Facing failure in New York City’s public schools, radical Mayor Bill de Blasio initiated a program of Renewal Schools and pumped over $400 million into turning around failing schools.
The mayor, an ideological leftist, put down charter schools at the same time that he was advancing his Renewal Schools agenda.
Now the results are in: Charter schools are a huge success while de Blasio’s Renewal Schools are a total failure.
The difference between the two systems is largely that the teachers’ union contract applies in Renewal but not in charter schools.
Free to pay teachers based on performance, dismiss bad teachers, adjust work rules and raise standards, charter schools are winning the competition … by a lot.
Average per-pupil spending at Renewal Schools is $30,355 while at Success Academy Charter Schools , it is $18,264.
But while only 8.3 percent of Renewal students pass standardized math tests and 12.4 percent pass English exams, the comparable rates for Success Charters are 81.3 percent in math and 95.6 percent in English.
Citywide, only 41 percent of public school students pass English tests and 38 percent pass the math test, less than half the passing rates at Success Academy.
Success Academy Charter schools are run by a private company founded by Eva Moskowitz, a former city councilman for the Upper East Side of New York City. (Its original name was Harlem Success Academy).
It operates 46 schools in the city serving 15,500 students. There is a waiting list of 10,000 kids eager to get in.
Both the Success Academy and the Renewal Schools largely cater to children from impoverished families. About 73.1 percent of Success Academy Charter School and 86.8 percent of Renewal School students come from poverty households.
Has the relative success of charters and the lack of it in Renewal Schools done anything to change de Blasio’s mind or his policy?
No way. He still puts taxpayer money into Renewal Schools.
That’s the real vulnerability of the left: Any fair analysis of liberal policies would highlight that tendency of its politicians to emphasize the needs of the teachers union rather than those of minority students.
Voters — particularly liberal women — need to realize the dire consequences of helping the left maintain control over local governments in urban areas throughout the nation.
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