Now that Eric Adams has been projected to win the Democratic primary for Mayor of NYC, there is all kinds of speculation as to how he will govern the city and specifically, how he will run the schools. Adams is heavily favored to beat Republican Curtis Sliwa in November because of the huge Democratic advantage in registrations in NYC.
The Chalkbeat staff has a thorough piece on what a Mayor Adams could mean for the schools.
On the longer school year idea from Adams:
Adams has discussed keeping schools open year-round and having a permanent remote learning option — though he would not put 400 children with one virtual teacher, as he said at one point. He says he would fund online schooling by levying a data tax on big tech companies that sell private data to advertisers and others.
He would “create more flexibility for parents in how — and when — their child receives their education so that students aren’t left behind and we can much better utilize our education infrastructure,” he previously told Chalkbeat.
On police in the schools:
Changes to school policing
In the wake of massive protests against racist police violence, pressure has grown to rethink school policing. The next mayor will face major decisions about whether to reduce the role of more than 5,000 school-based officers who patrol the city’s schools — by which itself is one of the nation’s largest police forces.
De Blasio agreed to begin a multi-year process of transferring oversight of the school safety division from the NYPD to the education department, but a major part of that work — and the implementation — will fall on the next mayor.
Adams, who was in the NYPD for 22 years, has indicated that he wants safety agents to remain, but he said there should not be a “police culture” in schools.
On charter schools:
The next mayor will also decide how accommodating the city will be when charter schools request space in public school buildings.
The issue may be less relevant in the immediate future, as the city has reached the cap on the number of charter schools that can open under state law.
Still, the mayor will set the tone and determine how friendly to be to a sector that educates about 138,000 of the city’s roughly 1 million public school students, according to projections from the state education department.
Adams has said on multiple occasions that he supports charters. (A charter school advocate started a political action committee to raise money for Adams.) And while he has indicated that he favors keeping the cap on charters, he has also said that successful charters should be duplicated while failing ones shut down.
Journalist Ross Barkan has an excellent article speculating on what an Adams mayoralty will look like.
Adams will be a machine mayor, one who will, like the wildly pugnacious Rudy Giuliani, be unafraid to joust with political rivals and adversarial reporters. He will have vendettas and seek to execute them as best he can. The list is long of those who have clashed with Adams, legislators and council members and activists, and they may soon learn the might of City Hall.
Adams is, unquestionably, the candidate of the working-class, having rode to victory with a dominant performance in outer borough Black and Latino neighborhoods. And he is unquestionably the candidate of the very forces who seek to plunder what little these working people have and drive them from this city. Republican billionaires, Wall Street financiers, and real estate elites bet heavily on Adams, funding a super PAC and plying him with donations, and now they will seek to cash in. For the many young progressives who bemoaned the milquetoast de Blasio, they will soon see what a mayor of capital really looks like.
Of course, the power elite of New York City could ask for little better than Adams, short of Michael Bloomberg himself. Adams is far more unpredictable and incendiary than Bloomberg, but he offers greater cover for their aims. An old white man who runs as a Republican and antagonizes labor unions is never the ideal vehicle for a neoliberal agenda; he is too easy to see through. Better to have Adams, a Black man with close ties to the largest labor unions in the city, a former police captain who is the genuine son of the working-class. The Left knows, by now at least, what they are in for.
Any thoughts from our readers?