Thursday's primary election included some historic upsets — though not in the governor's race, where incumbent Andrew Cuomo handily defeated challenger Cynthia Nixon.
In State Senate races, progressive challengers beat out six Democratic lawmakers who have voted with Republicans on some issues, including education. Six of eight members of the now-defunct Independent Democratic Conference who were up for reelection lost their primaries.
They included Martin Dilan and Jose Peralta, who received support this year from charter advocacy group StudentsFirstNY, as well as Jeffrey Klein, the conference's founder who has appeared at charter rallies. Their departure from the State Senate leaves charter advocates without key allies in Albany at a time when lawmakers will have to act if many more of the publicly funded, privately managed schools are to open.
The winners of those races, who are now poised to win in November's general election, include several with longtime education track records. They include the former city comptroller and one-time mayoral contender John Liu, who has lobbied for increased spending on preschool and guidance counselors and against punitive school discipline, and former City Council education chair Robert Jackson, who has criticized mayoral control — which lawmakers will soon reconsider.
As significant as Thursday's election might have been, news could also get made this morning when new city schools chancellor Richard Carranza speaks to the Association for a Better New York, a business and civic group.
The group's high-profile breakfasts are a frequent forum for leaders to announce bold new initiatives. That's where Mayor Bill de Blasio, then the public advocate, announced a bid to raise taxes to pay for an unprecedented prekindergarten expansion; where national teachers union chief Randi Weingarten called for a moratorium on consequences for Common Core exams; and where then-Chancellor Dennis Walcott vowed to push out low-performing teachers with or without lawmakers' support.
Will Carranza use the moment to tout his desegregation push, which has drawn skepticism from some corners of the business community? To roll out the District 15 middle school admissions plan he promised in 48 hours nearly two weeks ago? To announce a surprise new initiative? Or simply to introduce himself to people whose support could help him move forward his agenda? We'll report back later today.
—Philissa Cramer, managing editor