• April 16, 2024

Opinion: Bill de Blasio Fights Success

Close by the editorial staff

The editorial office

March 10, 2021, 6:37 p.m. ET

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a press conference in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn on September 15, 2020.


brendan mcdermid / Reuters

Most mayors move heaven and earth to get kids back into the classroom, but New York City Bill de Blasio is now busy taking the classrooms away for a school. Experience his harassment at Hollis Middle School in Queens, which is part of the Success Academy charter schools. If Mayor de Blasio can’t find a location for the school, the future for 250 children, 91% black and Latinos, will be in limbo.

Last May, these students were granted temporary one-year homes in the same building as the IS 238 Susan B. Anthony Academy. This should give the city time to find a permanent location. The city has still not gotten through it, despite a legal requirement to either provide the space it needs or to cover the cost of the private or public space the school needs.

In a Zoom call with parents and the press on Wednesday, Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz said this reflected the mayor’s well-known hostility towards charters in general, and the Success Academy in particular. A few weeks ago, he announced that the city would not offer Covid-19 tests to children in charters given to the city’s other public school children. Remember that charters are public schools, albeit without union control.

The mayor’s actions come because parents seem to be drawing their own conclusions about the city-run schools. In January, the city’s Department of Education reported that K-12 student enrollment had declined 4% this year, in large part due to Covid-19 and the closure. The number of charter registrations has increased by almost 7%. The success of the charter is embarrassing for unionized schools, so Mr de Blasio believes it should be punished.

Wonderland: The coronavirus pandemic could forever change the role of public education in the United States. Images: Zuma Press / Reuters / Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

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Published in the print edition of March 11, 2021.

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