The post-de Blasio years have begun — albeit 22 months before the nominal end of Bill de Blasio’s term. While he now intends to “save our city,” in public education, the mayor and his chancellor, Richard Carranza, have been stumbling. It’s hard to imagine much getting done in the remainder of their terms.
Their effort to kill the specialized high school exam, or SHSAT, was clearly targeted at reducing the number of Asian-American students in those top schools. It met such stern resistance that any legislative action was effectively blocked.
Their plans to change admissions procedures for middle schools to boost integration is facing strong opposition recently in central Queens. Parental pushback has stopped the process there for now, with no announced schedule for when it might resume.
The chancellor badly mishandled concerns about the lack of order in a middle school in northeastern Queens, then inexplicably went on TV to accuse concerned parents of “grandstanding” — before finally coming to his senses and publicly apologizing to the parents.
The root of these problems is that the mayor and chancellor falsely believe they can impose change by decree. That could work if everyone simply did what they were told, but parents are fiercely independent when it comes to choosing a school for their children.
Ray Domanico is a senior fellow and director of education policy at the Manhattan Institute. He is the author of the new report, “A Statistical Profile of New York’s K-12 Educational Sector: Race, Income and Religion.”
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