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Democrats for Education Reform throws support behind mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio

Now that Bill de Blasio looks likely to clinch the Democratic nomination for mayor, DFER has swallowed its pride and thrown decided to support the anti-charter candidate. (Remember that DFER memo that said de Blasio was the least attractive candidate because he “offered the least support for issues of concern to education reform advocates.”)

And while education activist Diane Ravitch, who has been an outspoken critic of Bloomberg’s education policies, said today that Bill de Blasio’s win was a major hit to the national education reform movement, DFER’s Joe Williams seems to think differently and was eager to take the opposite side of the teachers union. Here’s a statement he released this afternoon:

“Bill de Blasio ran one of the most effective political campaigns we have ever seen, tapping into real anxieties New Yorkers have about hot-button issues like ‘stop-and-frisk’ and income inequality. His come-from-behind victory in the Democratic Primary was a repudiation of the outrageous claims that United Federation of Teachers President Mike Mulgrew would “make” or buy the next mayor. Mulgrew spent several million of the UFT’s dollars trying to elect someone else for the job, even claiming that his chosen candidate had promised $3 billion for teacher raises. (The candidate claimed no such pledge.) This is an important moment for the Democratic Party in New York City, where Democrats and not union bosses elect their leaders. The reality is that many, many teachers and parents that we know pulled the lever for de Blasio, reminding us once again that in addition to losing its grip on the Democratic Party, the UFT has also lost the confidence of its rank-and-file and made itself irrelevant in the ongoing public education discussion in Gotham.”

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