A gripping mini-series directed and produced by TheBlaze’s Will Cain exposes New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s efforts to curb charter schools in his city, though they offer one of the only lifelines out of the woeful public schools for many of the poor.
“[The series] shows the personal impact, the human cost of these policies that are [always] too impersonal when they’re in the news, when they’re debated among policy experts,” Cain explained to TheBlaze.
Cain said the series, which consists of four episodes, all between five and ten minutes each, follows a 10-year-old girl named Alise Alexander and her mother as their lives are turned upside down by de Blasio’s actions.
Many were stunned that de Blasio would go after the Success Academy charter schools in particular, where 97 percent of the students are black and Hispanic, and more than three quarters are poor enough to qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. The students are selected in a lottery, and still, Success Academy’s fifth graders in Harlem scored first in the state in math in 2013.
“Not the rich kids on the Upper East Side, not the rich white kids in Westchester,” Cain said. “These kids ranked first.”
Across the street from Harlem’s Success Academy, at PS 149, just 3% of the students passed the state math exam.
You can watch the complete first episode of the series, titled “Alise vs. the Mayor,” here:
So why would de Blasio target some of the only thriving schools in an area that so desperately needs a lifeline?
Cain has a number of theories.
First, he said, de Blasio has a public vendetta against Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz. The mayor has openly stated that Moskowitz “cannot continue to have the run of the place,” and for too long she was “giving the orders, and chancellors were bowing down.”
Cain noted that Moskowitz considers herself a progressive Democrat, but made a powerful enemy in the Democratic mayor by condemning teachers unions.
Another possibility, Cain said, is that de Blasio is simply a “true believer.” He wrote in a CNN piece: “Maybe [de Blasio] truly believes in a perverted sense of fairness that demands if everyone can’t have a good education, then no one should.”
Cain added that if “inequality and opportunity for minorities” were more than “empty slogans” for the mayor, he would “go to Success Academy on his knees, hoping to find something to duplicate, not destroy.”
TheBlaze TV’s Dana Loesch interviewed Cain about the project while filling in for Glenn Beck on Thursday. You can watch the complete interview, below:
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