The battle is heating up, especially in New York City, between populism and liberalism, and what’s the best way to reform education. That’s how I characterize (maybe incorrectly: the populists would call the liberals “corporatists”) the debate between Mayor Bill de Blasio (conventional public schools) and Eva Moskowitz (charter schools).
If you read today’s article in the New York Times, “The Battle for New York Schools: Eva Moskowitz vs. Mayor Bill de Blasio,” it looks like charter schools are winning.
But if you read Diane Ravitch’s response, author Daniel Bergner didn’t tell the whole story. Lately I’ve found Ms. Ravitch’s writing strident, but she makes excellent points, emphasizing that Ms. Moskowitz’s schools—and really, all charter schools—aren’t truly “public.”
The problem right now with Ms. Ravitch’s camp—and why the liberal, data-driven, no-excuses school reformers are winning the battle—is that decades of traditional public schooling have not done a good job addressing issues of equity. Unfortunately, right now, populism doesn’t quite “sell.”
Please let me know what you think!
“One afternoon this summer, Eva Moskowitz, who runs Success Academy Charter Schools, showed me her senior yearbook. “I was the editor,” she said. We sat in a half-furnished office at the construction site of her charter network’s first high school. A buzz saw shrieked in the background.”