Liberal NYC Mayor Opposes Elected Board

Liberal NYC Mayor Opposes Elected Board

Much has been made of how liberal and progressive Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is on education, and how much he's going to change the Bloomberg education regime once he takes office.

Ending-colocations! Charging charters rent! Appointing Randi Weingarten (or Josh Starr) as Chancellor!

His education views have won him the endorsements of not only the UFT (after Thompson lost) but also Diane Ravitch.

Much less noted has been the fact that de Blasio basically supports mayoral control of the city's schools, rather than the more decentralized (and arguably democratic) process of borough-dominated or even independently elected board members appointing a Chancellor independent of the mayor (like in LAUSD and many other districts).

Supporting mayoral control puts de Blasio in the same camp as Republican mayors like Rudy Giuliani, Mike Bloomberg and centrist Democratic mayors like Rahm Emanuel, Adrien Fenty, Kevin Johnson, and Anthony Villaraigosa.

Officially, de Blasio says he's going to "improve" mayoral control by giving CECs an advisory vote on some issues and enhancing the role of Citywide Ed Councils. He and the other Democratic candidates all said they wanted to keep the same basic setup, with minor variations. See them on video from GothamSchools here. Checker Finn recently mocked de Blasio's notions about improving mayoral control as vague and unworkable.

Liberals' views on de Blasio reminds me of liberals' views on Barack Obama, who was thought by some to have been deeply supportive of local control in Chicago but turned out to be quite something different.

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  • On this particular issue Alexander you are speaking the truth. There is an automatic response from the AFT towards liberal Democrats even if their actual policies are inconsistent with those advocated by the union. It is the lesser evil syndrome.

    Rod Estvan

  • De Blasio was not the Democratic party primary candidate of choice of the teachers' union in NYC so I'm not sure why there is an assumption that they are naive about his position. Speaking as a card-carrying lefty liberal commie pinko, I am heartened by the fact that a left of center candidate unexpectedly trounced the field in the nation's largest city by promoting a populist position that resisted Bloomberg's market-based policy platform and promoted the need for greater equity of opportunity. New York and Chicago are very different places, but you're kidding yourself if you don't think a small shiver went up Rahm's spin when the polls closed in NYC last night.

  • In reply to Born Skeptic:

    Actually, "Rahm's spin" works as well as spine.

  • Spine

  • In reply to Born Skeptic:

    No I do not think it even caused the Mayor to blink. We shall have to see how many populist campaign positions are realized. As we all know both Democrats and Republicans say one thing while campaigning and do another once elected.

    Rod Estvan

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    This headline is very misleading. First, the article says de Blasio opposes an elected school board, when it should say he opposes the "process of borough-dominated or even independently elected board members appointing a Chancellor independent of the mayor (like in LAUSD and many other districts)." That is hardly the same.

    Second, Mr. Russo, are you now on the side of an elected school board in Chicago, since it is certainly more democratic?

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    The reason lefties and unionists are hopeful is because he clearly stated his opposition to the corporate takeover that Bloomberg was pushing. That alone is a major positive development. Sort of like going from Bush to Obama. Is he perfect? No. Is he head and shoulders above his predecessor? Undoubtedly.

    And Rahm probably should look to Adrian Fenty who got unseated in D.C. because of Michelle Rhee as well as looking at deBlasio.

  • Alexander got the bottom line correct the Mayor elect is unwilling to give up powers that the Mayor of NYC currently has.

    Rod Estvan

  • Like Rahm and Obama, I don't believe DeBlasio has ever held a chief executive position. There's a big question of how people without extensive management experience will perform in these complicated jobs.

    Good big city mayors are always pragmatic. They don't have the luxury of strongly partisan positions.

  • In reply to Donn:

    There are plenty of elected officials who have held chief executive positions who have performed terribly. Extensive management experience is not a reliable predictor of performance in politics.

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