SDM supports charter schools and we do so unabashedly. Why?Because they are less expensive to operate and save taxpayers money. Because they force public school districts to innovate. Because they’re nimble and respond to the marketplace, rather than to teacher’s unions. Because they work.
So you probably think SDM is a right wing nut, huh? If so, then so is Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York.
You see, Governor Cuomo – scion of a famous New York DEMOCRATIC family (his father ran for President) – sided yesterday with New York City’s charter school movement. His decision to oppose New York City’s “progressive” (read: far left liberal) Mayor Bill de Blasio who closed several of the city’s best schools merely because they were not traditional public schools.
Cuomo’s decision was touted in the New York Post:
Some years ago, brilliant author Midge Decter warned against sitting on the sidelines during important political and cultural battles. “You must join the side you are on,” she declared.
Gov. Cuomo did just that yesterday. He shook up the charter war by joining the side he was on.
Cuomo’s late-morning decision to speak at a rally in Albany was the shot heard ’round the school universe. He put icing on the cake by throwing an elbow at the union during a short speech before a raucous crowd of students, parents and teachers outside the Capitol.
But his decision to show up spoke far louder than anything Cuomo actually said. Just by being there, he tips the scales toward decency and away from Mayor de Blasio’s obscene attack on charters and the mostly nonwhite children they serve.
For those of us in South Dade, New York politics is a million miles away. But the struggle going on in the Empire State mirrors teachers-union-backed anti-charter school attacks all over the country, including right here in our little hamlet of Palmetto Bay.
The New York battle is for the intellectual soul of a Democratic Party that controls one of America’s largest and most important states. Cuomo – following in the footsteps of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg – is reacting both opportunistically and realistically: he sees a chance to slap a political foe while also backing up poor children and their families. Once upon a time, Democrats said they were concerned for the poor, but it looks ever clearer that union jobs count for more – Thomas Jefferson must be rolling over in his grave.
The sad reality is that union control of education has been disastrous all over this nation. In Florida, the union-backed “educracy” continues to fight against competition in public education because they know charter schools work. Ask yourself this question: since charter schools in Dade only educate fewer than 13% of kids, why are they considered such a threat to the school district? Answer: Because they’re cheaper and they work.
Here in Palmetto Bay, our very own Mayor Stanczyk – also a Democrat – unsurprisingly has taken up the de Blasio banner. Just Monday she convinced her sheep-like colleagues to endorse the school district’s union-backed war on local charter schools. This at the same time she and her colleagues are supposed to be sitting in judgment of a charter school applicant in a few short weeks.
Apparently, the village council has taken a side, just as NYC Mayor de Blasio did: against school competition and more efficient spending of tax dollars. While Stanczyk’s liberal leanings have been evident for a long time, SDM is continually surprised at the rest of the council’s willingness to blindly follow her.
SDM Says: Too bad we don’t have even a single person with the courage of Andrew Cuomo on our council. And you want to be Mayor Mr. Fiore? Baaaaaaa!