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Bill de Blasio isn't serving charter-school students

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reads

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reads to children in a pre-kindergarten class at P.S. 130 on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 in New York City. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Pool

Mayor Bill de Blasio is headed to Albany Tuesday to pitch his plan for expanding high-quality afterschool programs.

We hope he runs into Eva Moskowitz there.

As CEO of Success Academy -- a network of 22 New York City charter schools -- Moskowitz will be holding a rally with other charter supporters from around the state to drum up support for the schools.

As point man in a carefully plotted attack on charters, de Blasio at least owes ralliers some honest answers.

Last week the mayor canceled classroom space for three Success Academy schools scheduled to open in the city this fall.

Why?

At a news conference Monday, he said the plans for those schools -- which got the green light before he took office -- wouldn't have worked well educationally. He emphasized that he did sign off on other charter proposals.

But this is an argument with a history. De Blasio made clear during the campaign last year that he wasn't a huge fan of charter schools. And he excoriated Moskowitz in particular as someone whose six-figure salary was too high for his tastes. Now he's taking nasty pokes at the schools themselves -- all the while imploring Albany to pass his own prekindergarten and after-school programs. He calls them game-changers.

OK, but so are charter schools in general and Moskowitz's schools in particular. While the student bodies in Success Academy charter schools have an overall poverty rate of 77 percent, the schools routinely rank among the state's highest-scoring institutions on standardized tests.

How do they do it? One hint: District schools offer 27.5 hours of instruction a week. Success Academy schools offer 35 hours. Charters set their own rules and teachers aren't bound by union strictures, which is why the unions oppose them. So where does the mayor's first allegiance lie? It doesn't seem to be with the charter students.

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