It is hard to see much improvement in the schools since de Blasio took over as mayor in 2014. We have a subpar contract and an administration under Chancellor Carmen Farina that has pretty much continued most of the Michael Bloomberg-Joel Klein anti-teacher practices. Universal pre-k and a highly suspect high school graduation rate do not make up for how teachers, parents and others are treated in NYC schools. Maybe education policy will change in a second de Blasio term.
The mayor should be safely reelected by the time the UFT contract is up for renegotiation in 2018. The current interminable nine year agreeent does not expire until November 30, 2018.
For those looking for an alternative to de Blasio, the Village Voice has a rundown on the candidates in this week's issue. None look very strong in the Democratic field.
As for the Republicans, the only one running is Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis. I checked her website for anything on the schools and found this:
Nicole attended New York City Public Schools from kindergarten through high school. She received a great education and she wants to make sure that every child in our city gets the quality education they deserve.
New York State spends $22,593 per student per year to educate our children, the most of any state in the nation and 87% above the national average. But, when it reaches New York City, it doesn’t seem to make it to the classrooms. A big chunk of money goes towards contracts and consultants! While, all the time, we hear about teachers paying for classroom supplies, students lacking up-to-date textbooks and technology and classes being held in trailers parked on the school playground. Simply put, it’s wrong and unacceptable.
It sounds ok. Money sucked up in the bureaucracy is a major concern in NYC schools and has gotten worse under de Blasio as central Department of Education spending on central staff has soared. However, how Malliotakis would solve education issues is very problematic. Simply put, she would end up lowering public school enrollment by pushing for charter schools and tuition tax credits for religious and private schools.
This is not on her website but it is from an SI Live piece quoting some Conservative Party officials endorsing Malliotakis:
As a product of New York City public schools, Nicole has a clear understanding of what a great education can mean to the children of our city; she'll fight for high standards and against the special interests that seem intent on dumbing-down our schools. She also will fight for the expansion of charter schools in the five boroughs and tuition tax assistance for New Yorkers who send their children to religious or private schools. The Conservative Party is proud to endorse Nicole Malliotakis for Mayor of the City of New York."
I'll take a huge pass on Nicole. Her Trump style plan would send the public schools into a major crisis. Lower enrollments as public money is diverted from public education to charter and private schools would lead to public schools offering fewer programs. The issues in our schools that she writes about on her website would worsen.
She is not a friend.
The real concern is how public school teachers have little to choose from in yet another election. De Blasio = more of the same and the Republican alternative is worse. I guess that is the case in most elections these days. Not too many politicians on our side.