School Choice

Best of 2014: How Eva Moskowitz Outmuscled the Teachers Union

A charter school pioneer counters the political influence of organized labor.

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The battle between charter school pioneer Eva Moskowitz and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) was one of New York City's biggest political stories of 2014.

On the campaign trail, de Blasio promised the teachers union that Moskowitz "would stop having the run of the place," and no longer be "tolerated, enabled, [or] supported." When he tried to make good on that promise, Moskowitz struck back and won, ensuring that Success Academy, the highly successful charter school network she runs, could expand and thrive. The episode demonstrated that it's possible for the school choice movement to counter the outsized political influence of organized labor.

In September of 2014, Nick Gillespie sat down with Moskowitz to talk about how she outmuscled the teachers union.

NEXT: 2014 Was a Pretty Gay Year

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  1. Moskowitz is a total upper east side Prog mom. It must really drive these people nuts to see one of the hive rebel.

    1. Eh, the reform movement is chock full of proggies. Not really driving people nuts.

  2. Has Reason run a Best Movies/Shows/Books of 2014 feature yet?

    1. Top Ten Libertarian Moments of 2014?

    2. I can always stay on top of the best of the most recent movies and TV shows. But I’m always a year or so behind when it comes to books. I’ve only just started reading Balko’s Rise of the Warrior Cop.

      1. How is it? Anything in it that we don’t hear every day on this site?

        1. Very well written. You get a lot of his personal philosophy in the work that you don’t get in his reporting.

    3. My books won’t make the list because of “a lack of strong libertarian themes”. (probably because I’m not one, and I had to tone down the char acter who is to make them sound believeable).

    4. 2014 top ten millennial polls.

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    1. Bottom 10 spam campaigns?

  4. The Walking Derp

    During my family’s unofficial holiday debate, my brother argued for “taking money out of politics”. I told him money and power always find each other. His solution? If we pay the politicians more, they will be less corrupt. I believe there was a Dilbert cartoon about that. I pointed out that a junior House rep gets a 176k salary, but he insisted this was perhaps not enough to ward off corruption.

    Our guest that evening was an ex-hippy we belongs to my parents’ Tea Party group. To his credit, he believed in leaving drug users alone, but still wanted dealers and traffickers arrested. He said a bunch of his friends died from heroin overdoses, so that’s why he wanted it banned. I told him progs apply the same logic to guns- guns kill, ban guns. He said guns have legitimate uses. I said painkillers like heroin also have legitimate uses. I challenged him to present one argument for drug bans that could not also be used to ban alcohol. I also pointed out heroin used to be legal and somehow society did not collapse. Crickets.

    He said I should wait 20 years and see if I change my mind.

    1. “He said I should wait 20 years and see if I change my mind.”

      I hate this rhetorical tactic. I’m 47 and frequently work with people twenty years my junior. I try never to say this when I disagree with them about public policy and domestic affairs.

      1. I’m 24. Old people love to tell them I’m just not old or wise enough to be right (after I beat them in the argument.”

        I tell them there’s an old Ukrainian proverb: wisdom is in the head, not in the beard.

        Plenty of people live a hundred years and never escape their idiocy. After all, ‘age is just a number.’

    2. Really? “Maybe when you’re older” was actually used as an argument?

    3. I have friends who have OD’d and died. The primary factory was heroin being illegal.

    4. If drugs were legal users would have much better information about the purity and potency of what they used, reducing accidental overdoses.

      I’ve been watching the War on Drugs for 44 years. I doubt another 20 will see it become effective or less destructive.

  5. “He said a bunch of his friends died from heroin overdoses, so that’s why he wanted it banned.”

    Or people could take personal responsibility for their bodies and stay alive regardless of how easy it is to obtain dangerous substances. Also, it’s not illegal to tell your friends to stop being reckless morons.

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