Wednesday, September 11, 2013

You May Win Some, But You Just Lost One- One Teachers Response to The DeBlasio Victory

Bill DeBlasio's victory in the NY Democratic Mayoral Primary ( it is still unclear whether he will face a runoff) is one of the first by a major candidate who took a strong stance against Corporate Education reform, and hopefully it will set a trend around the country.

DeBlasio, strongly supported by Diane Ravitch and her son Michael, along with thousands of parent and teacher activists in the NYC school system, soundly defeated the candidate informally supported by the Mayor, Christine Quinn, and the candidate supported by the United Federation of Teachers, William Thompson, whose finance chair happened to be head of NY State Regents Chair Merryl Tisch.

While DeBlasio's victory stems as much or more from his fierce opposition to "stop and frisk" and hospital closings as his education policies- his opposition to excessive testing, school closings and charter school co-locations, along with the open hatred he inspires among charter school entrepreneur Eva Moskowitz, led many education activists to campaign for him even while the UFT campaigned for Bill Thompson.

We have all learned, through harsh experiences, that what a candidate says when they are campaigning may be very different than they do when they govern, and that the Billionaires have a way of asserting their influence behind the scenes when the excitement of an election quiets down.

But for the moment, teacher and parent activists should take notice that a strong anti-testing candidate can win elections on a very big stage, and that there is a deep well of public dissatisfaction with the Corporate Reform policies being pushed so hard by both major parties.

We still have a huge amount of work to do in the runoff- if there is one- and in the general election- but we still can say, in the words of the great Lauryn Hill "You may win some, but you just lost one."

1 comment:

Daniel Millstone said...

Do you understand why the UFT was so enchanted by Mr. Thompson? For me it was a mystery.