While New York Mayor Bill de Blasio swept into office with a convincing electoral victory last fall, the first few months of his tenure have been challenging. He’s struggled to find leverage in the battle over how to fund universal pre-K in the city, and his recent attempt to constrain public charter schools has made him more enemies than friends. In a new Daily Beast column, I argue that this is partly because education reform’s opponents have yet to articulate an alternate education agenda:

Perhaps de Blasio misread his electoral mandate. Sure, his victory validated the basic “tale of two cities” premise of his campaign, that he would reverse the income inequality that had grown under Michael Bloomberg. But did de Blasio win because New Yorkers were ready to ax charters? Last October, a Quinnipiac poll showed that only 24 percent of likely voters listed education as their top priority, and just 18 percent of likely voters wanted to see fewer charters in the city. There are lots of ways to address the city’s inequality, many of which have nothing to do with public charter schools.

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[Cross-posted at Ed Central]

Conor Williams

Conor Williams is a Senior Researcher in the Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation. Find him on Twitter: @ConorPWilliams