Adams, Hailed on the National Stage, Finds Frustration Closer to Home

Mr. Adams also pressed hard for mayoral control of schools. He repeatedly argued that he and his schools chancellor were Black men who attended the city’s public schools, and it would be wrong to deny them control after approving it for his predecessors, Bill de Blasio and Michael R. Bloomberg, who are white and grew up in the Boston area.

“If mayoral accountability was given to folks that were Red Sox fans, you darn sure can give it to people who are Yankees and Mets fans,” Mr. Adams said at a speech on April 26 to mark his first 100 days in office.

Mr. Bloomberg in 2009 got a six-year extension of control over the city’s schools, while Mr. de Blasio had to settle, at times, for a one-year extension. Mr. Adams and Mr. Banks, the schools chancellor, criticized the two-year deal this week, arguing that it was too short and did not give students stability as the school system recovered from the pandemic.

Diane Savino, a state senator who endorsed Mr. Adams for mayor, said she was disappointed by the schools-control deal, as well as the agreement to weaken the mayor’s power on the Panel for Educational Policy. Ms. Savino said the new rules would make it difficult for Mr. Adams to implement his education agenda and that some lawmakers saw an opportunity to “put their own stamp on the school system.”

“Whether it was because some people wanted to accomplish their long held goals or they had a difference of opinion with the current occupant of City Hall, I can’t answer,” she said. “But I think Albany did New York City a terrible disservice.”

Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Senate majority leader, seemed surprised by the pushback. She said on Wednesday that she had informed Mr. Adams about their plans and that he appeared to have accepted it.

“Over the past few days, I’ve spoken to him and the speaker and we told him where we were at some point,” she said. “He was OK with it.”

Grace Ashford contributed reporting from Albany, N.Y.


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