Last year, Eva Moskowitz ate Bill de Blasio's lunch over the co-location issue.
After de Blasio's NYCDOE announced three of Eva's charter schools would not be co-located in NYC public school buildings, Eva had her supporters launch millions of dollars in anti-de Blasio ads that ran 24/7 on NY stations and blasted NYC residents with a pro-charter message.
Then she had her pal, Governor Cuomo, help her with an Albany rally that Cuomo himself spoke at, promising to do whatever needed to be done to "save" her charter schools.
Never mind that de Blasio was trying to keep Eva's Success Academies charters from throwing special needs children out onto the street when he nixed one of the co-locations - the optics were de Blasio hates kids, Eva loves them.
This last week Eva and her charter school supporters have been running pro-charter ads 24/7 again, this time calling NYC public schools a "system in crisis" and declaring charters the only solution that can end it.
The ads were a PR run-up to yesterday's pro-charter rally in Foley Square that Eva was coordinating in order to pressure state legislators to raise the charter cap this legislative session - or get rid of it completely.
Unlike last year, when de Blasio was caught flat-footed in the battle with Eva and had no coordinated response to the $5 million pro-charter, anti-de Blasio blitz Eva ran against him, this time de Blasio had a response ready for the expected Eva/charter rally:
The video was sent out by email, not run 24/7 on every TV station in NYC, so it's not going to have the same impact that the PR blitz the charter school proponents have spent millions on will have.
If only Eva and her charter school proponents would take the millions they spend on advertising and use that to pay for space instead of stealing that money from NYC school children - that should have been the message de Blasio ran against her.
But I understand why he decided to not launch that kind of attack and instead went with the "We want to help all children" mesage instead.
Because it's aimed at the exclusionary practices of Eva Moskowitz and other charter schools that limit who gets into their schools, that get rid of students they don't want, and never take in new students once a cohort has been launched.
And that message itself is effective in its own way.
Charter schools - they're separate and unequal.