03.03.2014 1

NYC Mayor takes aim at Harlem children

Success_AcademyBy Tom Toth

Newly elected New York City mayor Bill De Blasio has thrown the first punch against inner city families with the nerve to escape failing city public schools. De Blasio terminated land usage agreements with one existing school in Harlem and three more New York City charters previously approved to begin teaching in September, leaving at least 700 kids without a school next year.

At a time when nation’s largest metropolitan biggest cities — especially the violent and pervasively poor inner-cities—are clamoring for educational success and bending over backwards to encourage successful charters and educators to work with the children of these cities, De Blasio’s making his own ideological statement.

Harlem’s Success Academy 4, the first school targeted by De Blasio that will no longer be able to use the public building they’ve operated in since 2008, is one of the highest performing schools in all of New York State, with school math scores in the top 1 percent of New York students and a remarkable 100 percent of Success Academy 4 students earning an “advanced” rating on the state science exam.

New York City charter schools consist of children whom are 93 percent ethnic minorities and 74 percent from impoverished families. Why is Bill De Blasio, the man who made his political fame preaching about the “Tale of Two Cities” achievement and income gaps between the city’s poor and wealthy, making his first education policy maneuver a stunt that will ensure more poor kids become poor adults? Why is his first target poor minorities? Direct answers are elusive, but De Blasio’s hardly alone in this fight.

Barack Obama, who continues to shamelessly plug into stump speeches a necessity of “ensuring every child gets a world class education” while his budget proposals continuously recommend entirely gutting Washington D.C.’s successful charter school program —  a program also exclusively utilized by poor minority children. Obama speaks passionately about the next generation and even announced recently the “My Brother’s Keeper” program to support “boys and men of color” in cities.  All the while, the President hardly lifts a finger to allow ways out of the failing dropout “education” factories that continue to push tens of thousands of poor kids into a lifetime of crime, illiteracy, and poverty.  What does President Obama have against a poor child’s single greatest opportunity generator: an excellent school?

Inner city alternative education isn’t just under attack from government officials either. Capitol Prep Magnet School in Hartford, Connecticut has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with local government, state legislators from both parties, and even the state’s Democrat governor Dan Malloy, but that doesn’t stop the daily attacks. Capitol Prep, and its founder Steve Perry — a well-known educational innovator due to the school’s success, including 100 percent college attendance — have come under attack from teachers unions, leftist activists, and state politicos like ousted state legislator and prominent liberal Connecticut blogger Jonathan Pelto, who attacks Capitol Prep and Perry with vitriolic articles virtually every day.

Considering that these examples are far from being the exception to the rule, a peculiar trend consistently presents itself: No matter how passionately the American left claims to work on behalf of the poorest and weakest, they will invariably be the first to be thrown under the buss in exchange for political expediency and democratic socialist ideologies.

Bill De Blasio is political — he was endorsed by the city’s teacher’s union body, United Federation of Teachers, an organization that fights endlessly against the cities non-unionized charters. Poor families can’t financially contribute to a campaign. Black and Latino middle school students can’t offer the mayor a meaningful endorsement before next term.

Bill De Blasio is an ideologue — charter, magnet, and private schools are not under government control and supervision, and their existence is therefore unacceptable.

The fact of the matter is that Bill De Blasio does not care for about poor New York City children. Barack Obama does not care about poor Washington D.C. children. The Democratic National Committee, whose candidates see millions from teachers unions every election cycle, doesn’t care about those children. American Democratic socialism doesn’t care about those children. No, the American left cares about maintaining political power and ensuring that every child possible is educated by union-run, government-endowed and controlled traditional public schools.

There’s nothing “progressive” about the left’s education policy. They are tied at the hip — financially and ideologically — with institutions and ideas that have failed families for generations, especially in places like the streets of Harlem. The education policies of Bill De Blasio, Barack Obama, and their comrades are creating a permanent underclass. Mending the education gap is the civil rights issue of this generation, and Democrats again find themselves stuck in the past.

Tom Toth (@TomToth3) is the social media director for Americans for Limited Government and is an editor for NetRightDaily.com. He can be reached at Tom@getliberty.org.

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