Quinnipiac released a poll yesterday that claimed to find widespread disapproval of de Blasio's education policies:
Voters are giving Mayor de Blasio a bad report card for his education policies.
A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday found that just 38% support de Blasio’s handling of the public schools and 49% disapprove.
40% want de Blasio to increase the number of charter schools
while 39% want the number to stay the same and 14% want a reduction in
Do you know why that poll is suspect?
Because it came at the same time this was going on:
A pro-charter school group has spent $3.6 million over the past three
weeks on TV ads attacking Mayor de Blasio, an insider revealed
Families for Excellent Schools — founded by a deep-pocketed group of
financiers — has run a series of ads, including a spot blaming de Blasio
for taking away the “hopes and dreams” of 194 students by blocking
Success Academy Harlem Central.
De Blasio stopped three Success schools from co-locating in public
school buildings while allowing five others to go ahead. His allies call
the ad campaign hypocritical.
“They have parents believing there’s no way they’re going to find space
for these 194 students,” said Zakiyah Ansari of the labor-backed
lobbying group Alliance for Quality Education. “Do they tell them
they’re spending $3.6 million on these ads in less than a month? Put
that into the building that you say you can’t find.”
Don't kid yourself, the $3.6 million pro-charter ad blitz hammering de Blasio over the charter co-location issue has a lot to do with why the poll numbers on education are so dismal for de Blasio and Farina.
If de Blasio and Farina had been more adept, they would have been ready to go back at Eva Moskowitz and her charter school allies by pointing out that Eva wants to take away space from public school kids, including classrooms reserved for autistic and special needs kids.
Alas, even if they had been ready to go with that pushback campaign, they weren't going to be able to spend $3.6 million dollars on it.
Which is another way of saying, when you have very wealthy enemies ready to drop millions against you in a couple of weeks, it's hard to win the political battles.
Just as a comparison, the Times reports de Blasio spent $236,000 in private contributions in January and February on his pre-K push.
They're different issues, but the numbers are stark - $3.6 million to $236,000.
I've been highly critical of de Blasio and Farina for not mounting a coordinated and coherent defense of traditional public schools.
But seriously, when you're outgunned like this in the ad wars, it's going to be awfully hard to win these battles.
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