Bill de Blasio won an amazing victory in the New York City Democratic mayoral primary. Not long ago, he was in fourth place but last night he ran decisively ahead of former Comptroller Bill Thompson (the UFT’s candidate) and Christine Quinn (who was tarnished by her close association with Mayor Bloomberg).
In exit polls, voters said their leading concerns were jobs and education. Of the three leading candidates, de Blasio was the sharpest critic of the mayor’s education policies.
The election was a clear repudiation of Bloomberg’s strategies of test-based accountability, closing schools (despite community opposition), and charter schools. .
The New York Times polls showed that only one in four New Yorkers approved of Bloomberg’s education policies. The Quinnipiac poll showed approval at only 22%.
One thing is clear:
The national reform movement just took a big hit. New Yorkers rejected it as stale and oppressive. They don’t like the status quo. They want change. They want leadership that cares more about children than about data. They want leadership that values education more than testing.
A public school parent and former local school board member, Bill de Blasio is poised to bring a fresh vision to the city’s schools.