It was just a primary — and the results aren’t even final yet, with mail-in ballots still being counted to determine if there will be a runoff.
But advocates for traditional public education are jubilant that Bill de Blasio came out on top Tuesday in the Democratic mayoral race in New York City after a campaign in which he promised to yank support from charter schools, scale back high-stakes standardized testing and tax the wealthy to pay for universal preschool and more arts education.
De Blasio’s education platform boiled down, in effect, to a pledge to dismantle the policies that Mayor Michael Bloomberg enacted over the past decade in the nation’s largest school district.
Those policies, emphasizing the need to inject more free-market competition into public education and weaken the power of teachers unions, are not unique to New York City; they’re the backbone of a national education reform movement that has won broad bipartisan support. Yet the reform movement has also triggered a backlash from parents and teachers who see it as a threat to their schools, their jobs and the traditional concept of public education as a public trust.