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Partnership Superintendent Sees Hope for Schools in New Mayor, Chancellor

This week, The Manhattan Institute’s 10 Blocks podcast featured Partnership Superintendent Kathleen Porter-Magee, along with Wai Wah Chin, founder of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York. Host Brian Anderson sought their take on the climate for and possible direction of education reforms under New York’s new mayor, Eric Adams, and schools chancellor David Banks. The Manhattan Institute also announced that they have appointed Kathleen an adjunct fellow.

A few excerpts from Kathleen’s comments:

Here in New York City, the Catholic schools are a critical part of the education landscape and of the infrastructure…And so ensuring there is a thriving, vibrant Catholic school sector in New York City, I think is really critically important.

[In the last two years] we saw public school enrollment decline. But even in spite of the charter cap, charter school enrollment increased, and Catholic school enrollment increased…parents are clamoring for options. New York is, when it comes to private school choices, one of the most hostile choice environments. It doesn’t exist at all. There is really no public money funneling to parents who need it to exercise their options.

And in spite of those obstacles of a charter school cap and a lack of private school choice, you still see this increase. And at the Partnership School in New York, we saw that explicitly. So our enrollment in the past year exploded by almost 15 percent in our schools.

The pandemic was really kind of a great awakening, where parents who maybe weren’t that happy to begin with were now demanding choice and demanding options.

With a more reform-minded administration in the city, hopefully what we’ll see is an elimination over time of the charter cap, an increase in the number of charter schools, particularly in New York City. And hopefully at some point we will also see the existence of some private school choice options for New York City parents.

I think really there’s an administration who’s taking seriously the need to put student opportunity and student achievement back at the center of the conversation and to empower parents with options.

To listen to the full podcast or read a transcript, click here.