New York City mayor Bill de Blasio is closing charter schools in deference to the Teacher's Unions. The result? Hundreds of minority children evicted from schools that work and thrown back into disfunctional public schools. Mona Charen wonders what it would be like if a Republican mayor did the same thing.
Just try to envision the scene: A newly elected Republican mayor of a large American city takes steps to close down some of the best schools serving an almost exclusively minority population. You know how it would go. We'd be hearing that Republicans "hate" the poor. The words "cruel," "vicious," and "racist" would circle the new mayor like sharks. News organizations would examine where the mayor sent his own children, and his hypocrisy would be fiercely denounced.
She goes on to note that this sort of behavior, though largely unremarked-upon by the press, is standard operating procedure for the left:
Mayor de Blasio bulldozed into office swearing to take aim at the privileged and defend the powerless. If you know anything about leftists, you won't be surprised that he is actually training his fire on the poorest and most vulnerable. Remember that one of Barack Obama's first acts was to attack the school-choice program in the District of Columbia.Economist Thomas Sowell has noticed the same thing:
Not all charter schools are successful, of course, but the ones that are completely undermine the excuses for failure in the public school system as a whole. That is why teachers' unions hate them, as a threat not only to their members' jobs but a threat to the whole range of frauds and fetishes in the educational system.
The autonomy of charter schools is also a threat to the powers that be, who want to impose their own vision on the schools, regardless of what the parents want. Attorney General Eric Holder wants to impose his own notion of racial balance in the schools, while many black parents want their children to learn, regardless of whether they are seated next to a white child or a black child. There have been all-black schools whose students met or exceeded national norms in education, whether in Louisiana, California or other places around the country. But Eric Holder, like Bill de Blasio, put his ideology above the education - and the future life - of minority students.
Charter schools take power from politicians and bureaucrats, letting parents decide where their children will go to school. That is obviously offensive to those on the left, who think that our betters should be making our decisions for us.