De Blasio Pick for Schools Chancellor Is the Anti-Bloomberg

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 30 2013 1:48 PM

De Blasio's Pick for Schools Chancellor Is the Anti-Bloomberg

456091997
New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is about to de-Bloombergize the city's public schools.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

In a decision that reveals a sharp split from Mayor Bloomberg’s education policies, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio appointed Carmen Fariña on Monday to lead New York City’s public schools. Fariña, a veteran teacher in the city’s school system, was named deputy chancellor of schools by Bloomberg in 2004, but left the position after two years due to disagreements with Bloomberg’s testing-heavy policies. Now Fariña will have the chance to implement her own desired reforms.

The decision follows a string of remarks by de Blasio intimating his displeasure with Bloomberg’s public school reforms, which included frequent standardized testing, teacher evaluations, and the shuttering of underperforming schools. The Mayor-elect has also cast doubt on the expansion of charter schools, a lynchpin of Bloomberg’s education policy. Although de Blasio has been careful to avoid pillorying Bloomberg’s tactics, he has suggested a change in course, stating that “we cannot continue to be a city where educational opportunity is predetermined by ZIP code.” 

As chancellor, Fariña’s decisions will have an impact on over 1.1 million students in New York City public schools. No matter how successful her reforms, Fariña is likely to enjoy a more positive legacy than ex-chancellor Cathleen Black, whose disastrous 95-day tenure is still remembered as one of Bloomberg’s biggest blunders. 

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 1 2014 12:20 PM Don’t Expect Hong Kong’s Protests to Spread to the Mainland
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?