The Left tell us, constantly, that they are the only ones who care about The Children. Their solutions to everything involve more government and more spending. For The Children.

And, yet, we see proof every day that this assertion is a lie. Especially in public education. The Children actually rank rather low in the priority tree, well below the true priority: the teachers’ unions.

This is blatant in the utterly contemptible behavior shown by NYC Mayor De Blasio and his Department of Education towards charter schools. Consider the latest: Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy needs some new space for 700 students moving into the 4th-8th grade bracket.

By law, the city is required to provide such space, either directly or, as a fallback, by reimbursing the charter for private space it leases. It has been reported that space is indeed available in public schools to accommodate these students, but the DoE has been dragging its feet in assigning it, despite parents’ pleas and protestations.

Finally, the DoE pointed Success Academy at a location. To call it an insult is to insult insults. Not only does the space have only 500 seats, it’s a shit hole.

Meanwhile, De Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza continue their war on success (pun intended) on other fronts, with a (now stalled) effort to get rid of the “one test” admissions process for NYC’s eight elite high schools, and by either eliminating gifted programs or moving them away from merit and toward “diversity” (which actually means skin color, with no consideration for socioeconomic or other metrics). They, superficially, operate under the assertion that inadequate “diversity” in those programs is proof of systemic bias, but it really is about covering their system’s failures.

Fixing those failures would, however, require butting heads with the teachers’ unions, who have also put the success and welfare of children well below more selfish considerations, including the protection of their worst-performing and the least-trustworthy union members. It is nigh-impossible to fire a bad teacher, even one that has been deemed too big a risk to leave in charge of students, thanks to the unions. And, any effort to incentivize or even evaluate teacher performance is resisted tooth-and-claw.

De Blasio, being term-limited and having no obvious political future, has no incentive to actually do anything that might benefit the city’s children. He’s signaled that he wants to continue his (delusional) ambassadorship of progressivism and woke-ness, however, and that requires continued deference to the failed liberal model of public education. For a movement that declares itself all about “progress,” it’s ironic how firmly anchored it is to a model that’s been mis-serving the poor for half a century.

Meanwhile, that purported paragon of progressivism pointed at by Bernie Sanders and his acolytes, Sweden, operates a fully vouchered education system, vouchers that can even be used for private schools. School choice harnesses market forces to motivate success, both here and abroad, and opposing it is the antithesis of progress.

The city’s offer to Success Academy is indeed an insult, and I hope that Moskowitz’s lawyers sue the DoE and everyone involved in what’s tantamount to sacrificing these children’s futures to the teachers’ unions.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.


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