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Education “insiders” like Andres Alonso for NYC chancellor

A survey of education “insiders” finds that former Baltimore superintendent Andres Alonso is Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s most likely chancellor choice and New York City’s annual school grades are highly likely to become a thing of the past.

Those findings are in the latest “Education Insider” report from Whiteboard Advisors, which surveys influencers in education monthly. The group says the survey goes out to “influential leaders who are shaping federal education reform,” including state school chiefs, congressional staff, and think tank officials.

The latest survey asked three questions related to New York City schools: about de Blasio’s chancellor pick, the future of charter schools, and the future of the city’s school letter grades.

Alonso was the person identified most often as a likely chancellor under de Blasio, followed closely by former Department of Education official Carmen Farina. She has told GothamSchools twice that she doesn’t want the job, but Alonso offered a “no comment.” Here’s our rundown of several people who could be the next chancellor — the survey asked about all of them, plus AFT President Randi Weingarten, whom insiders said was least likely to take over Tweed Courthouse.

Here’s how one “insider” ran down the options for Whiteboard

Suransky would be a smart low-key choice but hard for de Blasio to explain to the usual suspects. Farina has his ear. Alsonso wants it and is campaigning and demonstrated in Baltimore that he can play the game of making things look reformist when they’re not. Hughes would be an inspired choice but despite the good results of the new small schools they’re toxic, and de Blasio seems too smart to pick Weingarten because as soon as the PR hit ends, the reality would be disastrous.”

Seventy-one percent of respondents said they thought de Blasio would “reverse” the city’s system of assigning letter grades to schools. (This year’s grades come out today.) “Easy give; sad loss,” one person wrote.

And not a single respondent said de Blasio would improve the position of charter schools in the city. Eighty-six percent said his win augurs less favorable conditions for the publicly funded but privately managed schools — no surprise, considering that de Blasio has promised to charge rent to some schools, which Bloomberg did not do.

That’s not to say all of the influencers saw doom and gloom in de Blasio’s election. “Although less favorable, it does not mean the end of charters,” one wrote. “It may mean just more innovation in the standard public schools.

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