Editor's note: This post originally appeared in a slightly different form in the Daily News.
Talk about glaciers melting! The high-profile-yet-nearly-immobile education policies and politics of the Empire State may have cracked last week, the result of rapid climate change within New York’s Democratic leadership.
Two changes, actually, both of them dramatic.
The easier one to describe was veteran Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s arrest last Thursday by the FBI on federal corruption charges, accused on multiple counts of using his government position to enrich himself. It’ll take a while for the judicial machinery to clatter and crank.
In the meantime, he has already agreed to temporarily vacate the powerful role that he has occupied and has used to foil, frustrate, delay, and defenestrate many an important education-reform initiative within the state legislature—at least those opposed by the teachers’ unions whose foremost champion he has been.
Whew. Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving fellow.
Silver’s demise would not, in and of itself, cause New York to raise the cap on charter schools, much less enact a tax-credit scholarship program, both hated by the union and its buddies...