarding charter schools -- sure has the aroma of the illusory mea culpa. That is, that the failure was one of communication, not content. We shall see.

Mar. 24 2014 10:08 AM

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