It’s a die-hard liberal Chicagoan’s fantasy: liberal mayor elected to office with a mandate to make preschool universal and rein in charter schools. (Elected school board? Not so much.)
But then it turns out that some of the charter schools are doing really well, and parents without better options really don’t care what the schools are called as long as they’re better than the other alternatives, and reformers run a very smart (and very expensive) media and parent mobilizing campaign against the anti-charter campaign (and find powerful centrist Democrats who disagree).
In the end, the liberal mayor has to give a speech in which he admits that the public system remains broken despite all efforts, and that charters aren’t the city’s main problem but are in many cases an example of how district schools could do better for kids.
Can we just skip the NYC theatrics and get to the end? Probably not.