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Diane Ravitch Headshot

Why Does Andrew Cuomo Love Charter Schools? Follow the Money to Wall Street

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You can't say this often enough.

Money matters in politics.

Forget principle. Think money.

Andrew Cuomo wants to be re-elected governor of New York with a large majority.

He has raised $33 million.

One of his biggest sources of money is Wall Street.

Wall Street loves charter schools.

Wall Street doesn't love public schools.

The fact that only 3 percent of students in New York State attend charter schools doesn't matter to Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo now wants to take charge of dispensing millions in public funds to charter schools for construction, and he wants to assure them that they can have public space without paying rent. He wants the power to give free space to charters, no matter what Mayor Bill de Blasio says.

The fact that high-flying charters like Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy not only excludes children with special needs, but literally pushes them out of their schools does not matter to Andrew Cuomo. Success Academy is for winners, not losers. Children with disabilities don't belong in Success Academy's charters.

I have been trying to remember something that his father Mario Cuomo said. I can't find it. I have googled, and I can't find it. Mario Cuomo, known for his eloquence, once explained that a parent gives more love and affection to the weakest child, not the strongest one. I remember it well, even though I can't find the source. It was very moving, spoken by a decent and kind human being, a loving father.

Did he teach this lesson to Andrew? I think not. Andrew is ready to toss the neediest children overboard. They don't have high test scores. They don't count. They drag down scores. They don't matter to Andrew Cuomo. In his eyes, they are dispensable. They are invisible. And the hedge fund managers, so necessary for his re-election, don't like losers. They like high scores. They like winners.

And that is why Andrew Cuomo has become the lobbyist for the hedge-fund supported charter sector. After all, they did give him $800,000 for his re-election campaign.