New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s control over the city’s schools was about to expire when state lawmakers passed (and then the governor signed) legislation giving the mayor two more years to run the city’s schools, Daniela Brighenti reports for Chalkbeat.
Public education, a top priority of the Bloomberg administration, was one of several areas where de Blasio promised big changes. De Blasio has pledged to maintain Bloomberg’s focus on closing the achievement gap, but his education agenda has revised the means: turnarounds instead of closures, heavy emphasis on addressing the “root causes” of K–12 underperformance through pre-kindergarten education and social services, less antagonistic relations with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), and more-relaxed school-discipline policies.
But the results have been something less than revolutionary. De Blasio’s first three years in office attest to the significant constraints progressives across the country will face in trying to roll back education reform, even when faced with no significant political opposition at the local level. These constraints stem from state government’s role in education policymaking, limits on available resources, and tensions within progressivism itself. All of them will likely continue to frustrate de Blasio and other progressive mayors in their attempts to develop an alternative to the education-reform agenda.
— Education Next