Kudos to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza for their plan to create innovative new schools and restructure existing ones with new programs. There’s no guarantee of success, but this approach is built on the same valuable concepts de Blasio’s predecessor embraced, which have been missing from the mayor’s agenda until now.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s education program empowered local educators and community members to imagine, design and implement new approaches to education in historically underserved communities.
Over Bloomberg’s three terms, the Department of Education opened over 500 new, mostly small schools, in addition to 210 new charter schools. Not all were successful, as is the nature of innovation, but those that were boosted the city’s student achievement up to the state average.
Perhaps even more importantly, they provided thousands of lower-income families with educational opportunities that had not existed before.
De Blasio shut down this approach as soon as he assumed the mayoralty in 2014, denying public school educators the ability to put forth ideas for new and better approaches to schooling.
Ray Domanico is the director of education policy at the Manhattan Institute.
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