Phoenix Mayor Stanton Gets It. Big Apple Mayor Doesn’t

Broader school choice is as inevitable as the great civil rights fights before10_6-Stanton it. Individual battles may be lost along the way but history’s tide unquestionably flows in its direction.
Most Democrats have yet to realize this. They are exemplified by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the blunt instrument of unions always seeking self-interest over student achievement. Data, parents and charter school students be damned, he governs.
Across the country a different big-city mayor is taking a difference approach. That’s Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. When well-known school choice advocates announced plans to proliferate charter schools throughout the core of Phoenix Stanton embraced the idea, unlike de Blasio.
Because Stanton understands that a failing public school system in and around the downtown area has been a major impediment to further economic development. Welcoming educational entrepreneurs on the other hand, many with impressive track records, can begin reversing the notion that the central city isn’t a good place to raise a family. And without more residential the area formerly known as Copper Square will remain an over-sized commerce park.
Former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon will rightfully be remembered for bringing the sizable Arizona State University presence to downtown Phoenix. But as important as that has been it is Stanton’s willingness to break with his political party’s dogmatic opposition to greater school choice that may prove to be the more transformative achievement for America’s sixth largest city.