They say that personnel is policy when it comes to a new chief executive assembling his team. Incoming Mayor Eric Adams has a chance to break with the policies of his predecessor across the board, and we hope he will do so in a major way in key areas including crime-fighting, business regulation, transportation and, at least as vital as any of those, education. Wednesday’s announcement that Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter will be stepping down at the end of the year, as inevitable as it was, highlights Adams’ opportunity to reverse the most damaging approaches Mayor de Blasio took toward education while building on the positive ones.
The main thing that has to be done is to end the war on excellence. In fact, just about everything stems from that. De Blasio, determined to bring more equity to education, particularly along racial lines, did what he could to equalize student outcomes. But other than pre-K and 3-K, he pursued that theoretically noble goal not by trying to improve the education of the most challenged students but by trying to reduce the opportunities available to the most successful ones. And his schools chiefs put those plans into practice.