AOC, Bo Dietl, and advocates for selective schools: Here’s who David Banks met as NYC schools chief
David Banks became the leader of New York City’s school system in January at a moment of crisis, with the omicron variant fueling an explosion in coronavirus cases that sent student attendance plunging.
Yet aside from a flurry of COVID briefings that tapered off after a few weeks, Banks’ first three months in office were dominated by introductions with key elected officials (34 meetings), school tours (21 visits), media requests (14 interviews), and meetings with other government, corporate, and nonprofit leaders, according to a copy of his calendar provided through a public records request.
He wasted no time setting up meetings with politicians — from city councilors, state legislators, and borough presidents to national figures. Just days after taking office, he seems to have met with Hillary Clinton, an early supporter of the Eagle Academy schools Banks helped launch in 2004. On Feb. 1 he appears to have met with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, on Zoom. (Those people are listed on Banks’ schedule as AOC and HRC. A department spokesperson declined to confirm their identities; representatives of the two politicians did not respond.)
Banks also sat down with Bo Dietl, a retired police detective who has worked on behalf of longtime Trump advisor Steve Bannon, former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, and shock radio personality Don Imus. During his unsuccessful run for mayor in 2017, Dietl tweeted that the teachers union has “hijacked our classrooms” and educators should be required to pass drug tests.
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